Dark Queen Wary

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Pub Date 07 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 28 Feb 2023

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With an imposter prince claiming he is Henry Tudor, Margaret Beaufort must play the game of kings very carefully in this richly-imagined medieval mystery.

"Uneasy lies the head which wears the crown"

1472. Edward IV reigns triumphant over England and his rivals, the Lancastrians. But he is uneasy, for one true claimant remains: the young Henry Tudor, son of Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond. Henry's continued existence worries Edward, so he hatches a plan to bring a cuckoo into the nest – an imposter prince is presented to Margaret Beaufort as her son.

Margaret is no fool and knows she must play this game of kings carefully . . . When she is invited to George Neville’s beautiful home ‘The Moor’ to help investigate some mysterious and gruesome murders she knows dark forces are at play. Whispers of a shadowy figure called Achitophel hang over the house's occupants, like the impenetrable mist that descended on the battle of Barnet the previous year and secured the crown for Edward. And as the body count increases, Margaret suspects there is a link to that fateful battle and the murderer who seems relentless in his thirst for blood . . .

Can Margaret protect her life as well as her true son’s claim to the throne?

With an imposter prince claiming he is Henry Tudor, Margaret Beaufort must play the game of kings very carefully in this richly-imagined medieval mystery.

"Uneasy lies the head which wears the crown"


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Average rating from 21 members

Featured Reviews

A compelling historical mystery, set soon after Edward IV has taken control of the throne. The plots and intrigue among the rival clans at the time, the Yorks and the Lancasters, provide a backdrop for a series of murders, with Margaret, Countess of Richmond and her two most loyal supporters as the main protagonists. A really enjoyable, exciting read.

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A very fitting period mystery that leans in very closely to the history and also does its best to create a medieval atmosphere by hearkening back to the linguistic rhythm of the time. I only made it 20% of the way through this because it's not for me but it is a good book.

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I enjoyed all the mysteries in the Margaret Beaufort Mystery series. This a well plotted, intriguing and solid historical mystery.
There's a well researched historical background and a mystery that kept me guessing. The characters are fleshed out.
Paul Doherty writes excellent historical mysteries and this one is up to my expectations.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this arc, all opinions are mine

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It was the cover design that sparked my interest with this book, and I knew what I was expecting and hoping for when I began reading it.

As expected, this was a very well-written historical mystery. I found it light enough to read in one sitting, but I would say that depends on the type of reader you are. It had a dark tone, and I found it a little eerie in places.

What I enjoy about historical mysteries is that they can feel like an escape for the reader, taking them to a different time and place while reading. This book felt like the kind of escape I was hoping for. The setting came to life for me, and so did the characters, even if there were some that I didn't find very likeable.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a free copy to review.

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Dark Queen, dark times!

The battle for King between the Lancaster’s and the York’s before Henry VII came to power was viscous, deceitful, acquisitive and brutal. Bids for power by satellites were equally as astounding.
In the center, calmly and urgently plotting for her son’s claim was Margaret of Beaufort.
In this third in the series Margaret (the Dark Queen) has been sent to the Moor, an ex Templar haven now held by George Neville, Archbishop of York and his sister Grace. Along with her sworn companions, Christopher Urswicke and Reginald Bray. Wary she needs to be indeed.
An imposter is being hailed as her son Henry. He too, along with his companions arrives. All set in motion by Sir Thomas Urswicke, Recorder of London, Christopher’s father.
What happens here is murder most foul, betrayal and hidden death.
Margaret and her companions need all their wits about them. Treason and treachery is on all sides. Even more so as they are convinced that they and others are being shadowed and led into false paths by the Achitophel, a Judas figure who harbors and conserves information and actions, pitting friends and enemies alike against each other for his own ends.
Doherty’s author’s notes show solid research and a superior understanding of the times—complex and dark at every turn. Margaret Beaufort had to keep one step ahead of her enemies whilst appearing to be a dutiful mother, moving prayfully through the landscape, hidden but active, wherever she was sent.
A powerful novel of the times!

A Severn House ARC via NetGalley.
Many thanks to the author and publisher.

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Another great entry in the Margaret Beaufort series, I loved the mystery aspect mixed with the Tudor dynasty. It had a great plot going on and worked in the context of the story. It worked with the other books and I enjoyed how well this was written. It's always a pleasure to read and can't wait for more from Paul Doherty.

"‘In which case, Christopher, I shall leave this matter to you. I must leave. I will collect our mistress’s letters. I also have the maps you found in Brasenose’s saddle. I want to show one of them to someone who may understand and decipher it for me. Anyway, God knows what really happened here. I must go. Stay vigilant, Christopher.’

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Many thanks to NetGalley and Severn House for this Advanced Reader Copy and the opportunity to review “Dark Queen Wary.” All opinions and comments are my own.

Good thing that author Paul Doherty includes a Historical Note and a list of historical characters right at the beginning; it will be handy to familiarize oneself with the goings-on in “Dark Queen Wary,” the fourth in the “A Margaret Beaumont Tudor mystery” series. In fact, it really helps to have a knowledge of the times and the participants, the faces behind the “Wars of the Roses,” as the history has come to be popularly called. It will make the events of the book much easier to understand.

There are a lot of secrets in this book, a cornucopia of “subterfuge, intrigue and betrayal,” as the author asserts. Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, mother of Henry Tudor, must tread a fine line of obsequiousness to the York King and his minions while doing all she can to bring him down. And she has henchmen to help, Reginald Bray and especially, Christopher Urswicke, who will be used to great effect in the course of our story.

There is murder here -- the past is a harsh master -- and mystery; an imposter story line is part of the narrative. One won’t be allowed to forget about the killings, but everything revolves around the countess and her determination to figure out what is really going on, and live to scheme another day. And there’s a lot going on; you might need a scorecard. Mr. Doherty, no slouch at this historical mystery stuff, has the ability to pull it all together.

An Author’s Note reminds readers that this is “… a work of fiction, but… based on sound historical facts.” And that years of intrigue, double-dealing and further machinations would continue, until Lady Margaret Beaufort would see her son on the throne. “Dark Queen Wary” is a whirlwind of emotional scenes, fraught with tension and fast pacing. No one will want to turn their back on anyone in these pages, Paul Doherty has seen to that.

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Margaret Beaufort , Countess of Richmond, has for years trodden a difficult and treacherous path to keep both herself and her son , Henry Tudor , safe from those who would deny Henry's future claim to the throne .
When King Edward presents an imposter to Margaret as her son she knows that she must play the "Game" if she and her "real " son are to survive
Margaret is invited to George Neville's home to investigate some gruesome murders and she takes along her loyal henchmen , Reginald Bray and Christopher Urswicke - she knows that they can and will protect her with their lives .
With plots unfolding within plots Margaret must use all her wit and guile to solve the murders ........ all against a background of political intrigues determined to ensnare her .

The Author has managed yet again to bring to light the realities of the times for a woman with little power , but much guile who is determined to keep safe her son in the face of those who would usurp his future claim to the throne

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own

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1472. Edward IV is now back on the throne and is parading a supposed imposter of Prince Henry, son of Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond. Soon Margaret, with her henchmen Christopher Urswicke, Reginald Bray, and the imposter converge on the Nevilles at The Moor house. Where Christopher is tasked with discovering a murderer.
An entertaining and interesting well-written historical mystery with its slant towards the Lancastrian cause. Another good addition to this enjoyable series with its wide ranging characters.
An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Perry Mason meets Edward the IV! Dark Queen Wary starts shortly after Richard of Warwick is killed on Benet filled, and makes great use of the strange fogs and other events that surrounded that battle. York has won and Lancaster is on the defensive and being weeded out as quickly as possible. But some are too important to the the kingdom and no so easily weeded out, such as Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond whose son Henry Tudor is safely away in France. Or is he? An imposter appears claiming to be her son, and since Henry could be a legitimate claimant to the throne, Edward IV is bit worried about him. Who is the Imposter? Is King Edward behind his appearance? And why bring an Imposter to Margaret, who obviously knows that he's not her son?

Margaret is invited to The Moors, the estate owned by the siblings of Richard of Warwick who have turned their coats and sworn fealty to Edward. There is the beautiful grounds sits a maze which soon becomes a place of ghastly death. Followed by the even more ghastly deaths, one by one, of the former Five Wounds (the men who formed Richard's bodyguard at Benet, but survived and were nowhere to be found when he was killed) Margaret and her trusted retainer Christopher Urwicke seek to uncover just what is happening and why.

Dark Queen Wary is a twisty tale made even more so by the challenges of keeping the historical figures straight. There's more than one George, Richard and so on, and figuring out the good guys from the bad guys is part of the fun.

Dark Queen Wary kept me reading well into the night, and following the different misleading paths is a good part of the fun. Historically accurate in many ways it's also a good way to painlessly brush up on your English history!! Definitely not to be missed!

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It's 1472 and the Lancastrian faction has been annihilated the previous year at the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury.

Now, the Yorkist Sun reigns supreme and Edward IV and his brothers would love to consolidate their grip on power by destroying the remaining threat to their rule, namely, Henry Tudor, who has taken refuge in France at the court of the Duke of Brittany...

But after trying to introduce on the political landscape an imposter in order to discredite the young Lancastrian pretendant, a dangerous and deadly tug of war between the monarch and Margaret Beaufort, Henry's formidable mother, threatens to forever dash the last Lancastrian hopes to reconquer one day the throne...

A captivating and highly entertaining medieval fictional tapestry full of violent twists and turns, colorful historical details and blessed with an unforgettable cast of exquisitely drawn characters.

Paul Doherty remains one of the best wordsmiths at work today and his latest addition deserves to be discovered and enjoyed without any moderation whatsoever!

Many thanks to Severn House and Netgalley for this terrific ARC

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For those who know the history of this time they will be aware of the importance of Margaret Beaufort and of the animosity between her and Edward IV. In this darkly violent story this conflict seems set to engulf all of them especially when Edward tries to bring in an impostor in place of Margaret's son, Henry Tudor.

I chose to read Dark Queen Wary because I liked the intrigue of the front cover not realising that it was book four in a series but that didn't matter as once I started to read I was able to pick up the story easily. I enjoyed going back in time to the middle part of the fifteenth century with this interesting look at the conflict taking place between the ruling House of York and the defeated House of Lancaster during the momentous years of the War of the Roses.

I have enjoyed reading this detailed historical mystery about the difficult days of Edward IV's reign and the plot is maintained with a fine eye for detail and an obvious well researched historical knowledge. Some of the descriptions are a bit bloodthirsty but such were the times in which the story is set and so lend an air of authenticity to a detailed historical adventure.

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1472, and Edward IV’s position on the throne of England is all but secure – all except for Henry Tudor, in exile abroad, but still casting a shadow over Edward. But Edward has a plan to finally put paid to his rival. His mother, Margaret Beaufort, is introduced to her “son” – in truth an imposter brought into the picture to undermine her position and that of her true son – but Edward’s plans go far beyond that.
Margaret and her entourage, in particular her right-hand man Christopher Urswicke, are invited to the Moor, the seat of George Neville, where the King is due to visit, but the Moor is hardly the haven it appears to be. An angel of chaos, the mysterious Achitophel, haunts the place, and a party of soldiers are being killed one by one, in manners simulating the five wounds suffered by Christ. What is Edward’s plan, and is Achitophel working for or against it? And who will still be left standing when it comes to fruition?
At the moment, Paul Doherty seems to be writing three series – old favourites Brother Athelstan and Hugh Corbett and this one which seems to fly somewhat under the radar, which is a bit of a shame as I’m finding them fascinating reads. This is the fourth of the Dark Queen series, and they take a slightly different approach from Paul’s other books. Yes, there’s a bucketload of murder and mystery, but there’s more political intrigue in this series as Margaret Beaufort and Edward IV dance around each other, trying to secure their positions while undermining the other.
There’s a lot going on here and the pace never slackens. The murders are nicely gruesome without turning the stomach, and there’s a locked room towards the end – although it’s a very simple one. Effective, nonetheless, but simple.
One of the interesting things here is that Paul balances the lead role duties more than in earlier books. We never see inside Margaret’s head, but we do spend more time with her other ally, the somewhat rougher Reginald Bray, who proves to be just as effective as Urswicke. By having recurring villains, such as Urswicke’s father, as well as the characters unique to this one, there’s more of an ongoing story here than in the other series. Not that it can’t be read out of order, but I think the reader will get more out of the series if they do.
All in all, a hugely enjoyable read, just what I needed.
Dark Queen Wary will be released by Severn House on 7th March 2023. Many thanks for the review copy.

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After reading this book, I thought of Sherlock Holmes in the Middle Ages and the Game of Thrones. I was keen to get an insight into the War of the Roses, and the book did not disappoint.

The author skillfully represented the intricate and continuous scheming between the Yorks and the Lancasters. For someone familiar with the history of these two families, this book provided a more in-depth and imaginative viewpoint of what went on behind closed doors.

Charles was my favorite character in the narrative, as he was able to solve the gruesome murders in a shrewd manner. Despite his intelligence, he still had a fiery temper which his master would remind him of. Margaret, the Countess of Richmond, displayed immense fortitude and patience as she sought to restore her son to the throne. The loyalty that Charles and Reginald showed Margaret, in a realm of shifting loyalties, was praiseworthy.

The murders were an intriguing mystery that kept me hooked. This unique and outstanding story of a whodunnit in the Middle Ages was simply brilliant.

Thank you to NetGalley and Severn House for the ARC of Dark Queen Wary in exchange for my honest review.

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An interesting mystery series that places the historical murder investigator in the time period of the War of the Roses, when there is plenty of murder to investigate! It's called the Margaret Beaufort Mysteries, but it is more about the men in her service, forced to look into strange murders out of political necessity, to try and keep her safe while she spins her own, higher level, plots.

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I love this historical mystery series. Set during the Wars of the Roses with Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, and two of her henchmen as the central characters, it's well researched and makes for genuinely exciting reading. I appreciate Doherty's portrayal of Margaret as a strong, intelligent, who can read situations quickly and understand their political ramifications.

In this volume, the Yorkists have just triumphed (for now) over the Lancastrian allies of the Tudors. The machinations get complicated here, but in a good way. I don't want to summarize much because it's dry stuff without Doherty's narrative bringing it to life. Plot is built on top of plot so that it's utterly unclear who the top schemer is and who that person is aiming to bring down.

If you enjoy historical mysteries that take the politics of the time in which they're set seriously, you'll enjoy the Dark Queen mysteries. Doherty is excellent at subtly providing context, so you can begin with any of the volumes.

I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley; the opinions are my own.

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