The Tudor Secret

The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles (Volume 1)

C. W. Gortner

St. Martin's Griffin

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The era of the Tudors was one of danger, intrigue, conspiracy, and, above all, spies.

Summer 1553: A time of danger and deceit. Brendan Prescott, an orphan, is reared in the household of the powerful Dudley family. Brought to court, Prescott finds himself sent on an illicit mission to the king’s brilliant but enigmatic sister, Princess Elizabeth. But Brendan is soon compelled to work as a double agent by Elizabeth’s protector, William Cecil, who promises in exchange to help him unravel the secret of his own mysterious past.

A dark plot swirls around Elizabeth’s quest to unravel the truth about the ominous disappearance of her seriously ill brother, King Edward VI. With only a bold stable boy and an audacious lady-in-waiting at his side, Brendan plunges into a ruthless gambit of half-truths, lies, and murder. Filled with the intrigue and pageantry of Tudor England, The Tudor Secret is the first book in The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles.

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Book Excerpts

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WHITEHALL, 1553
 
Chapter One
 
Like everything important in life, it began with a journey—the road to London, to be exact, my first excursion to that most fascinating and sordid of cities.
We started out before daybreak, two men on horseback. I had never been farther than Worcestershire, which made Master Shelton’s arrival with my summons all the more unexpected. I scarcely had time to pack my few belongings and bid farewell to the servants (including sweet Annabel, who’d wept as if her heart might break) before I was riding from Dudley Castle, where

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Praise for The Tudor Secret

Praise for C. W. Gortner

“Riveting . . . In Gortner’s capable hands, Prescott is a believable and enjoyable hero, a man of strong loyalties but naïve enough to be exploited. And while the Dudleys are mostly broadly drawn villains, Robert has depth, and though readers familiar with the Tudor era will know the key players, they may be surprised by their depiction here. Gortner handles action with aplomb, adding a riveting, fast-paced thriller to the crowded genre of Tudor fiction.”—Publishers Weekly

“Even Tudor fans who know all the key players and historical backdrop will be captivated by Gortner’s storytelling and his engaging hero. He juxtaposes his naïve and loyal hero with the cruel Robert Dudley, enhancing the plot and grabbing reader interest as much as the quick pace and lush historical references. The novel is both entertaining and thoughtful.”—RT Book Review

“An exciting, vividly rendered story of intrigue and espionage.”—Booklist

“Dazzling cast of characters . . . at its heart, the brilliant and enigmatic Elizabeth. Never have spy and counterspy been more challenged, villains more duplicitous, and life for those in power—or hoping to be—more dangerous. . . . Fast-moving tale of espionage and suspense . . . The velvet peril of Tudor England comes alive in this haunting look at Elizabeth I’s secret spy.”—Margaret George, author of The Autobiography of Henry VIII

“A brilliantly executed plot and three-dimensional characters . . . this is historical fiction, and very well done at that; very highly recommended.”—Historical Novels Review, editors’ choice


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About the Author

C. W. Gortner

C. W. Gortner is the author of the acclaimed historical novels The Last Queen and The Confessions of Catherine de Medici. He holds an MFA in writing with an emphasis on Renaissance studies from the New College of California. In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard in a Tudor great hall and experienced life in a Spanish castle. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights and environmental issues. Half Spanish by birth, he lives in Northern California.

C. W. Gortner

©Stephanie Mohan
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Available Formats and Book Details

The Tudor Secret
C. W. Gortner

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
February 2011
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312658502
ISBN10: 0312658508
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 352 pages
$14.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
February 2011
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312603908
ISBN10: 0312603908
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 352 pages
$26.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
February 2011
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429993180
ISBN10: 1429993189
336 pages
$9.99
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