The sixth book in Fiona Buckley's series featuring Ursula Blanchard and the court of Elizabeth I centers on the conflict between Elizabeth and her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots. Once more a widow, Ursula plans to take the time to retire to the country and spend quiet moments with her young daughter, Meg. Then she gets wind that her cousin Edward is on his way to Scotland with a list of names of those English families loyal to the Catholic cause. Ursula must stop him before Mary receives the list and he is branded as a traitor to England. She travels to Edinburgh with Elizabeth's permission.

As Ursula reaches Scotland, Edward is murdered. She is now on a quest to find his killer and to discover if the list was ever delivered. Her search leads her into Mary's court, where she learns to like her beloved Elizabeth's greatest rival and allies herself with Master de la Roche, a nobleman of Scots-French descent who could be her greatest friend or foe.

As she becomes entangled in the web of politics, Ursula faces moral dilemmas and comes to understand that for those in power, friends can be as dangerous an enemies and everyone is a pawn in the game.

Rich in historical detail and fascinating tidbits about Elizabeth I and Mary, A PAWN FOR A QUEEN gave me a tantalizing taste of the Elizabethan era and a thirst to read more of Ms. Buckley's series. By cleverly blending history, mystery and a touch of romance Buckley creates a delicious feast for those who love danger as much as history. (Dec., 288 pp., $24.00)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin