In a Treacherous Court

In a Treacherous Court

An unconventional woman. A deadly enemy. A clash of intrigue, deception, and desire. . . .

1525: Artist Susanna Horenbout is sent from Belgium to be Henry VIII’s personal illuminator inside the royal palace. But her new homeland greets her with an attempt on her life, and the King’s most lethal courtier, John Parker, is charged with keeping her safe. As further attacks are made, Susanna and Parker realize that she unknowingly carries the key to a bloody plot against the throne. For while Richard de la Pole amasses troops in France for a Yorkist invasion, a traitor prepares to trample the kingdom from within.

Who is the mastermind? Why are men vying to kill the woman Parker protects with his life? With a motley gang of urchins, Susanna’s wits, and Parker’s fierce instincts, honed on the streets and in palace chambers, the two slash through deadly layers of deceit in a race against time. For in the court of Henry VIII, secrets are the last to die. . . .

Brilliantly revealing a little-known historical figure who lived among the Tudors, Michelle Diener makes a smashing historical fiction debut.
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439197103 | 
  • August 2011
List Price $14.99 (price may vary by retailer)


Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for In a Treacherous Court includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


While en route to England from the Netherlands, royally commissioned artist Susanna Horenbout discovers a secret that could jeopardize the reign of King Henry VIII. As she and John Parker, one of the monarch’s most enigmatic courtiers, evade the ruthless enemy seeking to silence her, they become entwined in a deadly plot that reaches to the upper echelons of the royal inner circle. In In a Treacherous Court, Michelle Diener brings two of Tudor England’s most fascinating, lesser known historical figures vividly to life in a dazzling tale of intrigue and romance.


1. As an artist commissioned by King Henry VIII, Susanna journeys to England for professional reasons. Discuss the personal circumstances that also compel her to leave Ghent. Why does she feel she has been “exiled” from her home?

2. The story takes place over a period of several days, during which Susanna and Parker go from just meeting each other to becoming engaged. How did you react to this rapid progression? Why do see more

More Books from this Author

Banquet of Lies
The Emperor's Conspiracy
Keeper of the King's Secrets
Dangerous Sanctuary

About the Author

Michelle Diener
Photograph by Daniel Navaratnam

Michelle Diener

Michelle Diener has always had a passion for reading and writing. She began writing stories when her parents gave her a typewriter for her twelfth birthday, and she hasn’t stopped since. Born in London and raised in South Africa, she now lives on the west coast of Australia with her husband and two small children.