Sailing specialist Gibbs (Dead Run, 1988; Running Fir, 1990) goes on shore leave to spin a wildly romantic yarn about a Princess Diana look-alike called upon to protect the rightful Queen of Scots from the perils of present-day New York. The treachery, passion, plotting, and posturing of the Renaissance are completely at home at Wild-Freeman publishing, where the firm's treasurer--tall, brainy, one-time CIA agent Diane Speed--spies for the firm's immensely wealthy new owner. Behind Diane's back, Wild-Freeman's budget-busting editors have contracted to buy a sensational new book written by their bestselling bodice-ripper author and based on the rediscovered Casket Letters of Mary, Queen of Scots. The letters, which promise to knock the House of Windsor back to Saxe-Coburg, are in the possession of a dotty librarian living in Queens with her daughter Marie, the rightful heiress to the Scottish throne. To complicate matters, Patrick Sarsfield, who grinds out the Wild-Freeman historical romances under the name Patricia Orme, believes himself to be in the clutches of Irish nationalists; Diane's supposedly loyal secretary is soft on the IRA; Diane's boyfriend is revealed to be a hereditary protector of the English monarchs; the British government's man on the scene goes free-lance; and the Casket Letters are vetted by a defrocked spy, himself a world-class forger, who looks just like the Queen of Scots's favorite lover. Love blossoms as the houses of Windsor and Stuart duke it out in the outer boroughs. Very charming, very witty, totally absurd, and thoroughly beguiling.