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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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Cult Stuff

This is a series that takes a whole new look at the historical novel scene, and it is certainly about the fates and relationships of two very different men. I love them both – the witty charismatic and clever Richard and the impulsive, hot headed and temperamental Jack.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Fast Action and great arguments

Make no mistake this is romantic fiction as you are going to love the two main characters however there is no romantic intrigue, and no boy gets girl for which I was thankful. The main female in the book is the resourceful Catherine, who ends up throwing her lot in with the two brothers, not so much from choice but from necessity.

5 of 5 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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A brilliant Story well told

I love the Tudors. It is such a vicious period of history where practically anything goes – and this lived upto expectations.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Two brothers – two hero’s.

A tough book, but boy it was worth it. The brothers are difficult, and let’s face it brotherly love can often be a difficult path to follow. Love often finds itself coming second place to rivalry and distrust – and that is the case here.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A hard hitting debut novel

It is to be hoped that this will be the first in a series. We are so used to being able to binge on TV/Box sets etc. that I was a little stunned when I finished this to find out that this was a new series and that the second book, although available on amazon is not on audio yet, and for the third book I am going to wait until August as it is currently on pre-order. Having to wait?? What’s all that about? This is going to be an amazing series when completed and I look forward eagerly to the next tale of jack and Richard.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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book that really engages the listener

It’s rare for me to get this into a book and at one point I found myself shouting “No!” – it’s a story of hate, fear, loyalty and brotherly love. It’s unusual, totally believable and expertly written. So it gets a thumbs up from me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Epic Series

I read all of the books on kindle and then could not resist picking one up on audible for a holiday and I wasn’t disappointed. The great dialogue between the brothers came alive and there was a fair amount of humour as well that I had missed in the books when I had read them.

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Stick with it this is worth it

This is a growing series of books and I’ve been through all the available ones and A Queen’s Spy is very much a scene setting novel laying out the relevant relationships. Richard and Jack, Richard and Elizabeth, Catherine and the brothers. It is from this that the series really takes off and I highly recommend the next book in the series A Queen’s Traitor.

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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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  • Francisco
  • 05-28-18

Excellent new historical author.

Burnell has done a good job of bringing some new characters to the historical stage in a period history often overlooked by writers. Most focus on the Elizabethan age, and not on the time prior to her reaching the throne. Loved the book, enjoyed the humour and the classical references. Quality read.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Gibson
  • 05-28-18

Non stop.

I loved Richard Fitzwarren’s dry sense of humour and his cutting remarks, the dialogue, especially between the brothers sparks on occasion and you can hear the arguments clearly in your head. The book is about their relationship and about their very different backgrounds – never the twain so to speak. Enjoyed it.

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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  • Iva Livingston
  • 08-06-18

A Queen’s Spy

Loved the enigmatic Richard Fitzwarren and he often useless brother Jack. We all want to be Richard, intelligent, charismatic and successful – however most of us fall short – and Jack is quite a normal human being who makes mistakes, his intentions are ususally good but the exection of the often as it is said in the book are “fatally flawed.” Strong female character also included and I am hoping Catherine will continue into the next book in the series.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Diya
  • 08-06-18

Good Opener

I’ve read the three books in this saga and am eagerly awaiting the next instalment A Queen’s Mercenary due out shortly. I picked up the audio version for a holiday to listen to on the flight as I had really enjoyed the book the first time round. The audio version follows the book and there hasn’t been any bits chopped out that I could tell. I often find audio books hard to listen to, some narrators are too quick and I find I miss some of what is being said. The narrator here was slow paced and easy to listen to.

3 of 3 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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  • Rimsha
  • 05-28-18

Holds the attention.

It’s a full length novel that takes you on a journey through Tudor England. The novel is spread over only a couple of years from the death of Henry VIII’s son, Edward, the first years of Mary’s reign. You get a real sense of what was taking place at the time and this has obviously been meticulously researched.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful