The Catherine Howard Conspiracy is the first book in The Marquess House Trilogy by Alexandra Walsh. It’s a British historical conspiracy/thriller with a dose of mystery and suspense thrown in for good measure. This book is structured using 2 distinct time periods. each telling an equally compelling story.
In 2018, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Dr. Perdita Rivers, a respected historian, has just learned that her estranged grandmother has died. Her grandmother was a renowned Tudor historian in her own right. Perdita and her twin sister, Piper, have inherited everything in their grandmother’s estate. This includes the Marquess House and a mystery dating back to the reign of King Henry VIII.
In 1529, Whitehall Palace, England
The 2nd timeline quickly pulls readers into the drama of King Henry’s court, Catherine Howard, a cousin of Anne Boleyn, is a young girl when she arrives at court as a maid of honour in the household of the new queen, Anne of Cleaves. She is quickly swept up in the intrigue of court life. thanks to her ambitious uncle, who is eager to place a Howard heir on the throne.
The shift between the timelines in The Catherine Howard Conspiracy was very easy to follow, thanks to clear chapter and section headings. Like books by Dan Brown, the conspiracy in The Catherine Howard Conspiracy, is completely made up by the author, so don’t expect a lot of hard history, here. But, you do get a wonderful taste for the Tudor time period and a fantastic mystery.
The Blush Factor
It was painful to see what women endured at the hands of a maniac king. This brings me to the blush factor part of my review. The Catherine Howard Conspiracy definitely made me blush at some of the things King Henry VIII did. I would caution readers who are sensitive to issues of rape or abuse; these things took place in King Henrey VII’s court. The author described them, when necessary, as an integral part of the story. It wasn’t gratuitous but did turn my stomach. It should. Treatment like that is sickening. The language in the book was clean with the exception of one effen-heimer.
The Characters in The Catherine Howard Conspiracy
I enjoyed the characters in The Catherine Howard Conspiracy with the exception of Perdita’s twin, Piper, who didn’t seem to serve much of a purpose in this book. My guess is that she will play a larger role in the next 2 books in The Marquess House Trilogy, which I look forward to reading. I appreciated that while The Catherine Howard Conspiracy is part of a trilogy, it can be read as a stand-alone book and still leave readers feeling satisfied. That said, I am eagerly anticipating the remaining books in The Marquess House Trilogy.
I would recommend The Catherine Howard Conspiracy to anyone who enjoys historical fiction with intrigue. It will be published on March 28, 2019, and is currently available for presale.
I give The Catherine Howard Conspiracy 4 Stars.
Thank you to NetGalley and Sapere Books for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at Amazon.com:
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