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Air of Treason, An: A Sir Robert Carey…
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Air of Treason, An: A Sir Robert Carey Mystery (Sir Robert Carey… (2014 original; edició 2014)

de P F Chisholm

Sèrie: Sir Robert Carey (6)

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After his hair-raising adventures in London, Sir Robert Carey has finally tracked down Queen Elizabeth, who is about to make a state visit to Oxford. But instead of giving the Courtier his much-needed warrant and fee for being Deputy Warden of the West March with Scotland, Her Majesty orders him to investigate the most dangerous cold case of her reign--the mysterious 1560 death of Amy Dudley (née Robsart), unloved wife of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Some thirty years back, the late Dudley was Elizabeth's favorite suitor and potential husband. Amy died at Cumnor Place, close at hand. The Queen has since been one of the most obvious suspects in arranging Amy's murder. This makes Carey deeply uneasy with his sleuthing role. He's further uneasy that his father, Elizabeth's cousin from the wrong side of the blanket, is clearly involved. Then someone manages to poison Carey with belladonna, which temporarily blinds him. Worse still, Sergeant Dodd, the man most often guarding Carey's back, has disappeared on the road from London. As the Queen's scandalous past collides with her magnificent State entrance into Oxford, can Carey rally in time to find both Dodd and the true murderer of Amy Robsart?… (més)
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Es mostren totes 4
Good entry in an interesting series. Carey survives an attempted poisoning and Dodds many other indignities before a 30-year old mystery is resolved. ( )
  jamespurcell | May 1, 2016 |
I seem to be on a bit of a historical mystery kick these days! An Air of Treason by P.F. Chisholm is a good one!

Thirty-two years ago, the then-young Queen Elizabeth's favored suitor's wife died under mysterious circumstances. What were these circumstances? And why is she revisiting this scandal now?

The Elizabethan era is a fascinating one -- heading toward modern in many ways, and yet a completely different society as well. Chisholm does an excellent job of bridging these, and painting an evocative picture of aspects of what it must have really been like to live then and there. (This is one reason I prefer solid historical fiction to pure history; I am very curious about how people actually lived, not just about Great Events.)

The characters here are distinct and well-drawn, particularly the more primary ones. The main plot is nice and twisty, but with sufficient foreshadowing and cross-connections that it's satisfyingly solid, while -- for me at least -- the resolution was mostly a surprise. Various secondary plotlines are woven in, too, and it will be interesting to see which of these Chisholm picks up in the next volume.

This is the sixth volume in this mystery series, and although I had some trouble keeping the names and titles straight -- especially since the same person could be referred to by given name, surname, title or some abbreviation of any or all of them -- it wasn't confusing, and enough of the history and backstory was included to make sense even to me, who has not only not read any of the previous novels but who does not have a solid grasp of Queen Elizabeth's court. Nicely done! A "glossary" of the people involved, with ALL the ways in which their names and titles were used, would have been helpful at times. However, I appreciated the glossary of Elizabethan terms and slang at the end -- it was a fun bonus, as was the page or so of historical notes.

I enjoyed this book a lot, and I'll be looking for others in the series. I'd be curious what history buffs more knowledgeable about the era think of the context in particular, both historic and practical. I do recommend this book to others fascinated by the Elizabethan era, even when we are not experts on it. ( )
  cissa | Apr 13, 2014 |
Excellent Tudor mystery!

Oxford, 1593, and courtier Sir Robert Carey, youngest son of The Lord Chamberlain, Baron Hunsdon, still has not received his warrant from his cousin (on the legitimate and the illegitimate sides) Queen Elizabeth.
Queen Elizabeth is progressing to Oxford which is frantically crowded and preparing for her much anticipated visit.
Carey is thinking of ways to present himself to the Queen, when she sends for him.
When your Queen calls? What can you do but obey!
When your Queen changes your plans and her promises what can you do but acquiesce.
Elizabeth charges Carey with solving a thirty year old mystery--that of the death of the former wife of Dudley, the Earl of Leicester. Amy Dudley (nee Robsart) who appeared to have fallen down stairs to her death.
Carey is by himself in Oxford. Dodd is still down south and Carey is forced to hire a new serving man, Hughie Tyndale. He's a Scotsman, paid to assassinate Carey. We first meet him as he is busily planning and discarding ways to dispose of Carey. He decides that being Carey's henchman will suffice, offering ample opportunity.
As a bonus, the story is littered with fascinating facts about Tudor life, from the weight of courtly dress to practices in hiring servants. When Carey hires Hughie he inspects his ears, 'looking for a ragged ear from having it nailed to the Edinburgh pillory for thieving.'
Carey also hires an insignificant looking clerk, one John Tovey, whom I'm hoping will round out to be a helpful foil in Carey's future adventures, that is if Chisholm keeps him on.
Sergeant Dodd is a treasure of a character. He's waylaid enroute to Oxford.
The scene between Elizabeth and Dodd is nicely and amusingly written.
And then there's Kat. I do hope we meet her again.
Levels of coincidental happenings, combining both Carey's investigative abilities and chance, spiral down or up depending on your perspective, to the final unforeseen revelations.
(I found the Spoiler Alert historical note at the end of the book particularly interesting. Chisholm talks about the source materials he used regarding Amy Dudley's death).
As this chapter of Carey's story closes we are left wondering what the next chapter in his life might bring.
A notably enjoyable Tudor mystery from a series I, for one, mean to continue to explore.

A NetGalley ARC ( )
  eyes.2c | Feb 4, 2014 |
P.F. Chisholm's series has consistently ranked as one of my favorites in the historical mystery genre, and I'm thrilled to see Sir Robert Carey back in print. She brings Elizabethan England to life in all its intrigues, sights, sounds, and smells-- so much so that once you've stopped reading, it can be difficult to bring yourself back into the correct century. An Air of Treason also has her light touch of humor that I enjoy so much. Poor Sergeant Dodd is a Northerner through and through, and the problems he has in just being understood so far south can be quite funny. As a stranger to the area himself, Dodd is our window into the south of England in the sixteenth century.

Sir Robert Carey with his royal connections is our window into the court of Elizabeth I. He's a clothes horse and a ladies man, but he's no fool and very brave. His investigation takes him to Cumnor Place where Amy Dudley died. Since the woman's death, the manor house has been allowed to crumble slowly into the ground, and this is where Chisholm shows us that she can also write scenes that are spooky enough to make the hair stand on the back of your neck.

Carey's solution to Amy Dudley's death is a very interesting and satisfying one, and by book's end you'll see that a thread or two has been left dangling, ready to be picked up again in the next book. Although one book runs smoothly into the next in this series, it's not necessary for you to read them all in order for them to make sense... or for you to enjoy An Air of Treason. However, I wouldn't be at all surprised if historical mystery lovers found themselves reading this book and then looking for the rest. I highly recommend them! ( )
  cathyskye | Feb 4, 2014 |
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This book is dedicated to my wonderful band of beta-readers who save me from making even more mistakes. that I actually do, and in particular to:

Kendall Britt and

Sallie Blumenauer

who tell is as they see it and immeasurably improve every book they read for me.

Many many thanks
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After his hair-raising adventures in London, Sir Robert Carey has finally tracked down Queen Elizabeth, who is about to make a state visit to Oxford. But instead of giving the Courtier his much-needed warrant and fee for being Deputy Warden of the West March with Scotland, Her Majesty orders him to investigate the most dangerous cold case of her reign--the mysterious 1560 death of Amy Dudley (née Robsart), unloved wife of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Some thirty years back, the late Dudley was Elizabeth's favorite suitor and potential husband. Amy died at Cumnor Place, close at hand. The Queen has since been one of the most obvious suspects in arranging Amy's murder. This makes Carey deeply uneasy with his sleuthing role. He's further uneasy that his father, Elizabeth's cousin from the wrong side of the blanket, is clearly involved. Then someone manages to poison Carey with belladonna, which temporarily blinds him. Worse still, Sergeant Dodd, the man most often guarding Carey's back, has disappeared on the road from London. As the Queen's scandalous past collides with her magnificent State entrance into Oxford, can Carey rally in time to find both Dodd and the true murderer of Amy Robsart?

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