Author: Amanda Carmack
**I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. This does not affect the content of this fair, honest review**
Murder at Fontainebleau is the 5th book in the Elizabethan Mystery series by Amanda Carmack. I have not read any of the other books in this series. I loved this book -- so I will definitely be reading the rest!
The year is 1561, Queen Elizabeth 1 is on the throne of England. But her claim to the throne is challenged by her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots. Mary still resides in France following the death of her husband, but may soon choose to return to Scotland, or remarry. Queen Elizabeth sends a party of trusted members of her court to Fontainebleau to visit the French royal court. Included in the group is Kate Haywood, royal musician. Kate is on a mission for her queen, carrying secret letters and observing the French court to glean information about Mary's intentions. When a member of their group is murdered, Kate must also discover the killer's identity before their mission is discovered or the incident used to discredit Queen Elizabeth.
Royalty. Ambition. Courtiers. Deceit. And, murder. It's all in this book. As I read the story, I found myself swept into imaginings of the pomp and mystery of the English and French royal courts, the political intrigue, and the constant jostling for position. Carmack's descriptions of the fashions, entertainment, relationships, dangers and secrets of life at court are vivid and engaging. I was totally engrossed in the story. The mixture of historical fact and fiction was perfect! I love studying history, especially the Elizabethan era. Fashioning a murder mystery around the actual conflict between Elizabeth and her cousin Mary made for a great read!
The cover art for this book is amazing!
All in all, a great book! The mystery portion of the plot was engaging and well-paced. The history and mystery portions of the story were well-balanced and kept my interest throughout. I was engrossed in the story from beginning to end. As a history buff and mystery lover, this series is perfect for me! I will definitely be reading the rest of this series!
Amanda Carmack is a pseudonym used by award-winning romance author, Amanda McCabe. McCabe has published many novels, including Winter Queen and To Tame a Rogue. Learn more about the Elizabethan Mystery series at the author's website: www.amandacarmack.com .