Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Question of Guilt-Julianne Lee

A Question of Guilt
Julianne Lee
Berkley, Oct 2008, $14.00
ISBN: 9780425223512

Dead three days after being executed for seditious acts against her cousin Queen Elizabeth, Mary Stuart remains the subject of discussion throughout London. Although many accept the royal position of treason and murder in the killing of Mary’s spouse, Henry Darnley, many believe she was killed to eliminate a rival for the throne.

Scottish expatriate Lady Janet de Ros, wife of a wealthy English merchant, believes Mary was innocent of both charges, a victim of betrayal. She seeks the truth so heads from Fotheringhay Castle to Edinburgh to investigate what she assumes are lies. However, Lady Janet is ignorant as to how dangerous her inquiry is from those who want the status quo re Mary’s crimes to remain as is. These powerful affluent individuals have no problem with the death of another Scottish lady as well as a campaign to dishonor Lady Janet and her family.

This is an interesting historical fiction novel that brings to life the days after the state executed ax fell on Mary’s neck. The country is divided into those who believe she was innocent and those who believe she was guilty. Fascinatingly when Janet begins her inquiry, some adversaries use the Ton gossip network to destroy her and her family’s reputation; this technique will remind readers of those who did likewise with President Bush. A QUESTION OF guilt is an intriguing saga as Janet draws conclusions re the innocence or guilt of Mary Stuart.

Harriet Klausner

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