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Prepublication Reviews and Expertly Selected Title Lists

Ginny’s Reviews

The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner 

From historical mystery novelist C.W. Gortner comes a fun period mystery set in the Tudor era, The Tudor Secret. Gortner, who has taught seminars on the 16th century, applies a deft hand to this mystery set in the summer of1553—a dangerous time to be alive. Brendan Prescott, an orphan, is reared in the household of the powerful Dudley family.

Brought to court, Prescott finds himself sent on an illicit mission to the king’s brilliant but enigmatic sister, Princess Elizabeth. But Brendan is soon compelled to work as a double agent by Elizabeth’s protector, William Cecil, who promises in exchange to help him unravel the secret of his own mysterious past.

A dark plot swirls around Elizabeth’s quest to unravel the truth about the ominous disappearance of her seriously ill brother, King Edward VI. With only a bold stable boy and an audacious lady-in-waiting at his side, Brendan plunges into a ruthless gambit of half-truths, lies, and murder. Filled with the intrigue and pageantry of Tudor England, The Tudor Secret is the first book in The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles.

Margaret George, author of The Autobiography of Henry VIII, says of the novel, “Dazzling cast of characters . . . at its heart, the brilliant and enigmatic Elizabeth. Never have spy and counterspy been more challenged, villains more duplicitous, and life for those in power—or hoping to be—more dangerous. . . . Fast-moving tale of espionage and suspense . . . The velvet peril of Tudor England comes alive in this haunting look at Elizabeth I’s secret spy.”

While this is not the best period thriller I’ve ever read, it is far from the worst. Brendan is a character one can applaud as he works his way through the maze that is the Tudor court. He’s young, naïve, and refreshing and someone readers will be happy to see in ensuing novels. It was a quick read and just the ticket for a day of winter doldrums.

–Ginny

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