The Queen’s Pleasure

Brandy Purdy, Author
Brandy Purdy. Kensington, $15 trade paper (474p) ISBN 978-0-7582-6598-2
Reviewed on: 05/21/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
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Purdy’s tedious new historical (after The Tudor Throne) focuses on the rise of Elizabeth I and her tenuous relationship with childhood friend and would-be lover Robert Dudley. Though Robert was quick to marry Amy Robsart while they were both still teenagers, his ardor soon transformed into contempt for his young wife. After Robert’s brief imprisonment in the Tower with Elizabeth I, he sets his sights on the queen and the throne, and only Amy stands in the way. When the neglected Amy dies under dubious circumstances, Robert is elated, though suspicion swiftly descends on Elizabeth’s conniving suitor. Amy and Elizabeth narrate the tale in alternating diarylike entries, which provide useful perspectives, but end up slowing the pace to a dreary crawl. Robert’s villainy is cartoonish, and the female leads are dull at best. With the myriad Tudor historicals available, readers should look elsewhere for their royal romance fix. Agent: Nicholas Croce. (July)