The historical fiction novel In a Treacherous Court begins in the year 1525 in the populous country of England. The well-known Henry VIII is king over England during the century. The King summons for a personal illuminator from Belgium. Little did Henry VIII know the artist would be a woman, Susanna Horenbout. Long dark hair accents Susanna’s sharp hazel eyes that are used to create wonders on paper, works of art that shock many. Because she is a woman, many are unsure of her skills at first.
To receive the expected illuminator, the king sends his lethal, sensible courtier and yeomen of the crossbows, John Parker, to pick up her up from the docks. John Parker is a strong and hardworking man with brown hair and deep eyes. Not only is Parker surprised to discover the illuminator is a female, but far more dangerous news reaches him on the way. Upon arriving to the ship, Parker finds the dead Master Harvey, a cloth merchant who gathered news for the king, in Susanna’s arms. Master Harvey was killed by a knife to the chest, as he jumped on board, attempting to escape persecutors, describes Susanna and the captain of the ship. Susanna explains to Parker how Master Harvey, before he died, entrusted her with an extensive and impactful secret to give to the king and to Master Harvey’s wife. Parker is skeptical, but then suddenly, when Susanna walks by a window on the ship, an arrow from a crossbow narrowly passes by her! With this attempt on her life and important secret, Parker decides to aid her in getting to Bridewell Palace, the place of King Henry VII.
Along the way to the palace, another attack on Susanna’s life is made by an ambush. After this frightening encounter they survived, the characters soon reach the palace to hold court with the king. Susanna tells the secret; Master Harvey had heard a whisper of the French King making agreements for wars against the Emperor and promises to assist Richard de la Pole claim the throne of England, and that he, Master Harvey, had discovered how Richard de la Pole was sending messages into England to get support. This news makes King Henry afraid.
To keep her safe, Parker takes Susanna to his home. However, when asking some village boys to help with the bags, one draws out a knife to kill Susanna! Parker easily stops the young lad. The raggedy boy is homeless, and was paid to do the job. An attempt on Susanna’s life is again made the next morning. She is saved once more. Later Parker gains more information about the repeated murder attempts on Susanna. Some master mind is continuously paying people to kill Susanna. Susanna knows something valuable, but does not realize it. Yet another attempted murder on Susanna happens for the fifth time. Parker and Susanna believe the secret she has is in the message for Master Harvey’s wife.
The pair go to Mistress Harvey’s and she hands them a letter with a secret, that Parker already knew as well as the king and one other person in all. The letter contained...