MYSTERY

A Traitor's Tears: A Tudor Mystery Featuring Ursula Blanchard

Crème de la Crime: Severn. Mar. 2014. 232p. ISBN 9781780290577. $28.95. M
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Maybe neighbor Jane Cobbold was an unlikable woman, but she certainly didn't deserve to be murdered in her own garden. A suspect comes to mind, but then he's found dead not long afterwards. Assorted houseguests and workers appear to have tight alibis, but Ursula suspects one man's hidden identity might be a major clue. Thus follows the terrifying and daring summer of 1573 as Ursula races across the countryside, desperate to solve the mystery of Jane's death before beloved manservant Roger Brockley goes to the gallows for a crime he didn't commit.
VERDICT Thanks to Buckley's ability to sketch out deftly her characters' backstories, number 12 (after A Rescue for a Queen) can be read independently of earlier titles. Fact is, once readers meet Ursula, their appreciation of her many talents (including lock picking) grows exponentially. A real gem of a historical series liberally doused with intrigue and adventure.

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