Book Corner: The Gentlewoman Spy by Adele Jordan

What happens when the spymaster’s right-hand man turns out to be a woman…?

1584, London

Sir Francis Walsingham, spymaster to the Tudor Queen Elizabeth has trained Kit Scarlett since she was a girl. Aware that she is able to infiltrate places that his male agents cannot, he sees her as an invaluable member of his team.

When Walsingham discovers that a rebel alliance is planning to overthrow Queen Elizabeth and put Mary, Queen of Scots on the English throne, he summons Kit immediately.

Together with loyal Scottish agent Iomhar Blackwood, Kit is tasked with finding out the full details of the treasonous plot.

Both used to working alone, Kit and Iomhar struggle to get along, but they must come together if they are to have any chance of stopping the deadly conspiracy against the queen.

Can Kit secure her place in a man’s world? Will she save Queen Elizabeth?

Or will her daring ultimately be her downfall…?

THE GENTLEWOMAN SPY is the first book in the Kit Scarlett Tudor Mysteries Series. It is a thrilling historical espionage adventure set in Elizabethan London with a feisty female lead.

What a fabulously entertaining adventure!

The Gentlewoman Spy by Adele Jordan follows a young woman, Kit Scarlett, as she attempts to uncover the secrets of Queen Elizabeth I’s enemies. Kit has been raised – and trained – by Elizabeth’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, to become a talented young agent with the ability to decrypt most cyphers. Forced to work with a partner, Iomahar, the story follows both their investigation and the burgeoning friendship between the two agents.

The Gentlewoman Spy is a lively, clever story set against the background of Mary Queen of Scots imprisonment and the plots associated with her, both the free the captive queen and to assassinate Elizabeth. The plot has several twists and turns at the most unexpected moments. And the two leading characters are not without their secrets, which adds to the mystery.

Kit launched for the figure. Without hesitation she reached up and wrapped one arm around his neck, with the other hand holding the dagger, she placed the tip at the top of his throat. It was the perfect threat, and her intruder fell still, his chin tilted up for if he moved at all, the blade could pierce him.

“Do not move,” she ordered.

“Ye’ve already wounded me once this week, do ye really have to do it again?” Iomhar’s distinctive deep voice rang out.

Startled, she released him, watching as he stumbled away from her, into the streams of light from teh windows above.

“You broke in,” Kit accused, gesturing to her door.

“Not exactly.” With a hand on his throat, he rubbed the sore spot she had created. “There was nay answer when I knocked so I found a way to open the door.”

“That’s called breaking in,” she warned, still holding the dagger out in his direction.

“Please do not use that again,” he said tartly, pulling back the sleeve of his doublet to reveal a bandage on his forearm. “Once was enough.”

“I had to find a way to make you release me back in Edinburgh, it was the simplest way.” She placed the dagger back into her belt. “You shouldn’t go sneaking around other people’s lodgings if you don’t want to get hurt.”

“This is where ye live?” he asked, looking around.

“Yes, why?” She followed him as he began to examine the place.


Kit Scarlett is a refreshing change in historical fiction detective stories. A wonderful, unique character, young Kit prefers the freedoms afforded by boys’ clothing, rather than the bulky cumbersome, dresses women have to wear. She is clever, brave and highly entertaining. Her mysterious origins are a theme, I’m sure, that will run through the series. I can’t wait to discover who she really is. Iomhar, her partner and a Scot, has his own secrets – and his own reasons for working working with Walsingham against his fellow countrymen. It all adds to the drama.

Adele Jordan takes the reader on a journey of discovery, through the dark streets of Tudor London and into the fashionable townhouses of the nobility, weaving a story of mystery and intrigue that draws the reader in from the very start.

The action and plot twists will keep you gripped!

The Gentlewoman Spy by Adele Jordan is now available on kindle and in paperback from Amazon.

About the author:

Adele Jordan is a writer with a fascination for history. Her focus is fiction in the Tudor era, telling the stories of women and adventure. Whether it’s inspired by true events or created purely from imagination, she desires to write stories from this captivating era that haven’t been written before of those on the edges of society, the paupers, the spies, the workers and those who have not had a voice.

Adele studied English at the University of Exeter before moving into an eclectic career of publishing and marketing. Having worked with the National Trust’s photography department for two years, Adele travelled the country to visit the landscapes and historical places that have carved England and Wales’ heritage. When Covid struck, the job disappeared overnight, and Adele committed her time to ghost writing and authoring her own stories, returning to her childhood dream job. Since then, she has had over twenty successful books published as a ghost writer and hopes to turn that success into stories now written in her own name.


My Books:

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Coming 30 May 2023!

King John’s Right-Hand Lady: The Story of Nicholaa de la Haye is now available for pre-order from Amazon UK and Pen and Sword Books. (I will hopefully have a US release date shortly)

In a time when men fought and women stayed home, Nicholaa de la Haye held Lincoln Castle against all-comers. Not once, but three times, earning herself the ironic praise that she acted ‘manfully’. Nicholaa gained prominence in the First Baron’s War, the civil war that followed the sealing of Magna Carta in 1215.

A truly remarkable lady, Nicholaa was the first woman to be appointed sheriff in her own right. Her strength and tenacity saved England at one of the lowest points in its history. Nicholaa de la Haye is one woman in English history whose story needs to be told…

Also by Sharon Bennett Connolly:

Defenders of the Norman Crown: The Rise and Fall of the Warenne Earls of Surrey tells the fascinating story of the Warenne dynasty, of the successes and failures of one of the most powerful families in England, from its origins in Normandy, through the Conquest, Magna Carta, the wars and marriages that led to its ultimate demise in the reign of Edward III. Defenders of the Norman Crown: Rise and Fall of the Warenne Earls of Surrey is now available from Pen & Sword BooksAmazon in the UK and US, and Book Depository.

Ladies of Magna Carta: Women of Influence in Thirteenth Century England looks into the relationships of the various noble families of the 13th century, and how they were affected by the Barons’ Wars, Magna Carta and its aftermath; the bonds that were formed and those that were broken. It is now available in paperback and hardback from Pen & Sword, and from Book Depository worldwide.

Heroines of the Medieval World tells the stories of some of the most remarkable women from Medieval history, from Eleanor of Aquitaine to Julian of Norwich. Available now from Amberley Publishing and Amazon, and from Book Depository worldwide.

Silk and the Sword: The Women of the Norman Conquest traces the fortunes of the women who had a significant role to play in the momentous events of 1066. Available now from Amazon,  Amberley Publishing, and Book Depository.

Alternate Endings: An anthology of historical fiction short stories including Long Live the King… which is my take what might have happened had King John not died in October 1216. Available in paperback and kindle from Amazon.


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©2023 Sharon Bennett Connolly FRHistS