A quiet life at Withysham with her young daughter is all that widowed Ursula Blanchard desires. But as the waiting woman and spy for Queen Elizabeth I, she forfeits her needs for the sake of those she is pledged to protect -- even at her own peril.... Ursula's relatives enlist her help when her cousin, Edward Faldene, heads to Scotland carrying a dangerous weapon: a secret list of families loyal to Elizabeth's rival, Mary, Queen of Scots. Desperate to stop the treasonous mission, Ursula rides north in haste to intercept her cousin. It is a journey made without royal permission, and one made in vain....Ursula arrives in Edinburgh too late -- and finds herself tracking a killer inside the Scottish queen's court. Whom can she trust? Mary, the enemy, who is in fact kind and charming? Her genial courtiers? The aristocrat who vies for Ursula's heart? Every player falls under suspicion in a sinister game in which, for a queen, everyone is a pawn.