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A Murder for Her Majesty
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A Murder for Her Majesty

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  2,235 ratings  ·  175 reviews
Horrified at having witnessed her father's murder and fearing that the killers are agents of Queen Elizabeth I, eleven-year-old Alice Tuckfield hides in the Yorkshire cathedral by disguising herself as one of the choirboys.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 20th 1992 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 20th 1986)
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Ruby Knight I first read this book when I was about 12 or 11. I'm 20 now and was thinking about it. it's really good.

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4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,235 ratings  ·  175 reviews

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Feb 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
I usually criticize books, and pick on every single bad thing about them. The characters are weak... The plot was limp, and "horrid"... Or, most terribly, the storytelling was atrocious.
That wasn't the case with this book. And it pleasantly surprised me with no feminist sort of messages. "Girls can be like guys." "Girls are just as good as guys." "Girls aren't weak." "Girls are best." To those of you who know me well enough, you can probably imagine me saying those messages in a mocking tone.
What a wonderful book this is! This was my second time reading it, and I found it just as enjoyably, if not more enjoyable, than when I first read it. If you like historical fiction, mixed with a little mystery and suspense, plus some humor, than you must read this book. It had it all.

I will warn you that this book is very hard to put down. I read in less than 24 hours! Partly because I have a habit of finishing books reasonably fast, but still, that's a record for me. It has a great plot, and I
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Amy by: Yorkshire
Shelves: 2018, brit-trip
This is one of those books I wish I could go back and put in the hands of 10 yo me. A great adventure and mystery for children.
2018 Review
I forgot how much I adore this book. It is seriously so good. I love all the characters and the plot and the history. This is basically the definition of a five star read in my mind.

Original Review
I LOVE this book. I've read it OVER AND OVER AND OVER and I recommend it again and again!

Mar 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
A Murder for Her Majesty doesn't waste time getting started. Right in the first chapter, Alice is running away from home, and gets brought in by a group of choirboys, who decide to hide her in their house and even come up with a plan to disguise her as one of them. It's through flashback and background information that we find out how she got there.

Alice had witnessed her father being murdered by two men, who claimed to be working for the Queen of England. Scared for her life, she heads off to L
Jul 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ashley by: Amy
I loved this book. It was fun, mysterious, and breath-taking all at the same time.

The driving force of this book was the characters, and they were written marvelously well. I fell in love with Alice and her propensity to tell her superiors off. I grinned at Geoffrey, Orlando, Randall, and Nate, and their mischievous ways; I also admired their desire to help and protect Alice. The descriptions of the professors was amazing and very life-like; I came to love and understand the professors, even if
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent fun! I loved it as a teen. I just remembered this old favorite and have now added it to my Amazon cart. If it was on Kindle, I would have it already. :) Looking forward to the reread. Big fan! I would recommend it to any story lover of any age. It is a heartwarming tale with the added bonus of mystery. Loveable characters make it all the more enjoyable. The music detail I found interesting. This was a gem in my youth: a beautiful escape.
I enjoyed this book and read it quickly. The characters are interesting. I got some of the Father WhatsHisNames mixed up, but that didn't seem to matter that much. Good story.
Donna Farley
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was disappointed in what had looked like a promising historical novel for younger readers.

A cathedral choir school in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I as a setting seemed quite interesting and original, but I was not impressed by the depth of the author's research. One example of an obvious gaffe: a character preparing for a Christmas service is looking out copies of 'Ding Dong Merrily On High'-- a set of lyrics not written until the early 20th C, though set to an older tune. A detail easily fo
Terri Lynn
I never allow myself to miss out on a good read because a book is labeled for children or young adults. A good story is a good story no matter where it is stashed in the library or bookstore.

In this most excellent story, 11 year old Alice quite accidentally witnessed her father's murder by two of his visitors from a tree on her father's estate. Overhearing the killers talking about what to do about her and something about how Queen Elizabeth 1 would be happy he was dead, she flees with only the
Jan 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. In fact, about 25 pages before the end, I misplaced it in the house and had to turn everything upside down to find it. I really wanted to finish it, even though I knew everything would turn out well for the heroine. I think boys and girls would enjoy this book. There's lots of action. The main character is a girl, but nearly every other character is male. The choir boys are jolly and determined and always up for mischief.

I read this to figure out when my children might be rea
Wendy D'Angelo
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-ya
Love love love this book. I purchased it a few years ago since it was a childhood favorite, but only recently re-read. It's the kind of story you want to re-read every year as the weather is starting to grow cooler and you just want to curl up in a blanket for a weekend with a good book. I remember seeing this title in the library when I was 9 or 10 and being so afraid of it because it had "murder" in the title! Finally, I made myself read it and learned an important lesson that has changed my e ...more
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was just as wonderful as I remember it being, and I never want to return this book to the library


I just made a really dumb update about this book not even ten minutes ago. I have been searching for this book FOR AGES. I was obsessed with it when I was in middle school and had since forgotten the title, only remembering the cover. FOREVER AND A DAY I have searched and finally, today, on the billionth page of google and after posing the worst search questions ever, I have finally found it!
May 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anglophiles, middle schoolers
Shelves: oft-recommended
I ADORED this book when I was in 4th or 5th grade and read it monthly or so for a few months. I forgot about it but recently bought it for some friends of the family, and decided that I better read it again - sort of like testing cookies that you've baked before giving them away. It's still good! Definitely buying a copy for myself, which is a rare thing indeed.
Bob Collins
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Well written historical novel; suspenseful. My daughter read this for a 7th grade reading assignment and enjoyed it and passed it on to me. Good book!
Apr 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Fun read. Lots of musical connections
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who enjoy Eloise Jarvis McGraw or Elizabeth Marie Pope
A Murder for Her Majesty is solid middle-grade historical fiction, just the type that I would have enjoyed when I devoured Ann Rinaldi and the Dear America books.

After witnessing the murder of her father, Alice Tuckerfield flees from London to York, certain that she, too, could be killed for what she has seen. Cold and hungry, Alice runs into a group of choir boys, who take pity on her and smuggle her into their dormitory. Alice pretends to be a boy and joins the choir, which sets the stage for
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gift, tudor
Another great book this year! This was a gift from my friend Meagan. Although it was only 200ish pages and easy to read it was well written. The only thing I can complain about is not enough Elizabeth? Here I labeled it a tudor book but she is barely in it; but still gets mentions enough. The rest is centered around hiding a girl in the boy's church choir and keep her away from the men that murdered her father- that they thought they had done under the order of the Queen we later find out she ac ...more
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, homeschooling
This was a read-aloud for our Sonlight curriculum. The oldest girl (who's curriculum it actually is) was NOT keen on it, since it's about a murder and she doesn't want to read about murders. And the younger ones took one look a the title and cover and decided they weren't going to sit in on this one. (I always give everyone the option with our read-alouds.) Yeah, well, that lasted about thirty seconds, by which time all the kids were hooked and waiting with bated breath to see what happened next ...more
Danielle Routh
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a bit conflicted concerning the rating for this book because while the story itself and its characters are excellent, the writing is lackluster, generally following a pattern of "he said, she said" and using too many adverbs instead of more interesting verbs. Still, I loved this book when I was younger, and I appreciate the nuanced way in which Hilgartner refuses to pit Alice against the boys and instead presents them all equally. I think four stars is fair, but I'll also be returning my cop ...more
Nov 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting and fun to read with the boys but I didn’t really see the merit as a school read. Not a lot of history here. In fact, there were several historical errors and the people spoke very 20th century. It’s fine as a fun read but not as part of a curriculum. C’mon Sonlight, you can do better.
Matt Kottman
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, fiction
We read this book as a family. It’s one of the kids’ favorite stories. It all takes place in York around Yorkminster in the Elizabethian era. Since we have been to York so often we can picture all the locations. It’s a fun story of a girl who learns to survive after her father was murdered, hiding as a choir boy.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
Just an okay little book. Not much in way of learning about history or any deeper themes. My 14 year old and 12 year old sons both gave it 4 stars because they liked the suspense. There was a lot of taking the Lord's name in vain, a murder, and a kidnapping so I would probably say it's for young adults 14 years and older.
Sep 27, 2018 rated it liked it
One for the kids. An adventure not a mystery, exceedingly anachronistic (details of food, Christmas customs, conversation styles... all much more 1920 than 1590), and rather cheesy: and yet it was still fun, heartwarming, neatly musical (girl on the run cuts hair and hides among the choir of York Minster) and impossible not to like. Its "old-fashioned" elements are surprisingly winsome.
Antonina Deverue
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book in 7th grade and then once more now. Very fast pace at the end. Not as attention gripping anymore (because I now have read many more books that are more gripping) but still a great read for a young teen.
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
read aloud to the kids. entertaining story that the kids seemed to enjoy.
We loved this historical fiction about friendship.
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read to Kate, Elzie and Joey.
G L Meisner
I read this years ago and loved it.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love this book!!! I don't think there is a such thing as rereading this book!!!
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Beth Hilgartner has published six previous books: three fantasies, a historical fiction novel, a picture book, and a dark fantasy. She is an Episcopal priest, an award-winning author, a musician, a flower farmer, an equestrian, a maker of historical instruments (recorders), and chronically short of sleep. She lives in Orford, NH--no, not Oxford--with her husband and their four seriously pampered c ...more