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Queen's Ransom

(Ursula Blanchard #3)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  823 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Ursula Blanchard is the essence of iron cloaked in velvet -- a heroine to reckon with, said Kirkus Reviews of Fiona Buckley's intrepid sleuth. And the sharp-witted Lady of the Presence Chamber will need every ounce of her courage if she is to carry out her latest mission on behalf of Queen Elizabeth I without betraying her own heart.Eager for a respite from intrigue and mo ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 30th 2001 by Pocket Books (first published January 11th 2000)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  823 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Kate Quinn
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Elizabethan sleuth Ursula Blanchard crosses the Channel in her third adventure, braving war-torn France to carry a private letter from Elizabeth to Catherine de'Medici. Religious hysteria, an accusation of murder, and a malicious priest land Ursula's faithful maid Dale in prison and Ursula scrambles to rescue her, struggling at the same time to rescue her own future with her estranged husband Matthew. Ursula might love Matthew, but his Catholic faith keeps leading him into plots against the Quee ...more
I don’t think this is as strong a story as Buckley usually offers. The plot sort of wandered along with randomly placed roadblocks. Just when I thought the story was winding up, another problem surfaces. And at the end, Ursula seems to have made peace with her life and made her choice between Matthew or England (don’t want to spoil it for anyone), but then she starts wondering if it’s really the right choice for her. Come on, woman, make up your mind and keep it made up!
May 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
The plot was a bit far fetched and the pace somewhat tedious. I enjoyed it less than Ms. Buckley's previous offerings in this series. ...more
The third book in the Ursula Blanchard mystery series has not won me over. After the second book, I decided that I would read one or two more before deciding whether to quit the series. The last chapter in this book takes place two years after the rest of the book and it consists only of a brief summation of events that occurred in the interim. Therefore, it makes for a nice smooth departure point.

There are three storylines, possibly four, that are interwoven in Queen's Ransom. One of them is so
The plot of this book was nothing I would ever have thought of. Lots of twists and turns, and interesting sub-plots. Good suspense, but not too much. I will continue listening to this series.
Mar 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Ursula Blanchard, what a clever woman she is and yet all threaded through with trying to comprehend the truths that govern her--those without and those within. Espionage is more easily managed than than deciphering truth.
Oct 01, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a nice change in the series. Ursula is getting tired of intrigue and the fact that her spy work is not only keeping her from her husband, but also eroding her belief in her own goodness. At the end of the last book (and really, why are you reading this one if you didn't read that one), she gave yew poison to a condemned man to allow him to die at his own hand rather than be hanged. This is understandably weighing on her mind, so that she doesn't want to let herself even visit her daught ...more
Avid Series Reader
Queen's Ransom by Fiona Buckley is the third book of the Ursula Blanchard historical mystery series set in 1562 France. Ursula Blanchard is on a mission for Queen Elizabeth I, carrying a secret letter to Queen Catherine de Medici to offer support negotiating with Huguenots. As a cover for her mission, Ursula is traveling with her late husband's father to bring his daughter Helene back to England for an arranged marriage. Little does Ursula know, but the men in her entourage that she trusts to gu ...more
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(3.5 stars) The third book in the Ursula Blanchard series sends Ursula off to France on two missions: to act as companion to the ward of her first husband's father after they retrieve her from a convent, and to convey a secret letter to Queen Catherine de Medici offering Queen Elizabeth's support in negotiating with the Huguenots. Before she leaves, Ursula is part of the entourage for Elizabeth who is working to support her political position by showing a display of her wealth to the Spanish amb ...more
Richard Stueber
Jul 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Ursula Blanchard is off to France on a mission for Queen Elizabeth I in 1562. Unbeknownst to her she is accompanied by three servants of Sir Will1am Cecil Secretary of State whose secret mission is to capture Ursula's French husband Matthew de la Roche. Ostensibly the mission is to collect 16 year old Helene Blanchard and bring her back to England to marry Ursula's cousin Edward Faldene. Ursula also is bringing a message from Queen Elizabeth to Queen Regent Catherine de Médicis of France. She is ...more
Book #3 in the Elizabeth I mystery novels by Fiona Buckley (her pen name). This plot wandered a bit and wasn't as sharp as books #1 and #2. A year has gone by and our heroine (Ursula Blanchard) is sent to France by the queen with a letter offering to "mediate" between the Catholics and Protestants (called Huguenots) of France. The queen wants Ursula to give this letter to the Queen Mother of France--Catherine de Medici. But France has exploded in violent religious war and Ursula is placing her l ...more
This has the least plausible plot of any Elizabethan mystery I have yet read, and yes, that includes the Lady Grace mystery where she ran away and became a pirate with Drake dressed as a boy, and singlehandedly saved the battle from the crows nest. Still more plausible than this.
I'm not sure at this point what I am getting out of these novels. They are scant on historical detail, the invocation of the terror of this period is well done, but undermined at all turns by the ridiculous plot's need t
Pamela Mclaren
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the third in the Ursula Blanchard series, but the first of the books for me and I have to say that I enjoyed the story very much, although how realistic it was considering that we are talking about the1500s ...

What I can believe is the palace intrigue and the intolerance of Catholic vs. Lutheran religions. Both made a good counterpoint to the main story and the conflict Ursula has when her servant is falsely accused and has to rely on a ransom to do justice. I also can believe a woman be
Faith Justice
Sep 07, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-early-reader
I read this book in preparation for an interview with Fiona Buckley, which is the pen name for British novelist Valerie Anand. The entire interview can be read at my website or a series of posts at my blog.

I enjoyed the book, but found it a bit predictable.
Apr 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Linda Matty, Kathy Keim
I am not reading these "A Mystery at Queen Elizabeth's Court" books in order, but Buckley has written them such that one can do this and not confuse events. I enjoyed Ursula Blanchard's adventures once again. This book took her into Queen Catherine de Medicis' pro-Catholic France. I learned a lot about this pro-Catholic war that threatened to tear France apart and spread to Protestant England. Lots of twists and turns in this one. Also more insights in to both Queen Elizabeth's and Queen Catheri ...more
Apr 20, 2013 added it
This is an exciting story in this series featuring Ursula Blanchard. She is traveling during dangerous times in France on an errand for Queen Elizabeth. Along the way, the reader learns of the religious unrest in France at this time and share Ursula's need to free her serving woman by using hidden treasures in that her deceased husband told her of in Antwerp. The end is surprising so will not share it. ...more
Jun 21, 2008 rated it liked it
This was a fun little mystery with a historical setting. I had hoped there would be more about life at court than what was included, plus I had not read the first book or two with Ursula Blanchard as the main character, so I was somewhat disappointed. But, if you like easy to read mysteries with a female lead character, this is a series for you!
Nov 17, 2008 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.
Charlotte Osborn-bensaada
Jun 10, 2011 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. ...more
Jun 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Ursula travels to France to get away from spying and Elizabeth's court, and possibly to see her husband...but of course Cecil and Elizabeth are pulling strings and thrills await her. Wish I liked Ursula Blanchard better as a character, but it could be that reading these out of order is what makes me dislike her constant whining that she doesn't want to do the work she enjoys. ...more
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
This was my first Fiona Buckley novel, and I was enchanted with it. I am glad to know there are more in this series, because Ursula is quite a likable character. This time period is one of my favorites, even though I w would not have wanted to live then. I will definitely be on the lookout for more of Fiona Buckley' s works. ...more
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
I am actually really enjoying these Ursula Blanchard books. I am listening to them on audio and I like the narrators voice. Sometimes I wish we could hurry it along a little and wonder if I would enjoy them as much were I to read them. But the stories are good so far.
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tudor-shelf
Another very good entry in this series. I do wonder how the books will continue now though with the happenings at the end of this installment. The main character in this series is quite engaging and a strong individual. I look forward to the remainder of this series.
Dec 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
Great medieval mystery series.
This third installment in this series doesn't end up really being a mystery novel, but it's interesting with enough suspense and character to be enjoyable. ...more
Bridget Reischer
Sep 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
The audio book is read by Nadia may - good story.
Stacey Andrews
Dec 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tudor-fiction
3rd book in the series, surprise ending...I love Ursula! This is a great historical mystery series set in the Elizabethan period. Long live Gloriana!
Helen Azar
I was expecting the fictional Elizabeth I to be more of a presence in this one. Not bad, but I am not sure if I will run out and read the rest of the series...
Jul 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
awesome so far. i'm glad i stuck with this series. it just gets better! ...more
Rebecca Curtis
Mar 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Ind of boring and the history was wrong in places and the story was not good enough to compensate. blag!
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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)
  • 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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