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A Deadly Betrothal

(Ursula Blanchard #15)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  108 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Queen Elizabeth's proposed engagement to a Catholic Duke is causing turmoil throughout the kingdom in the gripping new Ursula Blanchard mystery.

July, 1579. Called upon to help a family friend who is horrified at the return of her errant husband after an absence of thirty years, little does Ursula realize that her involvement in the Harrison family's domestic dramas
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Creme de La Crime
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Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Fiona Buckley, and Severn House for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Fiona Buckley returns with her Elizabethan sleuth, Ursula Blanchard (now Stannard), in another murder mystery. While in the countryside with her manservant and groom, Ursula pays a visit on two close friends. During the visit, a teenage boy goes missing and there are strong suspicions that something nefarious
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
1579, and Ursula is asked to help a family friend, Marjorie Harrison, who's husband has unfortunately returned after many years living with a widow. Events soon change when Marjorie's nephew goes missing. What other intrigues surround her.
A decent enough Elizabethan mystery but even with some interesting characters the story didn't really catch my imagination and pull me into the tale.
A NetGalley Book
Clare O'Beara
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this historical crime tale about the strong widow Ursula Blanchard, occasionally called upon to assist Elizabeth I but also much embroiled in family deeds.
The fault I found is just that Ursula has to go to three different places during the same tale, a few days of horsedrawn travel in each case, slowing down affairs and introducing many new characters at intervals. However, the escapades are well detailed and lively, with much background research such as ownership of a tin mine or
Another satisfyingly complex Blanchard mystery.

Ursula Blanchard's life continues to be a maelstrom of activity. Garnering the occasional involvement in state secrets, heinous crimes of murder, advice to her sister Queen Elizabeth, all offset around the normal pace of life and country living. Ursula is always moving between the Queen's court, her Surrey home at Hawkswood, her second Withysham, which was in Sussex and visiting other places when called to by Lord Cecil, the Queen's treasurer or
Annemarie Macken
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it
'A Deadly Bethrothal' is the fifteenth book in the Ursula Blanchard murder-mystery series, though each story can be taken as a standalone story in its own right, so it is not necessary to have read the others first. The plot takes the usual form of mysterious murders and clues for both the protagonist and the readers to follow and solve, though with something of an inevitability about them from the off. The lead character, Ursula Stannard, is something of an enigma - she appears too modern at ...more
Elite Group
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Royal intrigue and murders abound

I am not a huge fan of historical novels as a whole but this story painted such a vivid picture of life at court and also everyday life for both the gentry and the servants that I found myself enjoying the read.

Ursula Blanchard is the legitimate sister of Queen Elizabeth 1, and as such is afforded certain privileges. For one she is a trusted confidante of the Queen and she is also entrusted as a royal spy. Her position allows her to travel freely and she has
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
(Thank you Netgalley for an early reader copy)

Ursula Stannard (neé Blanchard), half sister to Queen Elizabeth, returns to help her sister the queen, a close family friends and various others in this latest installment of historical murder mysteries by Fiona Buckley.

Queen Elizabeth needs an heir, and she has been pressured for years to take a husband and provide said heir. But given the matrimonial history of her family Elizabeth is less than excited about the idea, until she meets the Duke of
Kimberly Ann
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Elizabeth is about to accept the proposal of Francis de Anjou, the French Duke of Alencon. Although the Duke is 20 years younger than the Queen she is intrigued by his intelligence & interest in things similar to her.

Elizabeth calls upon her 1/2 sister, Ursula Stannard, to come to court & help her make the decision on whether or not to marry & advise Elizabeth on the more intimate intricacies of marriage.

After Francis is called back to France in order to deal with a problem in the
Jane Irish Nelson
Probably 3.5 stars. Very quick read, but a rather complex mystery! It really begins with the fact that families in the English county of Surrey are quite interconnected. As a knitter myself, I just love this exchange:
George: "The society of Surrey resembles knitting."
Robert: "After a kitten has played with the wool?"

There are two storylines, one the latest proposed marriage for Queen Elizabeth, the other the disappearance of young Thomas Harrison, after his father's death, which occurred shortly
Margaret Duke-Wyer
Years ago I was a huge fan of historical novels especially Jean Plaidy so I was really looking forward to reading A Deadly Betrothal. All the usual elements were there inasmuch as I recognized and was familiar with the main characters, Elizabeth 1, Walsingham Leicester and the Duke of Alencon etc. What was different was the element of a murder mystery and I cant make my mind up as to whether in this instance it worked for me or not. I really enjoyed the familiarity of the characters but I was ...more
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Over all, A Deadly Betrothal is another well written installment of author Fiona Buckleys Ursula Blanchard Mysteries. If you havent had the pleasure of reading any of the series, then no worries. You can easily start here and work your way back or forward. There is enough mystery and twists in order to keep you engaged with the story and the characters are filled out from their historical places into their well formed shapes. I enjoy a good historical fiction story and a murder mystery even ...more
Jane Shibilski
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
There is nothing like reading a book with familiar characters; it's like becoming acquainted again with a long lost friend. That's what I feel every time I pick up an Ursula Blanchard mystery. As I said before, this book is like catching up with old friends who also happen to be historical figures; Queen Elizabeth, Sir William Cecil, Sir Francis Walsingham and on and on. There is always someone or something that entangles Ursula in affairs of state and this book is no different. This time family ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was the first book I had read in the Ursula Blanchard series of historical mysteries that take place in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. I thought it worked pretty well as a standalone story. Ursula is a strong lead female who gets herself into situations that make her take certain actions that are outside the norm for woman of society during this period. Trouble seems to follow
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ursula, illegitimate daughter of King Henry VIII, noted for her inquisitive mind, is summoned by her sister, Queen Elizabeth, and by her aunt to help with seemingly unrelated events. The Queen is being courted by the Duke of Alencon and She is concerned for Her health and Her country if She were to marry him. Ursula's aunt has been asked for help by a dear friend of hers regarding the friend's estranged husband. All seems to be going well until a series of deaths pulls Ursula's mind and ...more
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This novel is a great addition to this series. I enjoy the historical setting of Queen Elizabeth's court. The characters that are drawn from history add to the story.I am impressed by the way that the author demonstrates that the desires and the values that motivate people then are not much different from our present tie=me. She also makes the point that women were so limited by the laws of that time.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ursula Blanchard is summoned back to Court, and is immediately thrust into the intrigues surrounding the question of Queen Elizabeths possible marriage to a French noble. So begins the latest novel by Fiona Buckley, A Deadly Betrothal.

Read the entire review at
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
When I requested this book from netgalley, I did not realize this was #15 in a series. I was a bit reluctant to read it, but im so glad I did. This story works well as a stand alone. I really enjoyed the main character and will be reading more in this series. Great story with unexpected twists and turns. Very entertaining!

Thanks netgalley for an arc in exchange of my honest review.
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the fifteenth book in the series. Im not tired of Ursula, but the character herself seems to have tired of court intrigue- most of this novel features what seems like endless hither and thither travelling about, to an end that I couldve predicted from the get go. ...more
Oct 21, 2019 rated it liked it
For some reason this one really confused me with all the characters and familial ties...however I kept reading, because I do enjoy this series. In the end, the story was good, I just wasn't sure exactly who was who.
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
The series is definitely beginning to jump the shark... with pirates!
Susan Ash hanson
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quite the dramatic ending, enjoyed it
Margaret Haigh
Oct 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-challenge
A good read, well placed in time and a real sense of the era, would read more from this author.
Juli Hatlee
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
15th in the series and thus one was just as good as the first. One of my favorite series about Queen Elizabeth.
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this, the latest in the Ursula Blanchard books. A good read.
Patty Abrams
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-series
I enjoy the details of Elizabeth I's court, the clothing, the historical characters. Also, how the people lived in their homes at the time.
rated it really liked it
Aug 12, 2017
Lynda Wiles
rated it it was amazing
Aug 10, 2019
rated it it was ok
Jun 03, 2018
rated it really liked it
May 20, 2017
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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 ...more

Other books in the series

Ursula Blanchard (1 - 10 of 17 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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