352 pages, 8.12 × 5.68 × 0.97 in
June 30, 2015
St. Martin's Press
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0312658494
ISBN - 13: 9780312658496
Read from the Book
HATFIELD Chapter One “Cut and thrust! To the left! No, to your left!”Kate’s shout resounded within Hatfield’s vaulted gallery, punctuated by a metallic hiss as she lunged toward me on soft-shod feet, brandishing her sword.Ignoring the sweat dripping down my brow, my shoulder-length hair escaping its tie and plastered to my nape, I gauged my position. I had the advantage of my weight and height, but Kate had years of training. Indeed, her experience had come as a complete surprise to me. Kate and I had only met five months before in the palace of Whitehall, during the time of peril when I served as a squire to Lord Robert Dudley, son of the powerful Duke of Northumberland, and she acted as an informant for our mistress, Princess Elizabeth Tudor. During our time at court, Kate had displayed rather unusual skills for a woman, but when she first offered to instruct me it never occurred to me that she’d be so adept with a blade. I’d thought to call her bluff, thinking at best all she could manage was a few thrusts and parries. She soon proved how wrong I was.I now averted her lunge, her sword slicing the air. Twisting around, pivoting on my shoes’ soft leather soles, I watched her stalk to me. I let her approach, feigning weariness. Just as she prepared to strike, I leapt aside, slashing down with my blade.The smack of steel against her gauntleted wrist clapped in the hush like thunder. She let out a startled gasp, dropping her sword to the floor with a clatter.Taut silence fell
From the Publisher
Hunted by a shadowy foe in Bloody Mary’s court, Brendan Prescott plunges into London’s treacherous underworld to unravel a dark conspiracy that could make Elizabeth queen—or send her to her death in C.W. Gortner's The Tudor Conspiracy
England, 1553: Harsh winter encroaches upon the realm. Mary Tudor has become queen to popular acclaim and her enemies are imprisoned in the Tower. But when she’s betrothed to Philip, Catholic prince of Spain, putting her Protestant subjects in peril, rumors of a plot to depose her swirl around the one person whom many consider to be England’s heir and only hope—the queen’s half-sister, Princess Elizabeth.
Haunted by his past, Brendan Prescott lives far from the intrigues of court. But his time of refuge comes to an end when his foe and mentor, the spymaster Cecil, brings him disquieting news that sends him on a dangerous mission. Elizabeth is held captive at court, the target of the Spanish ambassador, who seeks her demise. Obliged to return to the palace where he almost lost his life, Brendan finds himself working as a double-agent for Queen Mary herself, who orders Brendan to secure proof that will be his cherished Elizabeth’s undoing.
Plunged into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a mysterious opponent who hides a terrifying secret, Brendan races against time to retrieve a cache of the princess’s private letters, even as he begins to realize that in this dark world of betrayal and deceit, where power is supreme and sister can turn against sister, nothing—and no one—is what it seems.
About the Author
C.W. GORTNER holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis on Renaissance Studies from the New College of California and has taught university seminars on the sixteenth century. He travels extensively to research his books, and has experienced life in a medieval Spanish castle and danced a galliard in a Tudor great hall. A contributor to the Historical Novels Review and Solander, Gortner is a dedicated advocate for animal rights and environmental issues. He currently lives in Northern California.
“The Tudor Conspiracy weaves a suspenseful, tangled skein of intrigue. It is a vibrant historical mystery and crime-thriller with an A-list cast of characters. Here are Elizabeth Tudor and her Robert Dudley in a light you’ve seldom seen them. —Margaret George, author of Elizabeth I “C.W. Gortner has done it again! Intrigue at the Tudor court never looked more lethal than in his capable hands, as forbidden desires and deadly rivalries turn sister against sister and plunge our bold hero into a labyrinth of deceit. Full of breathtaking action, dark twists and unexpected revelations, this is an unputdownable read!” —Michelle Moran, author of Nefertiti “In C.W. Gortner’s skillful hands, the plots and counterplots come to seething life, with Brendan using every ounce of his brains and courage to protect those he loves while struggling to stay alive. . . . Lovers of Tudor history and suspense fiction will be riveted by this swift-paced, sexy, enthralling novel.” —Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Crown“Suspense, intrigue, betrayal, and deadly rivalry: what more can you ask for? From the serpentine halls of the court to the vicious back alleys and stews of Tudor London, Gortner has brewed a swashbuckling, perilous adventure that you simply can't put down!” —M.J. Rose, author of The Book of Lost Fragrances “C.W. Gortner has an unmatched talent for bringing the past to life. The Tudor Conspiracy is historical fiction at its best: a compelling story masterfully told, vivid characters fully