London, 1501. Henry VII’s heir is dead…
Elizabeth, his queen, fears foul play, but who can she trust with her suspicions that their son has been murdered?
In her darkest hour she turns to Varina Wescott, a lowly candle maker and widow. Despite the difference in their stations they share a bond. Both women know the sorrow of losing a child.
Varina is tasked with discovering all she can about the Prince’s death. Aided by the handsome and ambitious Nicholas Sutton, Varina’s mission will be a difficult one, as both Henry and Elizabeth have enemies determined to bring down the Tudor dynasty…
In a gripping historical novel of suspense and romance from the national bestselling author of The Queen’s Governess, two women fight to defeat the enemies of the precarious Tudor monarchy by uncovering the secrets of the dead… London, 1501. In a time of political unrest, Varina Westcott, a young widow and candle maker for court and church, agrees to perform a clandestine service for Queen Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII–carve wax figures of four dead children, two of her offspring lost in infancy and her two brothers, the Princes of the Tower, whose mysterious disappearance years ago has never been solved. Having lost a child herself, Varina feels a sympathetic bond with the queen. And as she works under the watchful eye of handsome Nicholas Sutton, an ambitious assistant to the royals, she develops feelings of quite a different nature… Then news comes from Wales of the unexpected death of newly married Prince Arthur, the queen’s eldest child and heir to the throne. Deeply grieving, Elizabeth suspects that Arthur did not die of a sudden illness, as reported, but was actually murdered by her husband’s enemies. This time her task for Varina and Nicholas is of vital importance–travel into the Welsh wilderness to investigate the prince’s death. But as the couple unearths one unsettling clue after another, they begin to fear that the conspiracy they’re confronting is far more ambitious and treacherous than even the queen imagined. And it aims to utterly destroy the Tudor dynasty.
A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Karen Harper is a former college English instructor (The Ohio State University) and high school literature and writing teacher. A lifelong Ohioan, Karen and her husband Don divide their time between the midwest and the southeast, both locations she has used in her books. Besides her American settings, Karen loves the British Isles, where her Scottish and English roots run deep, and where she has set many of her historical Tudor-era mysteries and her historical novels about real and dynamic British women. Karen’s books have been published in many foreign languages and she won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for 2005. Karen has given numerous talks to readers and writers across the county.