The Highlander and the Lady of Misrule (The Queen’s Highlanders Book 2)

Heather McCollum

Greer Buchanan, a Scottish soldier/envoy is sent to London to warn Queen Elizabeth of a plot to assassinate her during the twelve days of Christmas festivities. After being given erroneous directions, Greer ends up a few blocks from Whitehall Palace, where he comes to the aid of Lucy Cranfield, a lady from the queen’s court, busy freeing dogs destined to fight bears in the bear-baiting ring. She can’t stand to see cruelty, so she sets the dogs free. Since the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, she is often under scrutiny, as her mother died a traitor. However, Lucy’s sunny disposition and care for the needy is at odds with that assessment. When the original Lord of Misrule is poisoned, Queen Elizabeth selects Lucy to replace him, placing her in danger as well. Greer wants to keep everyone safe, but the culprit is closer than they realize. 


This story is peppered with snippets from documents written about events occurring near that time in history. The information adds insight and depth to the historical aspects of this tale, and lends credibility to the storytelling. The writing style flows nicely and the pace is mostly steady, with a few slower sections. Nevertheless, the culprit stays on the periphery for much of the story, even though the author sprinkles multiple red herrings along the way. The denouement is somewhat believable and quite exciting.  Greer is especially well-written, as his Scottish brogue practically leaps from the page. Life at court is portrayed with covert political gamesmanship and the ever-present watchful eyes of people hunting for secrets that they can parlay into gain. This is an intriguing story!


Carey Sullivan