About the Book:
A priceless jewel. A royal court rife with intrigue. A secret deal, where the price of truth could come too high . . .
The personal artist to King Henry Tudor, Susanna Horenbout is sought by the queen and ladies of the court for her delicate, skilled portraits. But now someone from her past is pulling her into a duplicitous game where the consequence of failure is war. Soon, Susanna and her betrothed, the King’s most dangerous courtier, are unraveling a plot that would shatter Europe. And at the heart of it is a magnificent missing diamond. . . .
With John Parker at her side, Susanna searches for the diamond and those responsible for its theft, their every step dogged by a lethal assassin. Finding the truth means plunging into the heart of the court’s most bitter infighting, surviving the harrowing labyrinth of Fleet Prison—and then coming face-to-face with the most dangerous enemy of all.
About the Author:
Michelle Diener has always had a passion for reading and writing. She began writing stories when her parents gave her a typewriter for her twelfth birthday, and she hasn’t stopped since. Born in London and brought up in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, she now lives on the west coast of Australia with her husband and two small children.
This is the second book about Susanna Horenbout by Ms. Diener. The first. In a Treacherous Court set up her story and had her meeting her betrothed, John Parker. In this installment Susanna sees an old family friend – a diamond cutter – and calls to him. Instead of being happy to see her, he tries to kill her. This sets off a series of events that has Susanna and John working to safeguard one of King Henry’s most prized jewels – the Mirror of Naples. The book pulls in famous characters from the reign including the Duke of Norfolk and Cardinal Woolsey but they play somewhat supporting roles to Susanna and John.
This is a quick and easy read – a Tudor mystery if you will. The history is less important than the relationship between the two protagonists. I enjoyed having a light story with all of the heavy books I have been reading. I flew right through it and was quite entertained. I would certainly pick up another of Ms. Diener’s books if given the chance.
The central group of characters are very engaging – Susanna, John and their “gang” if you will. They are very loyal to one another willing to do what needs doing to protect each other and get the job done. What the reader usually thinks of as larger than life historical figures (King Henry, Woolsey, Norfolk) seem to fade into the background; this is definitely Susanna and John’s tale. And that was somewhat refreshing.
If you are looking for a book long on historical detail though, this would not be the book for you to read.
You can purchase Keeper of the King’s Secrets at Amazon.com
You can purchase In a Treacherous Court at Amazon.com
Disclosure: I received a copy of Keeper of the King’s Secrets from Gallery Books. Any opinions expressed are my honest opinions and were not impacted by my receipt of the free book. I received no monetary compensation for this post.