I have read one C.W. Gortner book previously, "The Queen's Vow," and enjoyed it thoroughly. I had the same experience here.
Brendan Prescott is a young man working for Sir Francis Walsingham when the book starts; the two of them are living in exile in Switzerland during Queen Mary Tudor's reign, as they are Protestant. Upon Mary's death, they return to England ... only to discover that Elizabeth I's beloved Lady Blanche Parry has disappeared. Elizabeth sends Brendan on the trail. There are many twists and turns, and it seems that just about everyone has a secret to keep.
Gortner's research and period detail is impeccable. As a result, scenarios and people are richly drawn and and believable. Readers get a look into life during the Elizabethan era for both courtier and commoner, demonstrating how life was not easy regardless of wealth.
Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction.