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1559. Elizabeth is about to be crowned queen of England and wants her personal musician Kate Haywood to prepare music for the festivities. New to London, Kate must learn the ways of city life and once again school herself as a sleuth.
Life at the center of the new royal court is abuzz with ambition and gossip—very different from the quiet countryside, where Kate served Elizabeth during her exile. Making her way among the courtiers who vie for the new queen’s favor, Kate befriends Lady Mary Everley. Mary is very close to Elizabeth. With their red hair and pale skin, they even resemble each other—which makes Mary’s murder all the more chilling.
The celebrations go on despite the pall cast over them. But when another redhead is murdered, Kate uncovers a deadly web of motives lurking just beneath the polite court banter, and follows the trail of a killer whose grievance can only be answered with royal blood.
Amanda Carmack’s writing is stellar in Murder at Westminster Abbey. This is the second in her series, Elizabethan Mysteries. I had not read the first, Murder at Hatfield House and do not think its necessary to thoroughly enjoy this book. Flowing descriptions, wonderful historic and fictional characters, and an intriguing mystery make for an exiting story.
Kate Haywood, personal musician to Elizabeth, is the main character and amateur sleuth. Elizabeth had finally been returned from exile and is to be crowned Queen of England. At Queen Elizabeth’s court, life is full of twists and turns for Kate. Everyone is trying to find their place and station in the royal court. Kate stumbles upon the information that a red haired working girl has been murdered in a most vile manner. Nell, as she was named, and her sister Bess have hair the same coloring of the Queen and favor her.
Kate’s new friend Lady Mary Everly, also with red hair, is the next to meet a tragic end. This leads Kate and even the Queen to fear someone may be after the new Royal. Intrigues, court machinations, family bloodlines all mingle to drive the reader in this wonderful story.
I would recommend this book to just about anyone. Those that love historical fiction, especially in the Elizabethan period, will love it. Cozy readers will be kept happy as well. Readers that relish tales of Queens and kings will love the information that Ms Carmack has researched so well. And as an added benefit anyone as addicted to a certain new show about Mary Queen of Scotts (if you watch it you know what I mean) will be happy reading this book as well.
*OBS thanks the publisher for supplying our reviewer with a print copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*