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Extended Audio Sample To Shield the Queen: A Mystery at Queen Elizabeth I’s Court, by Fiona Buckley Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (621 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Fiona Buckley Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Ursula Blanchard Mysteries Release Date:
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Rumor has linked Queen Elizabeth I to her master of 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?

Suddenly Ursula finds herself at the center of the scandal, trying to protect Elizabeth while not losing her heart to a Frenchman who may be flirting with sedition against her queen. As she sets out to find the truth, she can trust neither her lover nor her monarch, alone in a glittering court that conceals a wellspring of blood and lies.

In the debut novel of her historical mystery series, Buckley presents the young lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, whose intelligence and sharp eyes might allow her to shield the queen.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A lively mystery series kickoff…Buckley shows a deft hand with strong characterization and creates a plot that spins merrily and wickedly through palace, manor house, and intensely beautiful countryside.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Narrator Nadia May is excellent as she takes on the royal entourage, but she is extra charming portraying Ursula as a clever, witty, sharp-tongued woman who has an eye for the gentlemen! The characters sparkle as May imbues them with the language and speaking manner of a significant and distinctive historical period.”


  • “Buckley’s tantalizing re-creation of Elizabethan life and manners is told with intelligence and gentle wit. A noteworthy debut.”

    Library Journal

  • “An accomplished debut…High suspense throughout.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lisa (Harmonybites) | 2/10/2014

    " I'm a fan of a well-done historical mystery, and this is the first of a series that leaves me wanting to read more. I like the mix not just of historical and fictional characters, but of historical and fictional mysteries set in the Elizabethian Age, and the Tudor period is certainly one I find fascinating and is evoked nicely here. The historical mystery in this case revolves around the death of Robin Dudley's first wife, Amy Robsart which Walter Scott made the subject of his novel Kenilworth. Interestingly when I was reading this I saw a new non-fiction book surrounding this real mystery, and reading a bit through it, I was all the more impressed with the obvious research that went into Buckley's novel. I also liked the sleuth and narrator, Ursula Blanchard. Newly widowed and a young mother, she is a member of the court of a Queen Elizabeth who has been on the throne less than two years. Ursula is arguably too modern in her attitudes--but then its a fine line in making a character both authentic and sympathetic. I like her and the characters surrounding her enough I'd like to read more, as much to find out what happens to her than to read more mysteries set in a rich period. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kate Quinn | 2/1/2014

    " The first installment of a highly enjoyable series about an Elizabethan sleuth. Ursula Blanchard makes for an unusual heroine: a resourceful young widow who serves Queen Elizabeth as a lady in waiting, and is offered the chance to supplement her meager income by spying for Elizabeth's intelligence master Sir William Cecil. Desperate to support her young daughter, Ursula takes on the task of watching over Amy Robsart, the sickly and paranoid wife of the Queen's favorite Robert Dudley. Amy ends up dead at the bottom of a staircase, and Ursula must unravel a murder, a Catholic plot, and a disquieting romance of her own with a court gallant who just might be a traitor to the queen. Ursula makes a moving narrator as she struggles believably between her duties to queen, country, family, daughter, and conscience, and Buckley offers an intriguing new solution to the historical mystery of Amy Robsart's death. A strong start to a good series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Bonnie | 1/28/2014

    " I found out about this book on Novelist.com using a feature that finds books similar to other authors. I finally decided to give Fiona Buckley a try and checked out this book, the first in a series featuring Ursula Blanchard. Ursula Blanchard is a young widow newly come to the court of Elizabeth I as one of the queen's ladies. She is sent to help Robert Dudley's wife Amy. The story is based on a real historical mystery, that of the death of Amy Dudley, that has never been solved, though theories abound. Ursula is an interesting character and the other characters are also developed well. I thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Katherine | 1/24/2014

    " For people who enjoy historical fiction- I love reading about strong female characters. The story centers on a woman given the oportunity to act as a spy for Queen Elizabeth, its hard to find stronger women than that! A little heavy handed with romance, but a great "beach read." "

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