Book Review: Chronos Crime Chronicles – The Death of Amy Robsart: : An Elizabethan Mystery by Sarah-Beth Watkins

Genre: History,  nonfiction
Publisher: Chronos Books
Pub date: 11 December 2020

Amy Robsart was the wife of Queen Elizabeth I’s favourite, Robert Dudley, later Earl of Leicester. In September 1560, she was found dead, her neck broken, at the bottom of a flight of stairs at Cumnor Place. Amy was twenty-eight when she died and her marriage to Dudley had been one of great absences and loneliness. Some said she was ill, others that she was desperate. More sinister rumours talked of murder. In this book we look at Amy’s unsolved death and examine who had motive to commit such a dark deed. Was it an accident, suicide or murder? The Death of Amy Robsart is the first volume in an exciting new historical true crime series from Chronos Books.


The death of Amy Robsart is one of those mysteries that will be pondered for all time, was she murdered? Did she fall? We won’t ever know the truth but Watkins provides the information and evidence behind the theories of murder, suicide and an accident.

I was never sure what I thought happened to Amy and I’m even less sure now although leaning towards murder. Watkins gives an opinion on individuals who although may not have directly killed Amy, would have benefited from the reactions to her death. A number of these I’d never even considered but Watkins uses contemporary evidence to provide opinions of those who may have been involved. I won’t say who is mentioned by Watkins as that may take away an element of surprise for some, although I’m sure those who’ve thought about it more than me may be able to guess!

This is a short book but intriguing especially if you’ve ever wondered about this mystery. I always enjoy how Watkins included contemporary evidence in her books and the select biography gives me additional reading to do which is always a bonus. I am looking forward to reading more from the Chronos Crime Chronicles.

If you missed my post recently please go take a look at the Guest Post with Watkins as I got to ask her lots of questions! The post also has links to the reviews I’ve done of Watkins’ other books including my favourite, Sir Francis Bryan.

The Death of Amy Robsart is definitely worth a read for those interested in this era and is available for pre-order now and will be published 11th December making it an ideal Christmas present for someone or yourself!🎄

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