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Assassin (Lady Grace Mysteries #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,066 Ratings  ·  142 Reviews
Spring 1569. Narrator Lady Grace 13, youngest lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth I, chooses between three suitors at a glittering ball. But murder descends on the Tudor court. Grace must use her intelligence, stealth, curious nature, and best friends - laundrymaid Ellie, acrobat Masou - to solve the threat to their Queen.
Published May 2004 by Doubleday
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: This is another book from the Random Bookshelf that I am reading from this year. This book interested me because of its similarity to the Dear Canada/Royal Diaries books with the added bonus of being a mystery.

Lady Grace Cavendish is 13 years old and one of Queen Elizabeth I's Maids of Honour (a step below a Lady-in-Waiting). She writes in her daybooke as if it were a diary about her day to day adventures which become quite exciting. Since the Queen is her godmother and promi
Apr 27, 2015 B rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Eh- not that great of a story.
Sandra Strange
If you need a historical novel that teaches about the court and times of Queen Elizabeth I, this series will provide you with delightful reading, purportedly from the “daybook” of Lady Grace Cavendish, 13-year-old (at the beginning of the series) maid of honor to the queen. This plucky modern-seeming heiress, orphaned and raised in the court, along with her friends, a young court acrobat/juggler and one of the laundry girls, investigate mysteries to aid their monarch, reveal the villains, and ai ...more
Valerie Watson Scheg

In 1569, Lady Grace Cavendish is thirteen and a lady-in-waiting at the court of Queen Elizabeth I. As she prepares to choose a husband from her trio of suitors, Lady Grace discovers that one of them has been found murdered in his bed. Ever inquisitive, Lady Grace becomes determined to find out the truth of the murder, who is responsible, and how the guilty might be brought to justice. Lady Grace’s propensity for breaking the rules in her quest to solve the crime makes this a lighthearted, amusin
Lady Knight
What a great novel! This is a fantastic book to introduce those under ten to the world of mysteries and historical fiction. The story is intriguing while keeping the dialogue fairly simple. There is a handy glossary in the back for any words that are out of the ordinary. Lady Grace is spunky and likable and her deductions seem completely age appropriate and logical. Definitely one I'd recommend.

At the age of thirteen Lady Grace Cavendish is a maid of honour to Elizabeth I of England. She also h
May 26, 2010 May rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, light book that's a good start to a light series. It's staged in Elizabethan England, in the palace of Queen Elizabeth. Thirteen-year-old Lady Grace, one of Queen Elizabeth's maid-of-honors, and apparently her favorite, is supposed to choose a suitor for herself at a ball. One of her suitors ends up dead, and Lady Grace takes it upon herself to find out who did it. The author did a good job of capturing a thirteen-year-old girl of back then, who was not yet grown but no longer a child. H ...more
I liked it because it reminded me of a Philippa Gregory-type historical fiction. I didn't guess the twist, but after the first twist, it seemed to get far-fetched with another. By the end, I felt like it was a Scooby Doo episode because the villan practically said, "And I would've gotten away with it too if it wasn't for that pesky kid." I highly doubt I will continue with the series, because it just got too cheesy for me by the end.
An Odd1
Feb 01, 2015 An Odd1 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fan
In a smaller book size ~9x5" and a minimum of scratchy quill pen lines, the "dayebook" of Grace Cavendish 13 p 64, is believable. Her dying mother's letter from the previous year is in italics p 64. The "same yellow crusting" p 96 on her mother's mouth, the "dusty bitter odor" p 96 of fictional poison darkwort, are familiar.

Her uncle is the royal physician, so she knows facts like blood does not flow after death, and fiction like the killer's image appears in the corpse's eyeballs. Lord Robert
This is the kind of book that I would have adored as an elementary school kid... it's how you grow little girls into big Elizabethan literary nerds. Ahem.
: )
Steph  :)
After reading the book, I realized that I am outside of the early/mid-teen target audience, so maybe this review is a little unfair. I still generally enjoyed the plot (I think I would have enjoyed it more if I were younger), but was not totally a fan of the main character. I also thought the writing was a little weak, with everything being tied up too neatly at the end, but again I'm not sure I would have minded if I had read this 8 years ago. Overall, this was closer to the Twilight end of the ...more
Lady Entropy
Jun 25, 2015 Lady Entropy rated it liked it
So, I decided this month it's going to be "Young Adult" month. I have a pile of books to read waiting for a year or two now, and I decided to just go at it.

I'm starting with the Grace Cavendish mysteries (I ordered a batch of them from Awesome Books) after I bought the third one on Hay on Wye, and I'm loving this, in the "I wish I had read this when I was a little girl" kind of way.

There's historical background to be learned, as well as a lot of cultural information, and oh, it is so much fun to
Samantha Arnold
Apr 06, 2012 Samantha Arnold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: love-it
Assassin, the first in the Lady Grace Mysteries, is an exciting tale of murder, lies, and mysteries. I couldn't figure out who did the crime until just before they announced who the murderer was! There were just so many suspects!
(view spoiler)
*flinch* The Tutor Court? Uh, I suppose Elizabeth was a Tutor but I'm not used to hearing her reign thrown in like with the rest of the Tutors. If I do end up reading this, I'll have to tip toe carefully. I tend to avoid historical fiction like this becaues of how irritated I get with historical inacuracy

Thank you, Assassin for reminding me why I don't read historical fiction at the court of Queen Elizabeth. I spend to much time analyzing the historical accuracy and too little tim
Feb 28, 2010 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
This is the first book in the Lady Grace Mysteries series, about Lady Grace Cavendish, a thirteen-year-old Maid of Honour at the court of Queen Elizabeth I.

Lady Grace Cavendish grew up at the court of Queen Elizabeth I. When her mother died after accidentally drinking poison meant for the queen, Elizabeth took the responsibility of securing Grace's future upon herself. Now thirteen years old in the spring of 1569, Grace is a Maid of Honor to the queen, and the time has come for her betrothal. E
After I bought this book I decided to reread it. Let me just say its just as good the second time around as the first was. I love the mystery and intrigue. Grace is an enjoyable narrator and she's quite clever.
The setting is amazing. Elizabeth while being hot tempered at times is shown in these books as still having a softer side and caring for her charges. The rest of the characters are very interesting.
As I had read this before, I knew who the culpret was. This time I noticed the clues
Alison Dellit
Great kids books about crimes at Elizabeth I's court, with an adventure-tale vibe and packed with historical detail. They're not deep or thought provoking, but they have the transport-to-another-era vibe that historical fiction needs, and the depiction of courtly life is actually really interesting. Grace's companions, a laundry maid and a Muslim acrobat, are clearly chosen to illustrate the societal divides and avoid an overly romantic view of our past.
Highly recommended.
Ellie Skull
Mar 13, 2016 Ellie Skull rated it it was amazing
I love this book and the rest of the books in the series.It contains just the right amount of mystery and action so as not to overwhelm you but just enough to keep you hooked.I think one of the best aspects is that the wording and vocabulary is that of what you would come across in the period of which the book is set.Furthermore, the amount of this language is nicely balanced.
Alex Criddle
Jun 09, 2015 Alex Criddle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read and great historical fiction. I think young girls and boys would enjoy this novel and learn a good deal about Elizabethan times in the process. The characters were interesting, as were the mystery and intrigue that were sustained throughout the novel.
Jul 15, 2013 Leah rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Older Children/Teens into Mysteries
Recommended to Leah by: The front cover attracted me
At a time where I had gotten into period mysteries, this series was an interesting read, and I was continually waiting for the next book to come out!

It was a thrilling little read, full of murder and mystery. I loved the pre-tense of Grace's mother being a maid of the Queen and that Queen Elizabeth almost adopted her as a daughter and felt obliged to find her a suitor. I found the figuring out of the murder very hidden and I couldn't guess the murderer until it was told.

I just didn't like the w
This read as a Scooby Doo-type mystery set in Elizabethan England. It was a good, quick read and I probably would have given it more stars had I been in the demographic age range. I would be willing to read more of them, but not as a priority.
Aug 20, 2008 Kit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lady Grace Cavendish is the Kinsey Milhone of Renaissance tweens, inasmuch as the titles of her mystery-solving exploits all start with letters of the alphabet. Besides that, her first book (written as a diary) is funny, smart, and (probably) more historically accurate than a lot of stuff out there. I particularly liked that Grace is not the standard historical fiction heroine who doesn't want an arranged marriage, wants to go to school, likes wearing pants better than skirts, hates sewing, etc. ...more
A young lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth investigates the mysterious and violent death of one of her suitors. Grace Cavendish is a young heiress, and at age 13, she is preparing to be engaged. Her fortune makes her attractive, and the queen selects three suitors for her. But no sooner has Grace made her choice when one ends up dead and the another finds himself imprisoned for the crime.

I would have loved reading this as a kid. As an adult, I found it a bit slight and the mystery too transparen
Jun 22, 2013 Keelia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was first given this book as a Christmas present when I was younger, and I have to admit I wasn't particularly excited about reading it. But I am so glad I did! This story was so cleverly written it had me on the edge of my seat following the adventures of Lady Grace as she tried to solve the crimes in Queen Elizabeth's palace. 'Assassin' was such a clever and creative idea, and gave you great insight into the lives of people in 1500's England. I

This was my first proper look at murder mystery
Emily Murdock
Jan 18, 2016 Emily Murdock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book for younger readers interested in historical fiction, also great for young readers looking to improve their vocabulary.
Le début de la saga me donne déjà envie de lire la suite !!
Lady Grace, demoiselle d'honneur auprès d'Elisabeth Ière, va se retrouver face au meurtre de l'un de ses prétendants. A force de pugnacité, elle va résoudre l'affaire qui est moins facile qu'elle n'en a l'air.

Un meurtre, du poison, un rang à tenir, tout est réuni pour faire un bon policier historique pour les 9-11 ans.
Muni d'un glossaire et d'une note de fin de volume explicative sur la cour elisabéthaine, le lecteur apprend beaucoup de
Sarah Richards
This series of books is very cleverly constructed. The titles progress by the letters of the alphabet as well as by theme. Another feature i found fantastic and have noted in a few other books is the glossary at the end of each book. I think this is a great way for a book to be educational and entertaining. I cannot recall how many times I question what a word means and then never get around to looking it up. Whereas, these books are classified as children's literature, I found them to be very e ...more
Anna Lee
Cute and enjoyable- I will definitely recommend this to my 7th graders who are interested in historical fiction.
(A) Archers at KIPP
Mar 12, 2008 (A) Archers at KIPP rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Karen G
Recommended to (A) Archers by: Jose M
Shelves: boys-have-read
This book is one of my favorite because it talks about how a girl who is shy and timid but very adventures has to solve a mystery before she gets married. But then there is a bigger problem, she has to marry her soon to be husband who is suspected to have committed the murder.

After I read this story I started to get interested in reading more mystery story. I would rate this story a 10 because this story makes you think about different options to solve a mystery. I think this story is fiction/my
May 14, 2014 Kyla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very childish writing but I suppose it's supposed to be children's literature so I guess it's expected.
Julie Lauer anderson
I didn't realize this was YA adult when I picked it up. It was a cute, simple mystery and I liked The main Character Lady Grace.
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Mystery 1 5 Oct 29, 2014 07:58PM  
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AKA P.F. Chisholm and Grace Cavendish (with Jan Burchett),

Patricia Finney's first novel "A Shadow of Gulls" had already been published when she went up to Oxford aged 18 to study History. While she was still in her first year her book won the David Higham Award for Best First Novel of the year and some fantastic reviews. By then she was also an established broadcast dramatist, gaining particular
More about Patricia Finney...

Other Books in the Series

Lady Grace Mysteries (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Betrayal (Lady Grace Mysteries, #2)
  • Conspiracy (Lady Grace Mysteries, #3)
  • Deception (Lady Grace Mysteries, #4)
  • Exile (Lady Grace Mysteries, #5)
  • Feud (Lady Grace Mysteries, #6)
  • Gold! (Lady Grace Mysteries, #7)
  • Haunted (Lady Grace Mysteries, #8)
  • Intrigue (Lady Grace Mysteries, #9)
  • Jinx (Lady Grace Mysteries, #10)
  • Keys (Lady Grace Mysteries, #11)

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