The Queen’s Pleasure
Kensington, Jun 26 2012, $15.00
In 1553, Princess Elizabeth and her childhood friend, Robert Dudley are imprisoned in the Tower by her late half-sister Queen Mary. He expects to die as his family is in disfavor after the Lady Jane Grey fiasco and she anticipates execution as Bloody Mary seems to believe she plots against her. While waiting death, they forge a strong bond by comforting each other; a feeling his wife Amy failed to achieve in spite of her frequent visits. Surprisingly, Mary frees both of them.
When, Elizabeth becomes queen, Robert remains her favorite. She assigns him influential positions and he spends most of his time at court rather than with his wife who he leaves to rusticate. Many believe he will divorce his wife and wed the Queen. However, in 1560 Amy falls down the stairs to her death. Suspicion falls on Dudley and Elizabeth; as rumors spread their motive for murdering his spouse was to get her out of the way so they could marry. However, if Elizabeth allows her heart to rule by wedding Robert, she could lose her throne.
Tudor fans will relish this excellent early Elizabethan thriller as the storyline uses the suspicious death of Amy as a means to look deep into what motivated the young queen and to a lesser degree Robert. Amy, who historians argue on how she died and little else, enhances the readers’ pleasure as we join in the debate. Brandy Purdy provides another great sixteenth century drama (see The Boleyn Wife).