The Cardinal's Court (Hugh Mac Egan Mysteries #1)
Hampton Court, 1522. Two young men, both heirs to an earldom, both rivals. Their hatred comes to a climax when Queen Katherine of Aragon brings her ladies-in-waiting to Cardinal Wolsey's luxurious palace. One of the ladies, Anne Boleyn, is to marry James Butler, son of the Earl of Ormond in Ireland, but appears more attracted to Harry Percy, son of the Earl of Northumberland. And when a member of the cardinal’s staff is found shot dead with an arrow, Percy is quick to give evidence that implicates Butler. With Percy’s testimony unexpectedly backed by Boleyn, things start to look bleak for the young Irishman. Luckily, his father has sent a Brehon lawyer, Hugh Mac Egan, over from Ormond to draw up the marriage contract between the Butlers and the Boleyns. With many years’ experience in solving crimes, Mac Egan sets out to find the real killer.

The Cardinal's Court (Hugh Mac Egan Mysteries #1) Details

TitleThe Cardinal's Court (Hugh Mac Egan Mysteries #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 1st, 2017
PublisherThe History Press
ISBN-139780750968393
Rating
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, European Literature, British Literature, Crime

The Cardinal's Court (Hugh Mac Egan Mysteries #1) Review

  • Judy Lesley
    January 1, 1970
    I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley and Trafalgar Square Publishing, The History Press. Thank you.I'm hoping I just read the first novel in a new series by Cora Harrison, one of my favorite authors of historical mystery novels. I've read many of the books by this author which feature Mara, Brehon of Burren, but they are all set in Ireland. This Hugh Mac Egan book takes place in England, specifically at Hampton Court in 1522. The wonderful character development, intriguing plot an I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley and Trafalgar Square Publishing, The History Press. Thank you.I'm hoping I just read the first novel in a new series by Cora Harrison, one of my favorite authors of historical mystery novels. I've read many of the books by this author which feature Mara, Brehon of Burren, but they are all set in Ireland. This Hugh Mac Egan book takes place in England, specifically at Hampton Court in 1522. The wonderful character development, intriguing plot and insights into the Irish legal system which I find so fascinating in the books featuring Mara are all present in this novel featuring this new (at least to me) character. Law in Ireland was based on very different concepts and it was very interesting to watch Hugh balance what he was accustomed to at home with what he had to deal with in England. As if that wasn't enough he found himself mired in the politics of arranged marriages promoted between couples for monetary, hereditary and crown loyalty only. Love, or even liking, need not be involved. In fact, Hugh is at Cardinal Wolsey's Hampton Court to prepare the marriage papers between James Butler (son of the man Hugh is employed by) and Mistress Anne Boleyn, a marriage not favored by the bride-to-be. James is at Hampton Court because he is considered a ward of Cardinal Wolsey. Anne is there because she is part of the household of Queen Katherine, making a visit to Hampton Court. When the instructor of the wards is found dead behind a tapestry in the great hall with an arrow marked as belonging to James Butler in the wound the Cardinal can give Hugh only five days to find the real murderer. It will take all of Hugh's efforts to avoid the serjeant-at-arms for the cardinal and his counterpoint representing the king to keep James away from a charge of murder. His trial with a verdict of guilty would smooth the way for so many political problems. At this time in history English law judges a defendant guilty unless proven innocent.This novel, indeed all of Cora Harrison's medieval and Celtic legal thrillers, will give readers a thorough understanding of what political intrigues were going on behind the scenes in the court of King Henry VIII even though he does not make an appearance in this novel. If you have not read any biographies of Anne Boleyn, you may be surprised at how she is portrayed in this novel. This book will likely whet your appetite to explore more of the system of law set in place in Ireland at this time and the Mara, Brehon of Burren, novels are at your fingertips to satisfy that curiosity. I'm just hoping there will be more Hugh Mac Egan novels situated in England to provide a striking contrast between the Irish and English systems of punishment for crimes.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    1522, at Cardinal Wolsey's Hampton Court, Irish lawyer, Hugh Mac Eganis, is interrupted in his drawing up of a marriage contract between the son of his employer, James Butler and Anne Boleyn by the discovery of a body.Thoroughly enjoyed this, a well-written story with rounded characters and a good mystery. A very good start to what I hope is a long series.A NetGalley Book
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  • Cova M. Lee
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review via the Publisher (The History Press). This does not affect the following words, which express my honest opinion on the bookI found Goodreads' synopsis to be quite confusing, to be honest, so I've written a much simpler one myself in case you found it clearer:Hugh Mac Egan - an Irish Brehon lawyer who works for the Earl of Northemberland in Ireland, travels to Hampton Court to legally arrange the marriage between the Earl's son, James Bu Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review via the Publisher (The History Press). This does not affect the following words, which express my honest opinion on the bookI found Goodreads' synopsis to be quite confusing, to be honest, so I've written a much simpler one myself in case you found it clearer:Hugh Mac Egan - an Irish Brehon lawyer who works for the Earl of Northemberland in Ireland, travels to Hampton Court to legally arrange the marriage between the Earl's son, James Butler, and Anne Boleyn. However, when he gets there the Instructor of the Guards is murdered while the King himself is in the palace, and all clues point towards James as the suspected murderer. It is in Hugh's hand to find the real murderer to clear his employer's son of the harsh punishment implemented by the English law of the beginning of the 16th century.The mystery is intriguing, and I liked the way Hugh is set to find his clues -nice and smooth. I really enjoyed learning about ways in the medieval time in England, although I believe there were details I simply did not appreciate because of my limited knowledge about this time period.About the characters, I thought it was a great idea to mix together historical figures and fictional characters, although I was a bit confused with all the characters' names. The choice of historical characters was very varied - some very widely known and others not as much, which I appreciated; and I liked that they were presented with their historical pasts but with fictional actions. However, I thought they lacked some character development. Nevertheless, there were some characters I really connected with, like the Queen or her doctor, Dr. Ramirez (whom I found so likable and cute).About pace and writing, the book starts off quite slow, although it does take a little run at certain moments. I think the pace was the main issue I had with this book. It is an interesting read with a nice mystery to have you think and a surprising ending which, honestly, I did not see coming, but I think it took too long for things to occur. Overall, I found The Cardinal's Court to be enlightening about the Tudor period, but I found it had too many pages for the story that I was being told, and it took me way too long to finish it. Nonetheless, I do encourage people to read this novel if they're into this time period, because it is enjoyable!You can find my full review over at my blog :)
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  • Jen (Thismomreads)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to the publisher (Trafalgar Square Publishing imprint, The History Press) via Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. This book will be released July 1, 2017.The Cardinal’s Court brings together two of my favourite things; Tudor England and a good old fashioned murder mystery. Set in 1522 at Hampton Court, home of the infamous Cardinal Wolsey, the story focuses on the murder of the Instructor of the Guards at Hampton during a visit from King Henry VIII. Hugh Mac Egan, a Thank you to the publisher (Trafalgar Square Publishing imprint, The History Press) via Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. This book will be released July 1, 2017.The Cardinal’s Court brings together two of my favourite things; Tudor England and a good old fashioned murder mystery. Set in 1522 at Hampton Court, home of the infamous Cardinal Wolsey, the story focuses on the murder of the Instructor of the Guards at Hampton during a visit from King Henry VIII. Hugh Mac Egan, an Irish lawyer visiting the palace to arrange the marriage contract of Anne Boleyn and James Butler, launches an investigation after young James is identified as the chief suspect. Hugh has worked for the Butler family for years and will stop at nothing to prove James’ innocence.I enjoyed the overall feel of this novel. Having studied the Tudor period, I was well versed in the characters and the setting. I will caution if readers do not have a background in this time period, the large number of characters may be confusing at times. That being said, Cora Harrison expertly brought individuals like Anne Boleyn and Cardinal Wolsey back to life. It is clear she spent a great amount of time researching! She easily blended real-life individuals with interesting and complex fictional characters. The novel’s protagonist, Hugh Mac Egan, was particularly enjoyable. He was intelligent, poised and approached the challenge of solving a murder in a foreign nation with confidence.I enjoyed Harrison’s descriptive narrative style overall. I felt as though I’d been carried back in time to the halls of Hampton Court with her vivid descriptions. I did however, find the plot lagged at times. I found my attention wandering in the middle of the novel, anxious for a resolution. I will say that once the murderer was revealed, I was thoroughly satiated.It appears as though this is the first in a series to feature Hugh Mac Egan and I hope that is the case. I look forward to seeing what Harrison writes next. If you are a fan of historical fiction or looking for a good mystery to dive into, I suggest you check out The Cardinal’s Court! 4/5 stars
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  • Clemens Schoonderwoert
    January 1, 1970
    This exciting book is the 1st of hopefully many more books to come featuring (Brehon) Lawyer Hugh Mac Egan, because this book has been in my opinion very entertaining from start to finish.At the end of the book you'll find a well documented Author's Note in which certain aspects concerning this tale are superbly explained by the author.Storytelling is from this lady author as ever of a very good quality because she lets her characters, whether they are real or fictional, come vividly to life wit This exciting book is the 1st of hopefully many more books to come featuring (Brehon) Lawyer Hugh Mac Egan, because this book has been in my opinion very entertaining from start to finish.At the end of the book you'll find a well documented Author's Note in which certain aspects concerning this tale are superbly explained by the author.Storytelling is from this lady author as ever of a very good quality because she lets her characters, whether they are real or fictional, come vividly to life within this gripping mystery.This story is set in the year AD 1522 during the reign of King Henry VIII of England, and it is situated mainly in and around Hampton Court, the home of Cardinal Wolsey, and its from there after arriving from Ireland for a marriage contract between James Butler, son of the Earl of Ormond, Piers Rua Butler, and Anne Boleyn, that our main character Lawyer Hugh Mac Egan begins his investigations into the death of one of Cardinal Wolsey's palace staff, the man Edmund Pace.After evidence given against James Butler by Harry Percy, heir to the Earldom of Northumberland, and Anne Boleyn about the murder, this same James Butler is in the eyes of many already a condemned man.Its now up to Hugh Mac Egan to prove that James Butler is innocent and to find the real killer, and by doing so he will uncover many factions and intrigues within the Cardinal's Court.Really recommended, for this is a delightful thrilling story set in Tudor times and one that I like to call: "A Fascinating Hugh Mac Egan Mystery"!
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    The Cardinal's Court by Cora Harrison is the first in a new series featuring Hugh Mac Egan, a Brehon lawyer at Hampton Court in 1522. His current assignment is to draw up a marriage contract between James Butler and Anne Boleyn. Members of the court have already noticed the attraction between Anne and Harry Percy, but neither Anne nor Harry have any say-so about their marriages which are arranged by their fathers for financial and political reasons. Of course, James Butler has no options in the The Cardinal's Court by Cora Harrison is the first in a new series featuring Hugh Mac Egan, a Brehon lawyer at Hampton Court in 1522. His current assignment is to draw up a marriage contract between James Butler and Anne Boleyn. Members of the court have already noticed the attraction between Anne and Harry Percy, but neither Anne nor Harry have any say-so about their marriages which are arranged by their fathers for financial and political reasons. Of course, James Butler has no options in the choice of a bride either, but he doesn't seem concerned.(How different might history have been if Anne and Harry had been allowed to marry? We already know that the marriage between Anne and James Butler never occurred, but Henry VIII has not yet noticed Anne in 1522 and plays only a cameo role in the novel.)A young man is murdered and Harry Percy implicates James Butler. Hugh Mac Egan desperately needs to clear James of the accusation or his young charge will be executed. Cardinal Woolsey and Katherine of Aragon are sympathetic, but Mac Egan has only days to determine the motive and the guilty party. The characters are well-drawn and the plot is compelling. I'm all in for this new series. Read in June; review scheduled for JulyNetGalley/Trafalgar Square PublishingHistorical Mystery. July 1, 2017. Print version: 320 pages.
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  • Joyce
    January 1, 1970
    4 starsHugh Mac Eagan is a lawyer sent over from Ireland to write up the contract betrothing James Butler, the son of the Earl of Ormond to Anne Boelyn, the daughter of Thomas Boelyn. Whilst at Hampton Court, the palatial home of Cardinal Wolsey a murder occurs. It seems that Edmond Pace was shot with an arrow the kind of which only James Butler uses. Testifying against him are Harry Percy and Anne Boelyn who has grown more than a little fond of Percy. Hugh is immediately suspicious. He thinks a 4 starsHugh Mac Eagan is a lawyer sent over from Ireland to write up the contract betrothing James Butler, the son of the Earl of Ormond to Anne Boelyn, the daughter of Thomas Boelyn. Whilst at Hampton Court, the palatial home of Cardinal Wolsey a murder occurs. It seems that Edmond Pace was shot with an arrow the kind of which only James Butler uses. Testifying against him are Harry Percy and Anne Boelyn who has grown more than a little fond of Percy. Hugh is immediately suspicious. He thinks about collecting up James and fleeing the area but it is too late for that. As he investigates the crime, he interviews witnesses and knows that some are lying, including Percy and Anne. Digging further and further into the case, he discovers some discrepancies. This is a very well written and plotted novel and enjoyable to read. The suspense starts out with a bang and continues. This is my first Cora Harrison book, but it won’t be my last. I went to Amazon immediately and checked out her other books. I want to thank Netgalley and Trafalgar Square Publishing/The History Press for forwarding to me a copy of this book to read.
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  • Robin
    January 1, 1970
    This was a well-written, interesting book that brought Hampton Court in 1522 to life for me. I felt like I could see the setting and the characters. This book mixed actual characters and an actual time and place in history with fictional characters and events to form a suspenseful mystery that kept me turning the pages to find out how it all turned out. A member of the cardinal's staff is found shot dead with an arrow and a ward of the court, James Butler, is implicated by his rival, Harry Percy This was a well-written, interesting book that brought Hampton Court in 1522 to life for me. I felt like I could see the setting and the characters. This book mixed actual characters and an actual time and place in history with fictional characters and events to form a suspenseful mystery that kept me turning the pages to find out how it all turned out. A member of the cardinal's staff is found shot dead with an arrow and a ward of the court, James Butler, is implicated by his rival, Harry Percy, for the hand of Anne Boleyn. Hugh Mac Egan, a Breton lawyer has come from Ormond to draw up the marriage contract. He has many years experience solving crimes and goes about the process of gathering information to determine the real killer. I enjoyed this book very much and was pleased to discover that it is the first in a series featuring Hugh Mac Egan. I look forward to continuing the series as books are written, as well as reading other books by this author.
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  • Ann
    January 1, 1970
    As a long-time fan of Harrison's Burren mysteries, I welcomed the opportunity to read my first Hugh Mac Egan mystery. It definitely lived up to the high standards I've come to expect from this gifted author!! Hugh is definitely an interesting, appealing, and skilled lead character. I especially enjoyed his interactions with real people like Cardinal Wolsey, Queen Katherine, and Anne Boleyn. The descriptions of life at Hampton Court in the sixteenth century were equally fascinating. Hugh's impres As a long-time fan of Harrison's Burren mysteries, I welcomed the opportunity to read my first Hugh Mac Egan mystery. It definitely lived up to the high standards I've come to expect from this gifted author!! Hugh is definitely an interesting, appealing, and skilled lead character. I especially enjoyed his interactions with real people like Cardinal Wolsey, Queen Katherine, and Anne Boleyn. The descriptions of life at Hampton Court in the sixteenth century were equally fascinating. Hugh's impressive legal and deductive skills easily kept my attention, and the solution to the mystery - unlike other mysteries I've read recently - was almost a complete surprise. I look forward to reading more of Hugh's adventures!!! Thanks to Trafalgar Square Publishing and NetGalley for providing access to this excellent book prior to publication.
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    Cora Harrison's novels are among my very favorite reads, for many reasons,including time, place , historical accuracy and characterization. This new Hugh Mac Egan mystery is no exception as it is a tale of an Irish Brehon, superimposed on the court of Henry VIII, a time where these worlds clashed.Hugh Mac Egan of a Kilkenny Brehon family seems to be a Renaissance man and fits into both English and Irish culture. It was a fascinating glimpse at a world and time long gone, as well as coming into t Cora Harrison's novels are among my very favorite reads, for many reasons,including time, place , historical accuracy and characterization. This new Hugh Mac Egan mystery is no exception as it is a tale of an Irish Brehon, superimposed on the court of Henry VIII, a time where these worlds clashed.Hugh Mac Egan of a Kilkenny Brehon family seems to be a Renaissance man and fits into both English and Irish culture. It was a fascinating glimpse at a world and time long gone, as well as coming into the Tudor court at an oblique angle.It was a complicated and many faceted mystery ( think Earl of Ormond, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Cardinal Wolsey's Hampton Court) and of course had a surprise ending. Recommended to anyone at all. Marvelous.
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  • Jenny OH
    January 1, 1970
    This isn't my first Cora Harrison title, and I enjoyed The Cardinal's Court for the same reason I love her Burren Mysteries. It can be hard to find strong historical mystery series that don't revolve around the Tudor courts, and as much as I enjoy some of them - C. J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake series in particular - I appreciate a new setting or viewpoint. Cardinal's Court includes both. Like many of Harrison's other historical mysteries, the central figure/investigator is a Brehon - a judge in This isn't my first Cora Harrison title, and I enjoyed The Cardinal's Court for the same reason I love her Burren Mysteries. It can be hard to find strong historical mystery series that don't revolve around the Tudor courts, and as much as I enjoy some of them - C. J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake series in particular - I appreciate a new setting or viewpoint. Cardinal's Court includes both. Like many of Harrison's other historical mysteries, the central figure/investigator is a Brehon - a judge in the old Irish tradition, and the contrast between his country's ancient laws and those of England is a fresh take on the period procedural. For example, Mac Egan wrings blood money out of a killer by citing the Irish custom of valuing the life of a murder victim based on the price of cows, and manages to up the blackmail by musing on the relative cost of cows in England versus in Ireland. Mac Egan himself is an engaging narrator and investigator, showing a wry, sometimes irreverent spirit and contrasting occasional doubt in his abilities to bring about the desired outcome with his confidence in his knowledge of the law. I'd definitely recommend this to fans of Harrison's Burren Mysteries series, but also to fans of other logical, cool-headed detectives like Poirot.
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  • Polly Krize
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.Excellent historical fiction, set in Henry VIII's court at Hampton Court. Intrigue and mystery abound, with the expert depictions of Cardinal Wolsey, Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Harry Percy. Looking forward to more in this exceptional series.
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  • Patti
    January 1, 1970
    I really like Cora Harrison's books, but this one used a lot of modern language and it pulled me out of the story. I don't expect authors of historical novels to write as they wrote in the time period their books are placed, but with this book, the language was jarring.
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  • Libby
    January 1, 1970
    An Irish Brehon who is in Cardinal Woolsey's court to arrange a marriage contract finds himself enmeshed in a murder investigation. An intriguing, well-researched setting, an entertaining mystery.Review based on an ARC from Netgalley.
  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    This new series by Cora Harrison continues the story of Brehon law begun in the Burren mysteries. Thoroughly enjoyable.
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