This was a definite departure from the authors usual writing, but I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it.
Set in the time of Sultan Suleiman's reign in the Ottoman Empire, this was a great mystery that takes place in a secret chess tournament set up by the Sultan to crown the best chess player of all, with players representing 15 countries. A murder takes place and the Sultan asks for help from the great teacher, Mr. Roger Ascham, and his student/protege, a then 13 year old Elizabeth Tudor, (future queen of England), to solve it.
This time period continues to fascinate me and this book was very entertaining. I would have given it 5 stars, but for the explicit sexual escapades of the character, Elsie, in the book. I felt it graphic and unnecessary to the story. I skipped those parts. I'm surprised that the author went into such detail. He could have left it out, or just implied it, and that would have been enough. I docked a star for that reason. Otherwise, it was a great tale.