My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am often fascinated by England history, particularly from Henry VIII forward, although I rather tire of Anne Boleyn interpretations. This book takes place after Anne Boleyn and gives a rather well written snapshot of the political tensions of the time. Henry has moved onto wife #3 (I think) and she's expecting his son. The country is reeling from the effects of the New Reformed Church. Catholicism is beginning to be practiced more quietly and, above all, Cromwell is liquidating the abbeys to cushion
Joanna beloved cousin is about to be burned at the stake for treason (vocally objecting to the new church) and Joanna goes to be supportive but things go awry. Joanna is imprisoned in The Tower and blackmailed to return to her abbey to find a particular sacred relic. Obviously, a crown. She is accompanied by two friars, Edmund and Richard and uses the time at the abbey to find out more about it while looking for it.
The book is an excellent historical fiction with the added bonus of being a mystery. The intentions of many are questionable and the more Joanna researches, the more mystery is given to the story. With just a hint of paranormal, the book offers a big bang for the buck.
Well written and researched. Nicely wrapped up at the end without being too pretty.
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