(From the publisher):
In 1521, England is at peace under the magnificent Cardinal Wolsey, who rules the country while Henry VIII spends his time in masques, banquets and hunting, whether it be the fleet-footed deer or the even more delicious quarry of the silken-garbed ladies of the court.
But Richard Falconer, chief secretary of the English Embassy in Paris, has been found mysteriously murdered. Wolsey believes Falconer's death is connected with the disturbing news that there is a spy in the English court or in its embassy in Paris, passing information to King Francis I of France. He summons his nephew, Benjamin Daunbey, and the wayward Roger Shallot to investigate. The only clue is the spy's code name, 'Raphael'.
King Henry has secret instructions of his own before the pair journey to Paris: to retrieve a precious ring, the subject of a wager, and a certain book which the King does not want to fall into enemy hands. They are not to return to England without them.
Naturally, Shallot objects to this assignment - he places a high value on his own skin, and the games of princes invariably include violent death, danger, treachery and little thanks. On this occasion he is not disappointed.
Original title: The Poisoned Chalice
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ European→ Medieval
Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ Historical