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The Siren Queen (Ursula Blanchard #8)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  297 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
The latest richly evocative and impressively researched Elizabethan mystery--revealing the inside story behind Elizabeth and Mary. Queen of Scots--in the series that seamlessly blends riveting authenticity and masterful storytelling.
Hardcover, Large Print, 466 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Thorndike Press (first published 2004)
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May 13, 2014 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, historical
This may not be great literature, but it is an entertaining historical mystery. I was trapped at an airport for 8 hours and this was the perfect diversion: enough content to keep me occupied, but light enough that I didn't have to struggle.

The conflict between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots presents countless story lines and this book makes good use of court intrigue and politics as the center of a domestic mystery puzzle. I would have enjoyed a bit more local colour. Ms. Buckley is well aw
Dec 23, 2014 Gretchen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tudor-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 12, 2008 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Goodreads Friends!
Recommended to Carol by: store find
FABULOUS! Possibly four and a half stars!!

"Mystery at Queen Elizabeth I's Court" drew me in like a moth to a light. Historical mystery?! LOVE it! Buckley weaves a tapestry of characters together in a wonderfully gossipy way. It's like your best friend, whom you haven't seen in forever, has sat down to tell you all that's happened to her since seeing her last; only better because of the intrigue and mystery!

When I first purchased this book, I did not realize that it is the 8th or 9th in a series
(3.5 stars) The 8th book in the Ursula Blanchard series has Ursula and her husband pondering an offer for an early betrothal for Ursula's daughter, Meg. The offer has come from the Duke of Norfolk for a young man who has been working as one of his secretaries while his father's business in trading recovers from some political issues. While Meg is charmed by Edmund, both Ursula and her husband have great unease about him. Ursula has other issues as well, with a food poisoning incident that implic ...more
Sep 15, 2013 Lalla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book continues the series that this author has created featuring Ursula Blanchard, a half sister to Queen Elizabeth,who is often called to court to help put an end to plots and people who would remove the Queen from her throne.
The main theme in this book is a plot to restore Mary,Queen of Scots to power. There are sub plots that add to the pace of the story as well. Ursula's daughter is more involved in this novel as well as an old woman that Ursula has befriended in the past. I really enj
Apr 28, 2013 Dale rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Linda Matty, Kathy Keim
This is another of the Ursula Blanchard series at Queen Elizabeth's Court, another of Buckley's Elizabethan mysteries. Fiona Buckley writes historical fiction but admits to using facts loosely in a historical setting. The action and intrigue give you a flavor of what it was to live in the mid-1500's during Queen Elizabeth's reign. This mystery deals with the Duke of Norfolk's part in a plot to assassinate the Queen and marry the deposed Mary, Queen of Scots, who at this time is in house arrest. ...more
EJ Johnson
An Ursula Blanchard Mystery at Queen Elizabeth I's Court. Ursula is a thrice married mother in her mid 30’s who also happens to be the Queen’s unknown half-sister. She is an able spy and has experience helping the court. This book is about the real life Ridolfi plot that tried to put Mary, Queen of Scots, back on the throne. Adding to the intrigue is the romance between Ursula’s daughter Meg and Edmund Dean. This is the first in the series that I have read. I think there were 7 before. It was an ...more
Feb 27, 2013 Carla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Buckley novel and it won't be my last. I would've like to have begun with the first book, as throughout the story references are made to earlier happenstances, but if you are familiar with England's political players of this time period you won't feel lost. The novel includes quite a bit of factual info, as well as a few interpretations of historical events (in which evidence was lacking) that are "outside of the box". There are several small plots interweaved within the story l ...more
May 24, 2014 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than I thought it would be. A female "agent" for Elizabeth I - good story and bold characters.
Deanna Peterson
Page 231: Now the plot thickens when Meg comes to visit.
I normally don't read historical mysteries, but this one caught my eye. I'm glad I read it. It's interesting enough to hold your interest, and the plot is good and well-paced, but not so intricate that it's confusing. There are some red herrings that will make you think the murderer is someone other than who he/she is. There are some surprising twists. This held my interest and I'm not one who particularly likes mysteries at all.
Mary Newcomb
Ursula Stannard is once again undertaking small missions for her sister (shh) Queen Elizabeth I and her Secretary of State, Lord Cecil. Things become very complicated as a plot is uncovered, Ursula's daughter has a suitor and Gladys Morgan is accused of being a witch. Life as the queen's half sister is quite interesting!
Last in the series.

This is a strong end to the series, though it doesn't end quite as a series finale would likely end. Perhaps Buckley intended to continue the series but didn't. Still, I'm happy with this ending and really recommend the entire series to those who like historical mysteries. It's not perfect, but it's very entertaining and a swift, comfortable set of books.
Nov 17, 2008 Moonmomie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy Elizabethan Historical Fiction, which is what brought me to this series. I had never been interested in any kind of mysteries up until reading these books. They were a complete surprise to me. The plots in all of the Ursula Blanchard Mysteries are rich and fun, the characters are interesting and complex. I really loved this entire series of books.
Jan 06, 2014 Wynne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was losing interest and then there was a shift in the plot with a surprise. To quote Philomena "I did not see that coming". Made the concept more interesting.
Jul 05, 2011 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#8 in the series (#9 coming Jan 2012). A good, solid detective series with enough twists and upsets to keep the reader interested and turning pages. And the fact that it's taking place during the time of Queen Elizabeth I helps to make that time period come alive. I enjoyed these books and eagerly await the next :)
Charlotte Osborn-bensaada
Jun 10, 2011 Charlotte Osborn-bensaada rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is a great series set in Queen Elizabeth's court. Buckley takes several real historical mysteries and asks what if... Worth reading for a strong interesting heroine that while sometimes needing rescue is rather good at figuring out her own options given the limited options available to women of the time.
Aug 28, 2014 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This time is so interesting to me. So many different plots forming in such a small country. Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart are merely backdrop to the mystery though. Good story.
Jun 07, 2012 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
The later Ursula Blanchard mysteries feel less historical than the earlier ones, and a bit formulaic when you read them four in a row.
Jun 06, 2014 Dena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good historical, mystery series but I definitely start with book one "To Shield the Queen".
Lisa K
Jan 12, 2010 Lisa K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i read this one first and it got me hooked so i went back to the beginning...
Basia Barbara
Apr 26, 2011 Basia Barbara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
LIked the book Interesting historical info
Great medieval mystery series.
Oct 08, 2007 Sally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
good book series all written about Queen Elizabeth's top woman who solves murders and mysteries surrounding Elizabeth.
Dani rated it really liked it
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 11, 2015 10:35AM  
  • The Thorne Maze (Elizabeth I, #5)
  • Face Down Beneath the Eleanor Cross (Susanna, Lady Appleton, #4)
  • A Play of Dux Moraud (Joliffe the Player, #2)
  • The Difficult Saint (Catherine LeVendeur, #6)
  • The Sting of Justice (Burren Mysteries, #3)
  • The Roaring Boy
Valerie Anand is a British author of historical fiction. Under the pen name Fiona Buckley she writes the series of historical mysteries, set in the reign of Elizabeth I of England, featuring "Ursula Blanchard" (whose full name is Ursula Faldene Blanchard de la Roche Stannard). Under her own name she writes historical fiction based on the royalty of England and the Bridges over Time series which fo ...more
More about Fiona Buckley...

Other Books in the Series

Ursula Blanchard (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • To Shield the Queen (Ursula Blanchard, #1)
  • The Doublet Affair (Ursula Blanchard, #2)
  • Queen's Ransom (Ursula Blanchard, #3)
  • To Ruin A Queen (Ursula Blanchard, #4)
  • Queen of Ambition (Ursula Blanchard, #5)
  • A Pawn for a Queen (Ursula Blanchard, #6)
  • The Fugitive Queen (Ursula Blanchard, #7)
  • Queen Without a Crown (Ursula Blanchard, #9)
  • Queen's Bounty (Ursula Blanchard, #10)
  • A Rescue For A Queen (Ursula Blanchard, #11)

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