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The Doublet Affair (Ursula Blanchard #2)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  701 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
The novel begins as Ursula Blanchard, waiting woman to Queen Elizabeth I, is having a lesson in picking locks under the watchful eye of her majesty's secretary of state. An unusual lesson indeed for a respectable woman of the court, but Blanchard is no ordinary lady in waiting. She does have the proper antecedents for her place, but an eye and an ear for suspicious dealing ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published November 7th 2006 by Gallery Books (first published 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,197)
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Richard Stueber
Jun 08, 2015 Richard Stueber rated it liked it
Ursula Blanchard, age 26, Lady of the Presence Chamber to Queen Elizabeth I of England really wants to depart for France to be with her husband Matthew de la Roche in France. Meanwhile Elizabeth's Secretary of State William Cecil gets Ursula to spy on the family of Leonard and Ann Mason. The Masons may be involved in a plot in favor of Mary Queen of Scots.
Soon quite a number of suspicious characters appear on the scene. The are involved with the Masons and others to some degree and eventually Ma
Sep 15, 2015 Catherine rated it really liked it
The second book in the Ursula Blanchard series continues to delight. This time Ursula is immersed in a Catholic household as a semi governess teaching spinet and embroidery lessons by day and ferreting out any plots against Queen Elizabeth by night. You will become an expert on picking locks in Elizabethan times, learn about the invention of the music box, attempt to create a flying machine from DaVinci's designs and how to make a poisoned draught from a topiary garden, plus a glimpse of economi ...more
Mar 05, 2016 cookiemonger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Ursula Blanchard is one of my favourite characters. As the queen's spy, she has an interesting job that, while she isn't always happy about it, she believes in it strongly. She also manages to feel that she has to complete her mission, not because she has some saviour complex that makes her think she's the only one who can do it, but because she was the one who was asked to, and she has a duty to do what she has said she will do.

The fact that she is a mother is diligently held up in her personal
Dec 04, 2014 Gretchen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tudor-fiction
Ursula. Ursula. Ursula. Some of the determination that made me start to love you in To Shield the Queen quickly disappeared with your next adventure. I still have every intention of continuing on with the series as I find you quite charming and intelligent but this "case" was not your best.

For the better part of this book all you did was pine after (view spoiler)
Jan 17, 2013 Karissa rated it did not like it
Shelves: home-2013
Usually I love books set in this time period, or that of Henry VIII but I could not get into this book. I was not aware until I was ready to read this that it was part of a mystery series, and that it was the second novel in the series. But I read it anyways because it has been on my bookshelf for a couple of years now and my goal is to read at least 20 of my own books after all. I'm glad to say that this has been read, and now sits in my to-sell bag.

Ursula has been sent to Lockhill to investig
Linda Bridges
Feb 17, 2014 Linda Bridges rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-books
The second book in the Ursula Blanchard series has Ursula doing one more task for Queen Elizabeth. This time she is sent to Lockhill, the home of Ann and Leonard Mason, whom she had met in book 1. There is something fishy going on that may be related to bringing Mary Stuart to the throne. A man who had been investigating is already dead. Armed with lock picks and the instructions to notice anything out of the ordinary, Ursula travels to Lockhill, ostensibly to tutor the daughters of the house i ...more
Kate Quinn
Feb 25, 2012 Kate Quinn rated it really liked it
Book 2 in the Ursula Blanchard mysteries. Ursula's adventures as Elizabethan lady-in-waiting and part-time spy continue as she is recruited this time to spy on a Catholic household which might be hiding more than just Latin prayers. Ursula's loyalty to her queen is put to the test: she hates spying on a family she genuinely likes, and she wrestles with the more personal dilemma of whether to follow her beloved but estranged Catholic husband into exile in France. Ursula's two servants and partner ...more
Alison Dellit
Ok, so I'm still not buying the torn-between-love-and-loyalty thing, but the rest of this book is engaging, well-written. Buckley captures the caught-between fears of early Elizabethan citizens well, the fear of a returned Catholic terror encouraging people to accept measures that might make them uncomfortable. She also captures well the world of women in this period.
Feb 12, 2013 Michelle rated it liked it
The second book in the Ursula Blanchard series picks up not long after the first book. Ursula is still working for Sir William Cecil, and has picked up the skill of lock picking. While she attempts reconciliation with estranged husband and asks for release by the Queen, the Queen asks her to perform one more spying mission for her. She is sent back to the Masons home to help train the girls in the arts of needlework and other gentle arts while looking for a possible plot against the Queen. Along ...more
Apr 06, 2015 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Love this series. It is so unexpected for a woman to engage in spying, and yet she still wants to be a wife. However, the politics of the time make their differences so dangerous, that they just can't be together. Looking forward to the next in the series.
The first book of the series went better. I just had a difficult time staying interested in it. The love story was flat, the mystery wasn't much of a mystery. The conspirators were...lame. The book is just boring.
Jun 24, 2011 Denise rated it really liked it
A solid 4 stars, this is book #2 in the series by Fiona Buckley. It gives us another look at life during the time of Queen Elizabeth I. Excellent descriptions of clothing worn, foods eaten, and the physical layouts of homes during the time period. Extensive gardens were a requirement in upper class homes of the time (along with stables and grooms) so just paying for all the servants must have been expensive! I've read a similar type of historical mystery series by local author, Karen Harper, and ...more
Krishna Shah
Sep 13, 2015 Krishna Shah rated it liked it
This was an interesting story. I liked the main character who has strengths as a spy but doesn't wait for the "men" to save her.
Mar 03, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it
Going to read #2 in the series -- I am also going to start a Tudor book by Philippa Gregory. Just attracted to this time frame right now!
Dec 06, 2012 Babette rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
This is the second book in the Ursula Blanchard series, set during the early reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Ursula is a lady-in-waiting to the queen, serving her as a spy to ensure the safety of the realm. The series is enjoyable, in part because Ursula is a strong character, and in part because the stories reflect well the history and social structure of the times. The author has taken great pains to be accurate with her details.
This is light reading, but does portray the dangerous and difficult
Mary Munroe
Jul 23, 2014 Mary Munroe rated it really liked it
Fun to read but not gripping.
Margaret Skrivseth
Loved it!
Jul 15, 2013 Craig rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, historical
Really not any worse than the 3 star first in the series, but I was hoping for a little more in the second, and it didn't deliver. Still mostly interesting, but an extra reliance on coincidence and the kind of ridiculous, out-of-character, frustrated passion of the main character for her enemy husband, soured me a bit. I'll probably try at least one more looking for improvement before giving up on the series. Not bad, but not sure it's worth my time.
May 09, 2009 Janet rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I was so happy that Buckley didn’t kill off any favorite characters, though there were some tense moments. A lot of the plot’s finer political details went right over my head, so the ending probably wasn’t as satisfying as it would have been had I known what was going on. Of course, I could say that about life in general. :o) The ending was a bit of a surprise; I didn’t know Ursula could be that calculating.
Aug 17, 2012 Sharla rated it liked it
I gave it three stars although I can't say it was a favorite book. You will like this book if you are interested in Queen Elizabeth and that time period in England. This is a historical mystery with heavy emphasis on historical. Sometimes the plot was a bit predictable. Ursula is a strong and likable character. Even though the book was pretty good I doubt reading more in the series.
Aug 14, 2013 Karin rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is going to be a fun series. This is the second, following To Shield the Queen. This book just sweeps you up into the mystery and I just enjoyed reading it for the story. Going with the flow. It is historically accurate? Enough that I am not ejected from the story. It is an efficient little mystery in under 300 pages. I like the heroine; she's smart, cool, driven and passionate.
Nov 17, 2008 Moonmomie rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 31, 2010 Camille rated it really liked it
This is the second of the Ursula Blanchard series and I think it's better than the first. I especially liked the development of Ursula's, I guess you could say, inner life. The focus on her choices, on her conflicted loyalties, and her ambiguity about her independence, uniqueness, and unconventionality is very interesting and well done.
Charlotte Osborn-bensaada
Jun 10, 2011 Charlotte Osborn-bensaada rated it really liked it
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.
Kevin J.
Aug 03, 2010 Kevin J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: home-library
Great story, but the constant recapping of events earlier in the narrative were annoying. A good device to use when refering to past books in a series, but I can remember the fundamental events of 5 chapters ago. I will continue with the series and hope the writing evens out.
Oct 06, 2008 Melonie rated it really liked it
This was a fun, but not too complex mystery that I enjoyed. Ursula is the main draw to the book because she is such a strong character. I loved her interactions with Queen Elizabeth. Fun stuff.
Jul 28, 2013 Samantha rated it really liked it
fun second book! Not as good as the first but still fun. This one didn't have as much history to it as the first so I'm hoping that the next few books have more real history facts in them.
Mar 12, 2009 Sarah rated it liked it
I really enjoy these books - I learn about Queen Elizabeth's court and the main character is a strong woman. The mysteries are usually pretty good, too.
This series is easy to like. Ursula is a great character, even when she does dopey things, and the mysteries feel plausible and interesting.
Apr 15, 2009 Kit rated it really liked it
Another solid Ursula Blanchard mystery. Domsetic upheaval, sesual intrigue, and religious strife, with a little poison for good measure.
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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)
  • 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)
  • The Siren Queen (Ursula Blanchard, #8)
  • 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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