In their third outing, unlikely detecting duo Simon Maldon and young Princess Elizabeth are growing up. Simon is now a married apothecary, and 19-year-old Elizabeth is marking time in the Tower of London after being accused of plotting against her sister, Queen Mary. Sneaking in to visit Elizabeth disguised as a priest, Simon runs across his old friend Peto the Pope, a petty thief currently languishing in the tower for murder. While Simon attempts to prove Peto’s innocence, trouble is brewing on the domestic front as his wife takes in a pregnant girl who soon delivers a baby. As Hannah, Simon’s childless wife, becomes more obsessed with the infant and Simon becomes more caught up in pursuing his case, neither realizes that the real danger is lurking far too close to home. For the sake of historical accuracy, Elizabeth is mostly relegated to the sidelines in this one, but a solo Simon proves he can carry the story and save the day in this finely wrought Elizabethan mystery. --Margaret Flanagan
Library Journal Review 3/1/13 "The third title in Herring's excellent historical series (after Poison, Your Grace) captivates with its smooth prose, on-the-ground details, and use of clever and unexpected characters. Princess Elizabeth's role is quieter in this outing, but watching the Maldon family grow is rewarding. Also a good choice for YA readers."
Booklist Review 5/1/13 This series has strong YA crossover potential! "In their third outing, unlikely detecting duo Simon Maldon and young Princess Elizabeth are growing up. For the sake of historical accuracy, Elizabeth is mostly relegated to the sidelines in this one, but a solo Simon proves he can carry the story and save the day in this finely wrought Elizabethan mystery."Publishers Weekly Review 3/1/13 This series has strong YA crossover potential! "Herring's fine third 16th-century mystery . . . (after 2011's Poison, Your Grace), apothecary Simon Maldon, disguised as a priest, visits his royal friend, 19-year-old Elizabeth Tudor, in the Tower of London. Herring deftly explores the theme of loyalty in a time of deep religious division. Engaging characters and a well-paced plot . . ."
This historical amateur sleuth mystery includes enough suspects to keep the reader intrigued, but it's the characters that especially hold you in their grip. The reader will fall in love with Hannah for her simple ways and faith in the best in people. Meanwhile, one isn't sure whether to sympathize or despise the mysterious pregnant woman who becomes another twist in the plot...The ending is not only plausible but satisfying.
Judith Mehl, author of Formula for Murder
& Game, Set, Murder