I really did like this book, Anne Clinard Barnhill is great and the Shelton family are so interesting. A problem for me were that Madge Shelton and her cousin Anne Boleyn in At the Mercy of the Queen were more likeable,vivid characters, Queen Elizabeth not being a favorite for me.
The dialogue that Elizabeth has with herself and/or Blanche Parry was a bit awkward, although I understand the need for Elizabeth to make her reasoning known to the reader. The appearance of those conversations may also be improved in the corrected version, not sure, but the prologue starts with such a conversation which puzzled me at first.
I knew nothing about the Sheltons' close connection to Anne Boleyn and enjoyed and appreciated the research involved in both books of these books. Learning about the entangled origins of nobles and royals is why I read books from these eras. I was not disappointed in this one.
I received this book from NetGalley for an honest review and give it between 3-4 stars. I am looking forward to the next one, of course. Recommended to Tudor fans as well as historical mystery readers.