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A Traitor's Tears

(Ursula Blanchard #12)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  236 ratings  ·  36 reviews
July, 1573. Recently widowed, Ursula Blanchard is living a quiet life on her Surrey estate, caring for her infant son. But her peaceful existence is shattered when Ursula's neighbour Jane Cobbold is found dead in her own flowerbed, stabbed through the heart with a silver dagger - and Ursula's manservant Brockley is arrested for the crime. Determined to prove Brockley's inn ...more
Hardcover, 230 pages
Published March 1st 2014 by Creme de La Crime
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
A Traitor’s Tears is the twelfth book in Fiona Buckley’s Ursula Blanchard mystery series. Blanchard is an illegitimate half-sister of Elizabeth I who regularly finds herself stumbling upon mysteries and working for William Cecil and Frances Walsingham. In this case, what starts out as a murder investigation expands into a more complicated effort to bring Jesuits into Elizabeth’s England with the goal of putting Mary, Queen of Scots, on the English throne and restoring the country to Catholicism. ...more
Oct 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Fiona Buckley's A Traitor's Tears is a tough book for me to review. The mystery is solid enough, not as gripping as I might have liked, but interesting in its way. Problem is I couldn't help feeling I would have enjoyed this piece more if I'd been already familiar with the Ursula Blanchard series.

I can't speak for the rest of the books, but this installment is particularly reliant on pre-established relationships and while i
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
ok, just done with this series that I did try to like. I felt like the writing was wooden and many other things I did not like, particularly in this book.
When a character we'll call Dale describes to another character we'll call Ursula things that Ursula saw, and Ursula does not smack Dale in the head and say "I was there, you idiot," one becomes very aware that Ursula is not a real person.
Susan Ash hanson
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I like this series, but my god, that Fran Dale needs a slap, I cannot abide an hysteric!
Kimberly Ann
Apr 03, 2019 rated it liked it
1573, Recently widowed by her 3rd husband, Ursula (Queen Elizabeth's 1/2 sister) has returned home to Hawkswood & is raising her son, who is the child of her 2nd husband (conceived after the death of #3)....

Her neighbor, Jane Cobbold, a self-righteous gossip-monger, has purposefully spread malicious rumors of Ursula & her son. When Jane is murdered in her garden, a fanciful but cheap knife thrust into her heart, Ursula's man, Brockley is arrested for Jane's murder, even though it was not his kni
Michell Karnes
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, fiction
I love this series. Ursula is an interesting woman who performs duties for her half sister Queen Elizabeth. She has faithful servants/friends who help her with these duties. In this book Ursula is visiting a friend's house when the wife is found dead in her garden. Lady Cobbold has been spreading lies and gossip about Ursula. On some occasions Brockley has come to her defense, getting into brawls. He is arrested as the chief suspect in Lady Cobbold's murder. Ursula works to find the real killer ...more
Another good Ursula Blanchard read. I think it's time for Buckley to introduce a new interesting character.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This was not a bad book, except the story was pretty much over in the first two-thirds. The final one-third was just filler.
stefani westfall
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable book

The story flows with the mystery to be solved, the troubles of that time period and the characters interrelationships. This Is the second book of this author that I've read and there's no extra wording to act as filling. Just a tight well written mystery. I do think the price of the books are too high and I read this book on the Overdrive library site.
Jane Irish Nelson
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, historical
Widowed with a young son, Ursula wishes nothing more than to stay happily at home. But she cannot escape the events of the wider world. On a visit to a neighbor, Ursula is invited to accompany her to visit her parents, Anthony and Jane Cobbold. Despite not particularly caring for Jane, Ursula agrees. Unfortunately, they soon discover that Jane has been murdered, and Ursula's manservant Roger Brockley is arrested for the crime. Positive that he is innocent, and determined to clear his name, Ursul ...more
Fiona Buckley’s 12th installment of her Ursula Blanchard mystery series has Ursula setting out on an independent quest for information to clear her servant Roger Brockley of murder charges.

While it’s not as good as some of the earliest books in the series (read "To Shield The Queen," "Queen's Ransom," "To Ruin A Queen," and "A Pawn for A Queen"), it’s mostly free of the contrived circumstances that have made some of her latest books in the series disappointing.

My main problem with this installm
Caroline Wilson
**Appears in the February 2014 edition of the Historical Novel Review**

A Traitor’s Tears is the twelfth installment in Fiona Buckley’s Ursula Blanchard mystery series. Ursula has been everywhere and seen pretty much everything in her nearly forty years, and as such, hopes to retire to the country. But her half-sister, Queen Elizabeth, keeps pulling her from sequestration. However, this time it is Ursula’s loyal manservant Brockley that needs her help when a gossipy neighbor turns up dead. There
Apr 21, 2014 rated it liked it
In July of 1573, Ursula Blanchard is living a quiet existence on her estate in the Surrey countryside. Recently widowed, she and her infant son are trying to put the past behind them, but her peace is shattered when her neighbour is found dead in a flowerbed. Ursula’s manservant, Brockley, is arrested for this heinous crime, and seeking to prove his innocence, Ursula enlists the help of her mentor and friend, Lord Burghley. What then follows is a convoluted murder mystery which takes in the comp ...more
Valerie K
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read all the books between #7 (the last one I made note of here) and this one which is #12, I think I tore through them too fast to bother noting all of them but I liked this one especially well. I felt my interest flagging somewhat around book 9 or 10, took a little break to binge watch some old tv shows, but then picked up again with book 11 which was really enjoyable and went straight to this one which I could hardly put down. The ongoing complicated relationships between the 3 main charact ...more
Jun 27, 2014 rated it liked it
One of the more recent in a series of books featuring the protagonist, it was the only one available as an e-book at the library and I downloaded it on a whim. I didn't find it much of a hindrance to be coming in without a backstory, however.

As far as mysteries go, I found it somewhat lackluster. I appreciated the strong female protagonist, but found her also a bit wearying. Perhaps if the entire series were available electronically through the library, I would go back and read the first instal
Elizabeth  (Thoughts From an Evil Overlord)
I always enjoy historical fiction for the little nuggets of history that often aren't even part of the general plot line, and was not disappointed in this one, with the story of the changes to the weaving industry in Elizabethan times. As for the mystery, I figured it out about half way into the book, but it was a good plot with several potentisl killers and a couple of twists. I had read mixed reviews on this book, with people either loving or really disliking it, and although I sometimes found ...more
Jun 26, 2015 rated it liked it
I keep reading this series even though the heroine, Ursula Blanchard, keeps telling herself that she is tired and just wants "peace". This was a better read than its immediate predecessor. The writer's research into the period helps her add new characters into the drama. As in Elizabeth's reign, Walsingham is growing in importance as Cecil ages. From the perspective of this writer, the threat of Spanish invasion in support of Mary Stuart was constant. Mary herself is a charming, but ruthless. He ...more
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the latest in this series of Ursula Blanchard mysteries set in Elizabethan England. This is an intriguing story of spies and the ongoing struggle between religions at this period of English history. I like the way the main character changes in her position in life as the novels progress. The books chronicle her marriages, children,and romances while helping the Queen to catch spies and those who would undermine the monarchy.
Linda Smatzny
Jan 30, 2014 rated it liked it
This is the twelfth book in the Tudor Mystery series featuring Ursula Blanchard. The story starts in July,1573 when Ursula finds her neighbors dead body. Ursula's servant, Brockey, is arrested for the murder. Naturally Ursula starts her own investigation into the murder. Shortly after this murder another happens while Brockey is in jail so that makes Ursula even more curious.
Nov 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Good historical mystery about a woman who solves crimes in the mid 1500s. Buckly does a good job of describing class differences (though Ursula seems a tad forward for the ladies of this time) and the politics of the Elizabethan era. In this case, Ursula's friend and manservant is accused of murdering a local gossip, and she must find out the truth to save him.
Katherine Scott
Feb 16, 2015 rated it liked it
I've read the first 11, might as well keep going. Writing, especially at the beginning, was very repetitive. The details about the characters are known to us who have read previous books, and do nothing to move story along for newcomers. Murderer was easily predicted, but some of the plot twists were interesting. It was a quick, enjoyable read.
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tudor-fiction
I only started this book knowing it was the final (so far) book in a series. I had come this far, I wasn't going to give up now. It's a good thing I didn't. This book managed to redeem the horrible writing that plagued the previous three. I am hoping the author is ending this series here.
Jul 05, 2014 rated it liked it
it was fine :-). No big surprises along the way. I enjoyed the characters and setting. Not a huge fan of the some of the excessive details. I have not read the previous 11 books in these mystery series and was fine. Maybe I would have loved it more if I had....
Mike Shoop
Aug 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Good solid entry in this series. Ursula Blanchard is a great character and has some interesting situations to puzzle out, usually involving religion and politics (that awful Mary Queen of Scots!). Fast read and a good mystery.
Jan 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Enjoyable,but would have liked more substance.
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I think I enjoyed this one more than the others due to the lack of Queen Elizabeth. Which seems odd to me, but there it is.
May 09, 2014 rated it liked it
An easy read with good characters and an interesting plot.
Jul 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Perhaps not her best since Elizabeth does not really appear and I twigged the murderer immediately but, it does move the series, which is an excellent one, along quite well.
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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

Other books in the series

Ursula Blanchard (1 - 10 of 18 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)
  • The Siren Queen (Ursula Blanchard, #8)
  • Queen Without a Crown (Ursula Blanchard, #9)
  • Queen's Bounty (Ursula Blanchard, #10)

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