It is the crowning day of twenty-five-year-old Bess Tudor's life as she returns from exile to become England's queen. But even as her magnificent procession wends its way to Westminster Palace, a shot rings out, muffled by the jostling crowd. Within moments of becoming England's ruler, Elizabeth learns of the brutal murder of a highborn lady of the court, the sister of one of her dearest friends. Elizabeth cannot refuse her friend's request to find the killer -- especially since the prime suspect is too close to the crown -- and her friends -- to overlook.
Elizabeth must be circumspect. Trust can be deadly. So she summons her small band of loyal retainers and plunges into a cauldron of conflicting loyalties and deadly intrigue. From the pomp, pageantry, and insidious gossip of the court to the lethal tidal pools swirling under London Bridge, the passionate young queen must seize the reins of her empire -- and find a killer determined to destroy the crown itself....
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