Fiona Buckley Books In Order

Ursula Blanchard Books In Order

  1. The Robsart Mystery (1997)
  2. The Doublet Affair (1998)
  3. Queen’s Ransom (2000)
  4. To Ruin a Queen (2000)
  5. Queen of Ambition (2001)
  6. A Pawn for the Queen (2002)
  7. The Fugitive Queen (2003)
  8. The Siren Queen (2004)
  9. Queen Without A Crown (2011)
  10. Queen’s Bounty (2012)
  11. A Rescue For A Queen (2013)
  12. A Traitor’s Tears (2014)
  13. A Perilous Alliance (2015)
  14. The Heretic’s Creed (2016)
  15. A Deadly Betrothal (2017)
  16. The Reluctant Assassin (2018)
  17. A Web of Silk (2019)
  18. The Scent of Danger (2020)
  19. Forest of Secrets (2021)
  20. Shadow of Spain (2021)


  1. Late Harvest (2016)

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Fiona Buckley Books Overview

The Robsart Mystery

In this compelling debut of her historical mystery series, Fiona Buckley introduces Ursula Blanchard, a widowed young mother who has become lady in waiting to Queen Elizabeth I. Armed with a sharp eye, dangerous curiosity, and uncanny intelligence, Ursula pledges…
To Shield the Queen Rumor has linked Queen Elizabeth I to her master of horse, Robin Dudley. As gossip would have it, only his ailing wife, Amy, prevents marriage between Dudley and the Queen. To quell the idle tongues at court, the Queen dispatches Ursula Blanchard to tend to the sick woman’s needs. But not even Ursula can prevent the ‘accident’ that takes Amy’s life. Did she fall or was she pushed? Was Ursula a pawn of Dudley and the Queen? Suddenly Ursula finds herself at the center of the scandal, trying to protect Elizabeth as she loses her heart to a Frenchman who may be flirting with sedition against her Queen. She can trust no one, neither her lover nor her monarch, as she sets out to find the truth in a glittering court that conceals a wellspring of blood and lies.

The Doublet Affair

A tantalizing re creation of Elizabethan life and manners told with intelligence and wit,’ raved Library Journal upon the publication of To Shield the Queen, the volume that introduced twenty six year old Ursula Blanchard, Lady of the Presence Chamber to Queen Elizabeth I, and one of the most entrancing mystery hero*ines to come along in many a season. Young Ursula knows it can be treacherous easing herself into the petty foibles at court, but now, having once saved the Virgin Queen from political disaster, she faces an even greater challenge. Sortie of Ursula’s old acquaintances may be plotting to overthrow Elizabeth in favor of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the re establishment of the Catholic faith. Ardent, some would say fanatical, believers will stop at nothing smuggling, counterfeiting, civil war, perhaps murder to further their cause. One of Elizabeth’s spies is already dead and the clues to his death point in a troubling direction. Most disturbing to Ursula is whether her old friends Ann and Leonard Mason could be mixed up in a treasonous plot against the Queen. There have been rumors that all is not as it should be with the Masons. Secretary of state Sir William Cecil needs his own spy in the Mason home and Ursula is the obvious choice, She knows the family, she can justify her visit by helping to care for the Masons’ five children, and she can perhaps use her newly acquired skill at lockpiching to uncover some surprising truths. Torn between her devotion to Elizabeth, still a young woman like herself, and her longing to be reunited with her exiled Catholic husband, Matthew, in France, Ursula makes a difficult bargain that balances personal happiness against duty to Queen and country. Her journey takes her into dangerous territory eventually into the underground cells of the Tower of London itself Whatever happens, she will never again be quite as trusting or quite as secure.

Queen’s Ransom

Ursula Blanchard ‘is the essence of iron cloaked in velvet a hero*ine 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 moral ambiguities, Ursula agrees to travel to France to help her first husband’s father bring his young ward home to England. But duty soon calls. Fearing that the pro Catholic forces threatening to tear France asunder will spread to Protestant England, the Queen instructs Ursula to personally deliver a secret letter to Catherine de M dicis, offering to mediate the crisis. Not only will the perilous journey separate her from her young daughter, it will bring Ursula closer to a man she can neither trust nor forget her estranged second husband, Matthew de la Roche, avowed Catholic and enemy of Elizabeth. As it becomes clear that someone seeks to thwart her mission, she realizes she can trust no one but herself, and that only she can uncover the truth hidden in the shadows of treason, greed, and desire that darken her way.

To Ruin a Queen

The fourth novel in the fascinating series featuring Ursula Blanchard, loyal subject of Queen Elizabeth I and sleuth extraordinaire, finds our hero*ine torn between love and duty as she investigates treason of the highest order. To Ruin a Queen Desperately missing her young daughter and bitterly homesick for England, Ursula Blanchard is struggling to build a new life in France with her husband, Matthew de la Roche. Ursula is devastated when she learns her beloved Meg has disappeared from the family that has fostered her since the French civil war forced Ursula to leave her behind. A wanted man in England, Matthew is unable to accompany her as she frantically journeys home. Upon her arrival, Ursula is stunned to learn that Meg is not missing, but has been sent at the Queen’s behest to Vetch Castle. It is home of Philip Mortimer, descendant of Roger Mortimer, who was executed long ago for his part in the murder of Edward II. Ursula treads carefully as she seeks the truth about Philip Mortimer’s schemes to force the Queen to restore his family’s fortunes. But when a murderer strikes, she is quickly ensnared in a web of blackmail and treason that could topple the crown and cost Ursula her life.

Queen of Ambition

Fiona Buckley, acclaimed for the historical accuracy and riveting storytelling of her Ursula Blanchard mysteries at the court of Queen Elizabeth I, returns with a glorious new novel set in the summer of 1564. Ursula and her small daughter, Meg, are at their Sussex manor house, Withysham, when Ursula is summoned to court. The queen will soon set out on a Royal Progress to Cambridge, the university town known for its Protestant sympathies. Accompanied by a huge entourage and two hundred wagonloads of goods, Her Majesty will spend five nights at King’s College, where she will be kept in comfort and entertained in style. Nothing must go wrong. But Sir William Cecil, the secretary of state, is worried. Some students plan to welcome the queen to Cambridge with a farcical playlet involving kidnapping and swords. Cecil would prohibit all violence and swords near the queen’s person, but she insists on letting the students have their fun. Or is it the queen who is having fun playing with her courtiers’ concerns? With the spirited, thirty year old queen, it’s always hard to tell. Or, a more serious possibility, is the playlet being used to cloak a threat to Elizabeth’s safety? Cecil can’t stop the playlet but he can send Ursula as a harbinger to find out what’s really happening. Her mission: dress as a cookmaid and obtain a job in Roland Jester’s pie shop. The pie shop is a meeting place for students, and Roland and his brother, Cambridge tutor Giles Woodforde, may somehow be involved in the playlet. Working in a pie shop is a new experience for Ursula, but it’s not the work that’s disturbing. She hears students talking. She sees people whispering. Something sinister is indeedgoing on, and when a young student who is himself worried about the playlet dies in a suspicious fall just before he is to meet with Ursula, she knows that Cecil’s fears are justified. The queen may well be the target of a plot, and Ursula may be the only one who can save her. Rich with historical detail, compelling characters, and an original cipher worthy of a spy agency, this fifth Ursula Blanchard novel transports us to a romantic, mysterious time in history when seemingly insignificant events changed great destinies.

A Pawn for the Queen

Fiona Buckley, acclaimed for her precisely researched and richly nuanced historical mysteries, returns with a magnificent new Ursula Blanchard novel set at the court of Queen Elizabeth I. Widowed once again, Ursula, a sometime waiting woman and spy for Elizabeth, intends to live quietly with her small daughter, Meg, at Withy sham, their country home. But word comes that her devoutly Catholic cousin, Edward Faldene, has set off for Scotland, carrying a secret list of families loyal to Elizabeth’s rival, Mary, Queen of Scots. If caught, Edward could be tried for treason. His family begs Ursula to go after him and try to bring him home before it’s too late. Ursula agrees. She wants to help her cousin, but she also wants to retrieve the list before it can be used to hurt Elizabeth. The families named there could help raise an army to topple her from her throne. It’s a dangerous mission. Before, Ursula had worked for the Queen or for her Secretary of State, Sir William Cecil. As an emissary of the Queen, even a secret emissary, she had power. This time she’s on her own. To reveal her plans to the Queen would be disastrous for Edward. When she finally gets to Edinburgh, after long days on the road, she’s too late. Edward is dead and the list of Mary’s supporters is missing. Whom can she trust? Nothing goes quite as planned, not even her meeting with the Queen of Scots. Ursula’s loyalty is to Elizabeth, but Mary, the enemy, is kind and charming. And what about the quaint, middle aged Thursbys? Are they what they seem to be, or is their Puckish air a cover for something more sinister? Then there’s Sir Brian Dormbois. When Ursula enlists the Scottish French aristocrat’s help, she never dreams that he will fall violently in love with her, with potentially disastrous results. To find the answers to her questions, save her own life, and protect Elizabeth, Ursula must make some difficult choices. Worst of all, she learns that friend and foe can sometimes be the same person…
and for queens, everyone is a pawn. With a stunning surprise at the end, A Pawn for a Queen sets a new standard in this engrossing series.

The Fugitive Queen

It is 1568, three years since Ursula Blanchard exchanged her work as a spy in the service of her half sister, Queen Elizabeth, for the relative calm of married life. But when Elizabeth summons her, loyal Ursula senses there is more to her seemingly benign request than meets the eye. She is to pluck Penelope Mason, her inappropriately flirtatious prot g , from court and find the disgraced girl a husband, and she is also to deliver a secret warning to Elizabeth’s arch rival, Mary, Queen of Scots. Gradually, Ursula comes to understand the true delicacy and danger of this mission. Exiled after the suspicious death of her husband, Mary is now a fugitive queen and a ‘guest’ in northern England’s daunting Bolton Castle. Ursula, with her blade sharp acuity, can outsmart Mary’s notorious charm and sidestep treasonous traps while extracting the truth. But can she protect those who look to her including young Penelope from a deadly game where, to those who hunger for power at all costs, murder is a small price to pay?

The Siren Queen

The year is 1569. Ursula Blanchard, illegitimate half sister to Queen Elizabeth I and sometime spy on the Queen’s behalf, is happily married to wealthy Hugh Stannard and living quietly in the country. Ursula’s thoughts are on domestic matters as she watches her daughter, Meg, grow up. Meg will soon be fourteen, so perhaps it is time to think of a betrothal. When an invitation to visit arrives from the powerful Duke of Norfolk, Ursula and Hugh welcome the chance for Meg to meet an apparently worthy young man of the Duke’s household, Edmund Dean. Is he a possible husband for Meg?It’s love at first sight, at least on Meg’s part. Young Dean seems to admire Meg as well, and he’s even more impressed with her promised dowry. Ursula, though, has her doubts. Does she see something cruel in the man’s eyes?Soon, more weighty matters demand Ursula’s attention. Two men are dead under mysterious circumstances, and there may be a new plot to put Mary, Queen of Scots, on the English throne. A letter written in cipher may contain the information Ursula needs but can she decode the letter in time to save the half sister and Queen she loves? And what shattering personal discovery will the letter reveal?Surrounded by treachery, Ursula wonders whom she can trust. Is the great Duke of Norfolk himself part of the plot against Queen Elizabeth? And what about the young man who would marry Meg?With richly drawn characters and riveting historical accuracy, The Siren Queen sweeps us into a suspenseful and passionate re creation of one of the most tumultuous and colorful eras of English history.

Queen Without A Crown

The ninth gripping murder mystery to feature Ursula Blanchard, special aide to Elizabeth I November, 1569. Happily married to her third husband, Hugh Stannard, lady in waiting Ursula Blanchard is hoping to give up her undercover work for Queen Elizabeth l in order to enjoy domestic bliss. But when Hugh unwittingly endangers possession of his ancestral home, Ursula is forced to take on a seemingly hopeless but handsomely paid private assignment, which the Queen spots is the perfect cover for a covert investigation into a group of rebel barons plotting to put Mary, Queen of Scots on the English throne…

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