There's skullduggery afoot in England in the 1490s, and Henry VII is lucky he has that pre-gadgetry lames Bond, Henry Morane--ingenious, tough, skillful hero of a thousand scrapes (including Farrington's Tudor Agent)--to handle it. A vigorous fellow, given to such expressions as ""By God's very Balls!"" and ""Gonads of Christ!,"" Morane racks up a truly appalling casualty count while tracking down a treacherous earl, seducing a vindictive duchess, settling old scores with a greedy baron, and keeping his wayward nephew out of the clutches of a Genoese navigator named Columbus. The ultimate baddy, that very Sir William Stanley who betrayed Richard III at Bosworth, is the sort who makes love to his mistress While in the act of poisoning her--obviously a hard man to like. Aided by the fact that these villainous nobles tend to summarize their most incriminating plots at the very moment he passes their open tent-flaps, Morane saves both day and throne. Vivid period swashbuckle--for those with strong stomachs for gore, coincidence, arch narration, and stagy dialogue.