In the court of Henry VIII, there are many secrets—and some people will kill to keep them hidden.
Susanna Dallet is the daughter of a Flemish painter and wife to a philandering husband, living in the court of Henry VIII. When her husband is murdered, Susanna is suddenly left with a household to provide for and nothing to her name. Her days of anonymity are over when Susanna finds that guild rules preventing women from working do not apply at the king’s court, and she manages to secure a position as a miniature-portrait painter. Before long, she has not only made a name for herself, she is close to those who surround Princess Mary.
But even in this lofty company, Susanna is not safe. An old manuscript that she has inherited turns out to hold the keys to an age-old mystery, and the forces that claimed her husband are closing in. As danger looms, Susanna joins with Robert Ashton, secretary to Henry’s cunning and ruthless adviser Archbishop Wolsey, and together they must fight a fearsome society in league with a demon.
Combining heartpounding action, sly humor, romance, and supernatural twists, The Serpent Garden is the story of a creative and resourceful woman who unwittingly finds herself in a dangerous—and deadly—game of hide-and-seek.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Serpent Garden|
|Release Date: 01-08-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||The Serpent Garden|
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The Serpent Garden
In the hour past midnight three bobbing lanterns could be seen making slow progress through a dug-up area where a new building was rising in the ruins of the Outer Temple. Two of the men with lanterns were carrying shovels. The third, tall and richly dressed, was guiding an old blind man holding a long, forked dowsing rod. They paused at a pit that revealed a section of the octagonal foundation wall of the ancient tower once called Le Bastelle.
"My lords, I feel the rod dip. There is precious metal there, beneath the earth." Blind Barnabas, the dowser, hesitated.
"It must be down there, Sir Septimus," said the swarthy young man in the leather doublet and muddy boots, "where they're putting in the foundations for the new hall." He held his lantern high to inspect the newly dug pit.
"Well, what are you waiting for, old man?" Ludlow the lawyer, heavily cloaked against the cold, peered over the edge.
"My lords, my payment," the old man quavered. "You promised to take me home once I had found it."
"As indeed we will, once it is dug up." The voice of the blind man's guide was suave. It was no ordinary treasure that could bring Sir Septimus Crouch, magistrate, antiquarian, and master of the conjuration of demons by the method of Honorius out beyond the safety of the City wall after dark. Here, beneath the ruins, lay one of the infernal's most powerful demons of destruction, chained as guardian to a treasure chest by an ancient spell. And both of them soon to be mine, gloated Sir Septimus.
"It's too cold for my old bones. The wind bites through me, standing here. Poor Barnabas has no hoo