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A Queen's Spy

(The Tudor Mystery Trials #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  496 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Alternate cover for this ISBN can be found here

A gripping Historical Adventure set in 16th Century Tudor England. Elizabeth Tudor needs a hero. Murder, Mystery & Intrigue with a Splash of Romance.

Based on actual historical events, an epic tale of a young Tudor nobleman’s courage as he tries to keep his future Queen safe in one of England’s most turbulent eras.

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Paperback, 404 pages
Published July 12th 2017 by Independently published (first published April 19th 2017)
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  496 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the historical aspect to the story. The intrigue was great. I felt, though, the characters were a bit underdeveloped and flat. Like they were written and put into designated boxes..."this is the arrogant, callous lady's man", "this one is the underdog with a chip on his shoulder who has tendencies to be careless, impulsive and a bit of a blockhead", etc and the characters never strayed from the confines of their "boxes". In reality, people often put on "masks" to hide aspects of themselv ...more
Jennifer Kelland Perry
A Queen's Spy is an engaging, well-written story.
Historical novels often have a multitude of characters and this one is no exception. It can be difficult to keep track of everyone and everything, but Burnell does such an incredible job, I found it easy to follow.
The author's descriptive prose is a delight and the characters and plot twists kept me intrigued until the very end. Recommended to fans of the genre or anyone interested in English history, especially in the Tudor period.
Carolyn Bowen
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Most Engaging Historical Tudor Mystery
The Author, Sam Burnell’s love and knowledge of history and archaeology shine brilliantly in The Queen’s Spy. There’s never a dim or dull moment as the book grabs you at the beginning, shakes you, and doesn’t let go until the end. It is a most engaging and fascinating historical Tudor mystery novel.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kobo
Elizabeth spent his childhood and youth outside the court. In 1553 the young king, her brother, dies prematurely and opens the throne for Maria Tudor, daughter of Henry VII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon.
In 1558, Mary I dies and Elizabeth I rises to the throne. At 25 she is crowned Queen of England.
This historical novel helps us to understand this period of England's history and the need for the support of the nobility for Elizabeth, in order to be able to govern.

Robert Rapoza
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Fitzwarren family has a secret, one that will alter the course of the family line. Well drawn characters and a wonderful setting transport the reader back in time to experience a tale of deceit and jealousy. The action begins immediately as brothers are pitted against each other in a fight for the family estate. The author cleverly develops the characters as the storyline unfolds, weaving an intriguing story that leaves the reader wanting more. I don't normally read historical fiction, but M ...more
E.M. Swift-Hook
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thorns on the Tudor Rose

“It’s a dangerous game, but you know that don’t you?”

Richard and Jack are brothers - well half-brothers. Born in an era where being the illegitimate offspring of a nobleman could carry both benefits and banes, one of the brothers - Jack - was destined for a very different life than his legitimate sibling. Then Richard was banished for a crime he did not commit and his prospects were very changed. But Richard and Jack are determined not to let their status impede their fo
D.J. Reid
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, mystery
I enjoy a good cloak and dagger story, and there’s mystery, treachery and intrigue aplenty in this historical adventure. For those who think the Tudors have been done to death, this story is set in the less well explored time leading up to and following the death of Edward VI, the Northumberland plot to place Lady Jane Grey on the throne, and the subsequent tensions between supporters of Mary and Elizabeth.

The main plot revolves around the Fitzwarren family and the power struggle between Robert,
Christy Nicholas
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scandal and delight! I love this sort of historical adventure, despite my usual rage at inauthentic Tudor details. This was a great take on the tale, and I enjoyed the story immensely. Taking the story away from the main scandal of the day, I am glad for the extant details of the two brothers with the royal court intrigues taking a back seat to the main story.
Josephine Jones
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an fascinating and exciting book. I really enjoy historical fiction, and I enjoy well researched fiction that ties in with the period, and this book certainly does that.
The central characters really do come to life, I really cared about what would happen to Jack and Richard, would the rift between them ever heal. There is so much going on in the book apart from their flawed relationship. The backdrop is Queen for 9 days, Lady Jane Grey, and the succession after of Mary Tudor. The central ch
This book had some good things going for it. The premise stood out; I love a good Elizabethan spy thriller. The author also made some efforts at setting and such. Yet, there are other glaring issues that just make this book unfinishable to me. I got 100 pages in and just had to call it quits after that.

The story starts with a bang, with a chase scene and grand escape. The author keeps up the pace with quick escapes and struggles to make ends meet while trying to keep away from enemies. So I have
S. Daisy
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog-books
This is a historical fiction novel set in England in the 1550's, at the time that Mary was Queen and was fearful Elizabeth would try to steal the throne. While this is a large part of the plot, the story itself centers around two half-brothers, Richard and Jack, mercenaries who play for both sides of the royal game.

Richard was long ago falsely accused of a crime he never commited, which stained him for life, causing him to live a shady life in the shadows. Skilled with the sword and possessing
Ian Miller
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is historical fiction, set in the times of the death of Edward VI and the turbulence leading to the succession of Mary I, and the dangers facing Elizabeth 1. The story mainly focuses on Jack, a bastard son of Fitzwarren. He has at least three half brothers, Robert, Harry and Richard who are legitimate, and probably some number of others like him. During the rather brutal attempt to get rid of Richard by Harry, Jack saves Richard and the two disappear off to France, only to re-emerge at the ...more
Amy Samin
Nov 15, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am finished with this book, but I didn’t read the whole thing. Read about 25%. I’m getting too old to waste my time on books, hoping I will like them better if I just force myself to read more.

Supposedly, this book is about Richard, but the story is told mostly from the point of view of Jack, who is not a character I wanted to spend that much time with. Part of the story was also told from the points of view of others, including someone who died shortly thereafter.

The setting and period eleme
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was kindly sent a PDF copy by the author in exchange for a review . I enjoyed this book , it kept me hooked until the end and then it ends on a cliffhanger ..... I love world History and historical fiction so some of the characters mentioned in this book were familiar to me which made it more enjoyable.
I can't wait to get into the second book to find out what happens next in this story !
Mercedes Rochelle
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Civil war, or the threat of it, takes its toll on families as well as the ruling class. This is the situation we find in book one of “The Tudor Mystery Trials” series. First we have the unfortunate demise of King Edward VI—fraught with Northumberland’s failed coup to put Jane Grey on the throne—then Queen Mary’s early days beset with rebellion in favor of Elizabeth. These events create a gloomy backdrop to this family saga, where brother seeks the death of brother in a convoluted twist of who is ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-books
‘The mist still clung to the fields and stole the colour from the trees as the men gathered for the hunt.’

Sixteenth century Tudor England provides the setting for this novel. Uncertainty about the succession as Edward VI’s life draws to a close provides a suitable backdrop for both political intrigue and deep family secrets.

Enter Richard Fitzwarren. Richard Fitzwarren once worked within Thomas Seymour’s household, as part of his intelligence network. Richard’s close friendship with Princess Eliz
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an enjoyable read, very well-written, and immediately engaging right from the beginning. I was glad for the opportunity to read it. I'm a sucker for historical fiction, especially in medieval England where this particular story takes place.
The story begins just before the ending of poor little Edward's short life, and in the midst of that national turmoil, is the story of several feuding brothers, including Jack, an illegitimate son. He's a smart, resourceful fellow who knows what
Diane Meier
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As someone who loves historical fiction, especially the Phillipa Gregory series about Plantagenet and Tudor England, I was intrigued by how A Queen’s Spy has a new angle on the events after Henry VIII died. When people begin to realize that Edward, Henry’s young son, is on his deathbed, plots and schemes are not only in the halls of power but also in the trenches among those who made a living with their swords. The book tells of two brothers making their living as mercenaries in the service of w ...more
Sheena Macleod
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Queen’s Spy: The Tudor Mystery Trials.
As Queen Mary looks set to take the English throne, an interesting plot surrounds Elizabeth’s spy network. I have read a lot in the Tudor era, but this book offered a new perspective through its focus on Elizabeth’s supporters. There is a large cast of interesting characters - some familiar to me and others not -and I appreciated the character list at the beginning. I particularly liked Catherine de Bernay and her interactions with Jack and Richard. The c
Kameron Williams
"Let them hate, so long as they fear."

A tale of scandal and intrigue in Renaissance England, where several players—mostly family—vie for ascension. The author certainly knows enough about this time period to render an accurate portrayal. Verisimilitude, or, essentially, believability, in writing is what keeps me invested in any novel. Although fiction, I have to know that it could’ve been real, or that it might’ve happened. With that being said, this 16th century setting is palpable and convinci
M.K. Williams
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Queen's Spy was a gripping mystery. As a reader, I usually don't like stories set in this time period, but this was an exception. I really liked the attention to detail that made the setting and characters come to life. I really enjoyed Burnell's writing style and I am interested to see how the series progresses.
Linda Herreman
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
History can be fun

A fictional historical which is a fun read. A period story with just enough historical facts to lend a solid backdrop. Characters are deep and interesting to follow. A connection is made with each and their unique Idiosyncrasies keep the story moving in unexpected ways.
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With its lush descriptions and impeccably researched historical details, this book will appeal to fans of Philippa Gregory, Hilary Mantel, and Alison Weir. Much gratitude to the author for her work and for her support of my work!
Lenzi Wilkins
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had a wonderful trip diving into this bit of historical fiction. It was well written with great attention to details that should seem familiar to people with any knowledge of this time in history. You can't help but be drawn into the characters world and face every step of the drama with them. I can't wait to see what else this author is working on!
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Took me a while but once into this story couldn't put it down and I was there! Next one should be good. Thank you for writing it
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully written historically pertinent novel.

From the first page my interest was piqued and I remained rapt through the entire story. The minute I finish this review (stellar author and novel)I am getting part 2 and following Jack’s escapades.
Neil Mullins
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good read

Really enjoyed this book which was full of good and interesting characters. Richard fitzwarren being the most interesting. Look forward to reading the next book.
Janice Davies
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Could have been 5 *

An intriguing plot an well draws characters, I can't wait for the next book. Pity it was marred by some minor niggles. How does Richard take so long to recover from a wound that he says is one a scratch while Jack after apparently having been beaten almost to death is up and around in a few days? Don't want to say too much as I wouldn't want to spoil it for other readers.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Glad I said yes!

I do a lot of reviews on Amazon and as a consequence, I am often asked by new authors to read their books. I've done it a few times and have almost always been disappointed and had to leave a lukewarm or poor review for the book. I honestly hate doing that. As you can tell by my star rating above, this will NOT be a critical, negative review. I'm pleased to say that this is a bang-up, highly readable and engaging book. Is it perfect? No, but it's pretty darn good.

First, the goo
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Other books in the series

The Tudor Mystery Trials (5 books)
  • A Queen's Traitor  (The Tudor Mystery Trials #2)
  • A Queen's Mercenary (The Tudor Mystery Trials #3)
  • A Queen's Knight (Tudor Mystery Trials #4)
  • A Queen's Assassin (The Tudor Mystery Trials #5)
“tell me. I cannot make the right decisions if I don’t know all the facts,” Jack said.” 0 likes
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