In this third book of the Simon & Elizabeth Mysteries Elizabeth Tudor is declared a traitor and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Visiting the princess secretly her friend Simon Maldon discovers another cause for worry. His friend Peto the Pope has been arrested for a murder he swears he did not commit.
As Simon frets over Elizabeth s peril and Peto s certain execution his wife Hannah deals with her own mystery after taking in a frightened pregnant girl who she later learns is not as she first seemed. Neither Simon nor Hannah pays attention to the other s problems although they should. Matters spin quickly into grave danger and they both might die as they try their best to save the lives of others.
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I enjoy writing my Tudor mysteries, and it's not uncommon for me to look up after several hours with surprise at seeing the modern world around me. Elizabeth Tudor has always fascinated me, and while I recognize her faults, it seems to me she's entitled to every single one of them. Some have asked how I had the temerity to use her as a character, and my reply is that I'm pretty sure she wouldn't mind. Intelligent and curious, why wouldn't she stick her nose into a mystery? As for Simon, his sense of justice requires that he work to restore order to the world as best he can. He has no illusions about his position in society, and he's in awe of Elizabeth. When she's imprisoned in the Tower of London, what else can he do but try to help, despite the long list of other things he should be noticing?From the Inside Flap:
"You should not have come." Elizabeth Tudor whispered the words hastily as her visitor entered the cheerless room and made the sign of the cross. Simon felt some--though not much--of the tension in his spine lessen. Dressed as a priest, he had covered his head with the hood to shade his long, plain face, pulled the right sleeve down to hide his crippled arm, and bent his body, apparently against the cold of the March day that invaded the room's corners and chilled the floor to ice. Despite that, the princess had recognized her old friend immediately. He might have smiled if dread-tightened lips had allowed it. Elizabeth Tudor's first thought at his unannounced appearance was for his safety.
"I am here on orders from our monarch, lady." Simon handed Elizabeth a rolled sheet of vellum, the same one he had shown at the front entrance and at several succeeding checkpoints. The message was brief: The bearer acts on my orders. Assist him in all possible ways. The document was legitimate, to a point. Simon had, however, carefully scraped Henry VIII's signature from the bottom and replaced it with "Mary," the simple signature used by their new queen. Simon gambled no one would look closely at the royal seal pressed into a splash of wax next to the signature and see that its design was hardly current.
Elizabeth reacted to the words and the handwriting with a quick frown, momentary surprise, and recognition. She had been present when her father wrote the note for Simon, many years ago, ordering him to help investigate a series of murders. Now the note had provided Simon entry to her prison cell, where he intended to do what he could to free her, even if it meant planning an escape.
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Book Description Five Star, 2013. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11143282712X