In A Treacherous Court by Michelle Diener: Book Review

An Illuminating Tale of History and Intrigue

In A Treacherous Court is based somewhat on fact. There really was a John Parker in King Henry’s court and there really was a Susanna Horenbout. She was an illuminator, an artist who would draw intricate and beautiful details into a manuscript, like the borders around a picture or something, or on other pieces, but primarily on books and paintings.

Debut author Michelle Diener is obviously inspired by the tale of Susanna which is evidenced by the loving detail in history that brings in all the senses. Diener then puts her own spin of fiction to the tale and we have a passionate love affair, political intrigue and a look into Henry VIII’s court that is as mesmerizing as any Phillipa Gregory novel or as beautifully seductive as the HBO series The Tudor’s.

book cover
In A Treacherous Court

There is a plot against the throne and Susanna unknowingly carries the key to the plot. Susanna’s life is in danger and John Parker, a courtier who has instant chemistry with her, must help protect her as they try to find the mastermind to the plot. It’s a true mystery, a love story and historically accurate, what’s not to love?

As a side note I have met both Michelle Diener and Phillipa Gregory and I find it ironic that they are similar. At least I felt they are. They are both elegant ladies, highly intelligent, but with a sharp wit that can bring laughter or instill insight. And, oddly, one of them shared the story of her $10 sale purchase of a beautiful skirt she wore to an important event, while the other showed me her love new shoes. I’ll let you wonder which is which, but you can see the similarities. LOL

I recommend this book to anyone who loves historical mysteries that are well researched and that engage the senses as you read. You feel like you’re right there, except you can take a break and use indoor plumbing when you wish, which is nice!

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  1. I know Michelle, and I bet she’s the one who showed you her new shoes. 

    I loved In A Treacherous Court, too! One of my favorite books. I’m already eager to read her next one.


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