In late summer of 1562, with handsome Lord Robert Dudley by her side, Elizabeth Tudor leads her retinue to London’s Royal College of Physicians — to demand its help in the raging battle against disease and pestilence. But the stalwart queen is shaken when a frighteningly lifelike effigy of herself ravaged by pox turns up in her royal coach.
Elizabeth’s fear that the counterfeit corpse is a harbinger of tragedy comes to fruition when ever more terrifying transgressions penetrate the very heart of her royal precincts. With the help of her Privy Plot Council , Elizabeth resolves to unmask a murderer who wears a false face and is beset by the vilest humours of the soul. But when she herself falls ill, an entire realm is caught in the grip of a treasonous conspiracy…as the indomitable young monarch fights for her life, her realm, and her rightful crown.
It is May 1560. As sinister storm clouds gather overhead, twenty-six-year-old Queen Elizabeth dispatches William Cecil, her most trusted adviser, to Scotland for crucial negotiations. Handsome, ambitious Lord Robert Dudley is at her side. But their leisurely midsummer idyll is cut short when the court’s master lutenist plunges to his death from a parapet beneath the queen’s window. The loyal retainers of Elizabeth’s privy council do not accept the official verdict of accidental death. Their fears are borne out when another tragedy rocks the realm, and points the way to a conspiracy to bring down Elizabeth and seize the throne. As ill winds of treachery swirl around the court, and suspicion falls on those within Elizabeth’s intimate circle, a vengeful enemy slips from the shadows…a traitorous usurper who would be sovereign.
With The Twylight Tower, Karen Harper brings a legendary era to life, drawing us into an intoxicating world of majesty and mayhem, political intrigue and adventure…where danger is everywhere…and where a young queen journeys to greatness in the long shadow of her bloodstained past.
It is the crowning day of twenty-five-year-old Bess Tudor’s life as she returns from exile to become England’s queen. But even as her magnificent procession wends its way to Westminster Palace, a shot rings out, muffled by the jostling crowd.
Within moments of becoming England’s ruler, Elizabeth learns of the brutal murder of a highborn lady of the court, the sister of one of her dearest friends. Elizabeth cannot refuse her friend’s request to find the killer — especially since the prime suspect is too close to the crown — and her friends — to overlook.
Elizabeth must be circumspect. Trust can be deadly. So she summons her small band of loyal retainers and plunges into a cauldron of conflicting loyalties and deadly intrigue.
From the pomp, pageantry, and insidious gossip of the court to the lethal tidal pools swirling under London Bridge, the passionate young queen must seize the reins of her empire — and find a killer determined to destroy the crown itself….
The letter came in secret, with a pearl eardrop from an aunt long thought dead, resurrecting the forbidden past. Banished by her spiteful half sister, Queen Mary, to Hatfield House in the English countryside, twenty-five-year-old Princess Elizabeth cannot refuse the summons. The Boleyns are in grave danger. And Elizabeth, daughter of Anne Boleyn, is marked for death by a master poisoner whose reign of terror may have royal sanction.
With her few loyal retainers, Elizabeth escapes to Kent. Here, in her ancestral Hever Castle, now held by the Queen’s loyalists, Elizabeth seeks to unravel the plot against her. And here, in the embrace of intrigue and betrayal, the princess must find a brilliant, powerfully connected killer–before the killer finds her….