The Tudor Secret

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

Summer 1553 was a time of danger and deceit. Brendan Prescott, an orphan, has been 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 discover 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.

Editorial Reviews

“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

“Even Tudor fans who know the key players and historical backdrop will be captivated by Gortner’s storytelling and his engaging hero. [Gortner] 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hero with the cruel Robert Dudley, enhancing the plot and grabbing reader interest as much as the quick pace and lush historical references. This novel is both entertaining and thoughtful.”

Romantic Times 

“Riveting…Gortner handles action with aplomb...a riveting, fast-paced thriller.”

Publishers Weekly

“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

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

Booklist

Author Biography

C. W. Gortner is an American author of historical fiction novels, including the acclaimed The Last Queen and The Confessions of Catherine de Medici, as well as three historical mystery in the Spymaster Chronicles series. He holds an MFA in writing with an emphasis in 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 medieval Spanish castle. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights and environmental issues. Half Spanish by birth and raised in southern Sprain, he now lives in Northern California.

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Reader Biography

Steve West, the winner of nine Audiofile Earphones Awards for narration, is an actor of international standing. He is known for his appearances on London’s West End Stage in Mamma Mia!, contemporary plays, and Shakespearean classics. He has appeared in Hollywood movies and on television screens in the United States and the United Kingdom and performed for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. His work has also been screened at the Cannes International Film Festival.

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