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A Queen's Spy

A Medieval Historical Fiction Novel (Tudor Mystery Trials Series, Book 1)
Narrated by: Alex Lancer
Series: The Tudor Mystery Trials, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
4 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“I did what all men should do when faced with Richard Fitzwarren and three foot of drawn steel, or woe betides them. I backed away." Richard Fitzwarren was annoyed. "Fate is the excuse of the uninventive, the unimaginative and the ignorant. I had no idea you were all three!" Elizabeth Tudor needs a hero.  

Based on actual historical events, A Queen’s Spy is a gripping historical fiction adventure set in 16th-century Tudor England - an epic tale of a young Tudor nobleman’s courage as he tries to keep the future Queen Elizabeth I safe in one of Britain’s most turbulent eras. As a young man, Richard had been attached to Thomas Seymour’s household, working with Seymour’s spy and intelligence network. Seymour and married Henry VIII’s widow, Katherine Parr. Through his wife, he became the guardian of the young Elizabeth Tudor. 

Banished from his father’s house for crimes he didn’t commit, he learned his trade well in France, returning to England a self-styled Tudor soldier-of-fortune, who sells his services and those of his mercenary band to the highest bidder. 

Now he’s back in Tudor England, his bastard sibling at his side and a band of mercenaries at his back. Despite selling his services to support Northumberland place Lady Jane Grey on the throne, he remains loyal to the lady Elizabeth; soon he is embroiled in Tudor intrigue as he tries to keep the Lady safe. Start a spell-binding journey into Renaissance Europe in A Queen’s Spy, the first volume of an epic British Historical Fiction Tudor series – The Tudor Mystery Trials, an alternate history account of a tumultuous era in English history that is rife with murder, mystery, intrigue, and historical romance.

©2017 Sam Burnell (P)2018 Sam Burnell

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Very good.

very good story . great narrator. Hw keeps you interested. I started listening to the second book . after I finshed this one . I hope there will be more in the series.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Sword Play That’s Believable

I love an action novel and often they do not translate well to audible, however this was not the case here and the fights in this book whether they were with fists, swords or knives were excellent. There is a great scene when the Master, who at this point I had not decided whether I liked or not, dispensed quick justice and it had me wincing.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Historical fiction at it’s best

A well written novel with some great characters you will not forget in a hurry. The trials and tribulations of the Fitzwarren brothers are a delight to read about. I will be looking out for the next book on audio.

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Impressive debut novel

Burnell’s debut novel – A Queen’s Spy – is well written and gives the reader a whole new take on the Tudor period. If I had been asked before I read this what I thought about tudor historical fiction I would have said it had been done to death – but no so. This is not romantic fiction and if you are looking for a happy ever after then this is not for you – but if you are looking for an entertaining, action packed read with a detailed and sometimes unpleasant look at human nature then you’ll love it. I have incidentally read the second book, not available on audio yet, and it takes the tale to new heights and it was with a great sigh of relief that I found out Richard and Jack would live to fight another day.

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A book that seriously makes history come alive.

A thoroughly enjoyable book, the characters are real, at times unpleasant, often nasty – but they are real and the book is a not only a historical novel but a tale of human nature. The sibling rivalry and distrust – all totally understandable – are brilliantly told.

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Monarchical Muddle

WAY too many conflicts/loyalties/toxic familial relationships/protagonists/antagonists to track. Yeah, yeah - I get it that Burnell is researcher par excellence and that this particular Tudor time was a huge confusion, but that's the take-away from this purported novel. Made it to hour 7 (after a nasty and unprecedented download experience) but this one is a return for me.

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helpful book

Historical fiction is my favorite genre and I am always looking for a new author to add to my list of reads. Sam Burnell has done a good job and given me two new characters, and I will look forward to following their future exploits.

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love it

Loved it – hated the ending and then with the epilogue the author redeemed himself. I won’t say more as it may spoil the book, but when you get to the end I am sure you will agree.

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Easy to follow

The characters are so well drawn that you get to know them, and all their faults so well by the end of the story. What makes the book quite special is that the main characters – Jack and Richard – are human, full of all the faults that make us so and you can really identify with them. Often they make the wrong choices for the wrong reasons – but you can really understand why they did that.

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very well written

There are about four stories going on throughout this book. There is the story of Mary taking the throne, the story of Elizabeth and the intrigue surrounding her, the story of Catherine presumed dead and losing her way, and on top of it all the story of Richard and Jack – well at least the beginning of their story. I have read the second book a Queen’s Traitor and that was a pure delight. The pain and the trials the author put poor Jack through made me feel properly sorry for him.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-07-18

Tudor Trials and Tribulations

What all starts out so promising and well planned all starts to unravel towards the end of the book. The only real positive for Richard is that the relationship with his brother starts to firm up to the point where there is some real trust between them. Jack risks everything at the end to try and save him and I felt quite sick when what looked like a last minute rescue attempt failed.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Clive L.
  • 05-29-18

A roller coaster ride that stands and delivers!

1st book in the trilogy, set in a time of deceit and and uncertainty this book focuses on the story of brothers and their need for acceptance, place and moral struggles within all the while bolstered with the historic facts of the Tudors time. The pace is swift and depth of character great, with humour and action to carry the reader on a journey that asks questions on loyalty, morality and the internal struggles of the time. The writer concludes the story rather swiftly yet leaves the ending open enough for the sequel. Alex’s performance as narrator is a real treat and brings another dimension to the characters. I for one will listen to it over and over again.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • mano
  • 08-07-18

Good New Historical Author

I have difficulty reading these days so audio books are my go to now for entertainment and I really enjoyed this one. Great characters, the historical background was well researched as were the facts that the plot hangs on. I majored in history so I’ve a good grasp on this particular period and there were not clangers as you sometimes come across in historical fiction. The young Elizabeth I was well done as well, most fiction including her usually covers her later years on the throne so it was nice to find something a bit different.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-07-18

Certainly different

If you are looking for historical romance and knights on white horses then back away. If on the other hand you are looking for a charismatic, clever anti-hero with a closet packed full of skeletons then go for it. This saga has really entertained me, the author puts her characters to the test time and time again and you do end up willing them to succeed. The series watches the growing relationship between the pair and as their bond strengthens they go on to overcome a series of awful events together. It’s also unusual to have a book with two main characters, but you get that here. Sometimes I like Jack, then I find myself siding with Richard but in the end I’d have them both!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-28-18

historical favorite characters.

He’s hard to like, clever and driven. While I was reading this book I was reminded of the Captive Price. Whilst Jack and Richard are brothers there is more than a little sexual tension between them – or is it just me!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-28-18

historical favorite characters.

He’s hard to like, clever and driven. While I was reading this book I was reminded of the Captive Price. Whilst Jack and Richard are brothers there is more than a little sexual tension between them – or is it just me!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-25-18

Good to listen

Set in the time shortly after Edwards death, England is in Turmoil. Mary is making her stand to claim the throne and the stage is set for men to make their mark on England. Enter Richard Fitzwarren and his bastard brother Jack. Outcast by his family Richard is hell bent on making a name for himself and taking control of his own destiny. However his loyalties to the future Elizabeth I run deep so it seems and when he decides to do the right thing the tide turns against him.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • arya
  • 05-24-18

best story

A story that stayed with me for days after I had finished listening to it. There are two more books in the series and it is a shame these are not on audio at the moment. This is a serious piece of historical fiction, romance there is not! So if you are looking for a romantic read pass this one by. If however you are looking for a new fictional character in your life I can heartily recommend Richard Fitzwarren. Charismatic, educated and with a evil sense of humour he is a character you find yourself liking despite some awful first impressions.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Vincent
  • 05-24-18

highly recommended

A gripping historical read. If you like your historical fiction factual, detailed with a good plot then I can recommend this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-24-18

Must listen to it

Tudor England at this time was not an easy place and this book rolls this out in all it's gruesome detail. The relationship between the main characters is explored in depth and you want them to bury their differences, which are many, and it takes a lot before both men come to recognise and accept each other. This is not a romantic read, there are female characters - the excellently resourceful Catherine, and I am hoping that the relationships will develop further in book two.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful