As the thrilling adventures of Ursula Blanchard, secret agent for Queen Elizabeth I, continue, she finds herself in France, reunited with her husband, Matthew de la Roche, in a passionate but flawed relationship. But when Ursula learns that her daughter, Meg, has mysteriously disappeared, she immediately sets out on a frantic and dangerous search. The trail leads back to England, to Vetch Castle: a grim, haunted keep owned by the enigmatic Philip Mortimer.
"Un interesting Un everything"
In To Shield the Queen, we were introduced to Ursula Blanchard, lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth I and one of the most entrancing mystery heroines to come along in many a season. Having once saved the Virgin Queen from political disaster, now young Ursula faces an even greater challenge. Some of her old acquaintances may be plotting to overthrow Elizabeth in favor of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the re-establishment of the Catholic faith.
Rumor has linked Queen Elizabeth I to her master of the horse, Robin Dudley. As gossip would have it, only his ailing wife, Amy, prevents marriage between Dudley and the Queen. To quell the idle tongues at court, the Queen dispatches Ursula Blanchard to tend to the sick woman's needs. But not even Ursula can prevent the "accident" that takes Amy's life. Did she fall or was she pushed? Was Ursula a pawn of Dudley and the Queen?
Lady-in-Waiting Ursula Blanchard has a mandate from the Secretary of State to spy on behalf of Queen Elizabeth I. Although she has already proven herself worthy of the Queen's gratitude, Ursula now must travel to France, where civil war may break out at any moment, to hand-carry a letter from Elizabeth to the Queen Mother and Regent, Catherine. The mission to mediate peace between warring Protestant and Catholic French factions seems clear, but there are hidden forces at work.
"Nadia May is FABULOUS"
February, 1571. Ursula is once more plunged into affairs of the state when she escorts her foster daughter Margaret to the Netherlands to meet her suitor. The queen’s spymaster, Sir William Cecil, learns that the wealthy Italian banker Roberto Ridolfi will be hosting their forthcoming wedding - a man who he fears may once again be plotting to put Mary Queen of Scots on the English throne.