Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Assassin (Lady Grace Mysteries, #1)” as Want to Read:
Assassin (Lady Grace Mysteries, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Assassin (Lady Grace Mysteries #1)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,746 ratings  ·  130 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
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Assassin, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Assassin

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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
Valerie Watson

Finney, P. (2004). Assassin. New York, NY: Delacorte Press.




Selection Process:
Reviewed on

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 respon
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
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
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
Samantha Arnold
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
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
Jul 15, 2013 Leah rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Very childish writing but I suppose it's supposed to be children's literature so I guess it's expected.
Really enjoyed it! I love the Elizabethan time period so I'm always thrilled when I get to read a book in that era. Usually when a read a series I read the first book and if I like the first book I'll read the rest in the series. Well, I liked the first book, so I guess I'm going to be reading some more of this series.

This was a mystery book, and the mystery was very well thought out, and had me guessing about the ending. I loved Lady Grace. She is such a funny character, certain things she did
I really wish I could figure these books out. They're such an odd mixture, with many, many real details of life in the Elizabethan court, sitting right beside things so ridiculously unlikely that they must be done intentionally. Mustn't they? Patricia Finney knows her history, from all I can gather about her writing. And some of the wildly unlikely happenings fit right in with the conventions of children's mysteries, which are never meant to be taken as actually realistic - but that isn't the co ...more
Lovely YA historical mystery, set in Queen Elizabeth I's reign. Well done and entertaining.
I picked up this book in my local library and started reading in the car. By the time I got home I was already hooked on this book. A lady in waiting, forced into marrying when she is not ready, then a murder. What could make for a more exiting book!
This is a really fast read and probably benefit a lot from my having no preconceived notions about it. It's written in the first person by a girl who is one of Queen Elizabeth's ladies-in-waiting. Grace Cavendish is precocious perhaps, but not so much as to sound preternaturally sophisticated. She's got to pick a husband from among three suitors that the Queen and chosen for her, but right after she makes her choice, one of the suitors is found dead and another is accused of the murder. Grace an ...more
The first book in the Lady Grace Mysteries follows Lady Grace Cavendish, Maid of Honour to Queen Elizabeth I, living in court. The Queen is her Godmother who cares for her after the death of her mother in the Queen's service. The Queen takes it as her duty to find a suitable husband to betroth her.
However disaster strikes when one of the three suitors competing for her hand is murdered and Grace has to put the clues together quickly.
This is a fast paced, short story about mystery in ELizabethan
Hannah Myers
Easy, fun book to read that I couldn't put down!
Good story. Very quick read about Lady Grace Cavendish, 13 yrs. old, a Maid of Honour in Queen Elizabeth I's court. Lady Grace is about to be betrothed when one of her three suitors ends up dead with a dagger in his back! The suitor she chose has been arrested for the murder, so she takes it upon herself to find out what really happended.

Nicely written, moves very fast, lots of adventure, the setting is described very well (including a glossary of terms) that teaches what life was like in Elizab
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Mystery 1 4 Oct 29, 2014 07:58PM  
Readers Digest: Assasin Lady Grace mysteries book 1 2 3 Mar 08, 2012 06:17AM  
  • Conspiracy (Lady Grace Mysteries, #3)
  • Beware, Princess Elizabeth (Young Royals, #2)
  • The Case of the Gypsy Good-bye (Enola Holmes Mysteries, #6)
  • The Thieves of Ostia (Roman Mysteries, #1)
  • At the House of the Magician
  • The Diamond of Drury Lane (Cat Royal, #1)
  • Death in the Air (The Boy Sherlock Holmes, #2)
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)
Betrayal (Lady Grace Mysteries, #2) Firedrake's Eye (David Becket and Simon Ames, #1) Unicorn's Blood (David Becket and Simon Ames, #2) Gloriana's Torch (David Becket and Simon Ames, #3) Do We Not Bleed? (The James Enys Mysteries)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »