To Ruin A Queen
An Ursula Blanchard Mystery at Queen Elizabeth I's Court
Homesick for England, heartsick at being separated from her young daughter, Ursula Blanchard is struggling to build a new life in France with her husband, Matthew de la Roche. Ursula is devastated when she learns Meg has disappeared from the family that has fostered her since the French civil war forced Ursula to leave her behind. A wanted man in England, Matthew is unable to accompany her as she frantically journeys home.
Upon her arrival, Ursula is stunned to learn that Meg is not missing, but has been sent at the Queen's behest to Vetch Castle, the home of Philip Mortimer, descendant of Roger Mortimer, who was executed long ago for his part in the murder of Edward II. Ursula treads carefully as she seeks the truth about Philip Mortimer's schemes to force the Queen to restore his family's fortunes. But when a murderer strikes, she is quickly ensnared in a web of blackmail and treason that could topple the crown -- and cost Ursula her life.
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To Ruin A Queen
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Chapter 1: The Power of Life and Death
The journey that took me from the Château Blanchepierre, on the banks of the Loire, to Vetch Castle on the Welsh March began, I think, on April 4, 1564, when I snatched up a triple-branched silver candlestick and hurled it the length of the Blanchepierre dinner table at my husband, Matthew de la Roche.
I threw it in an outburst of fury and unhappiness, which had had its beginnings three and a half weeks before, in the fetid, overheated lying-in chamber in the west tower of the château, where our first child should have come into the world, had God or providence been...
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