Rizzio: Darkland Tales

by Denise Mina

Historical fiction Action Adventure Thriller and Suspense Crime and Mystery eBooks of the Month

LoveReading Expert Review of Rizzio: Darkland Tales

Seduction, secrets, duplicity and power play - this exceptional novella reimagines a true story of murder in the court of Mary, Queen of Scots, with style, charisma and page-turning prowess.

At once historically evocative and infused with the rapier-sharp universality of basic drives and emotions (love, lust, envy and revenge), Denise Mina’s Rizzio is an immensely engaging novella. Wise, inventive and un-put-down-able, it’s a riveting read-in-one-sitting road-trip through a shadowy episode in Scottish history.

It’s 1566 and Mary, Queen of Scots, is six months pregnant, unaware that her Palace of Holyrood is surrounded by an army intent on murdering her private secretary and confidante, handsome, charismatic David Rizzio. And all this was arranged by Mary’s husband, Lord Darnley who, intoxicated, relishes “thinking about how sorry they’ll all be when he is king, they’ll all be sorry then. He’ll see they are". Recounting the events of a fateful, bloody night, Mina’s present tense narrative is delivered with verve, taut dexterity and atmosphere, with a powerfully palpable sense of mounting tension.

Joanne Owen

Rizzio: Darkland Tales Synopsis


This breathtakingly tense work is a tale of sex, seduction, secrets and lies, one that looks at history through a modern lens and explores the lengths that men - and women - will go to in the search for love and power.

It's Saturday evening, 9 March 1566, and Mary, Queen of Scots, is six months pregnant. She's hosting a supper party. Outside, Edinburgh is bustling. It's full of the Great and the Good and the Idiot Sons of the Rich, here for a Parliament that will take Scotland by the shoulders and turn it from England to face Europe.

Mary doesn't know that her Palace is surrounded - that, right now, an army of men is creeping upstairs to her chamber. They're coming to murder David Rizzio, her friend and secretary, the handsome Italian man who is smiling across the table at her. Mary's husband wants it done in front of her and he wants her to watch it done ...

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781846975677
Publication date: 2nd September 2021
Author: Denise Mina
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 128 pages
Primary Genre Historical fiction
Other Genres:

What To Read After Rizzio: Darkland Tales

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Denise Mina Press Reviews

'darkly compelling, riveting' -- Sam Baker

'The cream of the crop, an author who pushes the crime novel in new and exciting directions' -- Ian Rankin

'May be Britain's finest living crime novelist' - Daily Telegraph

'Denise Mina brilliantly manages to be funny, heart-wrenching, gut-punching and addictive all at once' -- Nicci French

One of the most talented, most daring, most humane writers of the past twenty years, an artist whose thrillers d'ouble as bracing moral inquiries' -- A. J. Finn

'a writer of huge skill and inventiveness who blends tense, well-crafted crime fiction with social conscience and historical weight' - The Bookseller

'Bestseller Mina vividly recreates a gruesome episode from the Tudor era in this searing novella set mostly over the course of a single day, Mar. 9, 1566. Mina interjects well-wrought characterizations; this superior historical thriller reads like a real-life episode of Game of Thrones' - Publishers Weekly (starred)

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781846975677
Publication date: 02/09/2021
Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781788853477
Publication date: 02/09/2021
Format: Ebook

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About Denise Mina

Denise Mina was born in Glasgow in 1966. Because of her father's job as an engineer, her family moved twenty-one times in eighteen years from Paris to the Hague, London, Scotland and Bergen.After leaving school at sixteen and a run of poorly paid jobs, she went on to study Law at Glasgow University and researched a PhD thesis at Strathclyde. Misusing her grant, she stayed at home and wrote her first novel, Garnethill, which was published in 1998 and won the Crime Writers' Association John Creasy Dagger for best first crime novel.Since 1998 she has written seven further novels, including The ...

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