næntsi's Reviews > A Murder for Her Majesty

A Murder for Her Majesty by Beth Hilgartner
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's review
Feb 12, 2012

really liked it

I've been craving a book with music as a vital part of the story for a very long time, and I'm happy that it was a part of this one. It's a book that I'm sure I would have loved reading as a child. I can just picture myself puzzling over the few technical terms that came with the different voices in the choir, or the pedals for the organ that Alice had to pull in the Christmas Eve service, only to realize what they were referring to years later as I reread it. But since I didn't actually read it as a child, I can only say that this was a fun little book that I devoured this morning. I'm only too happy to see that the cover actually reflects something that happens in the book, I had no trouble recognizing it when it did.

Alice is gifted, yes, but the story wasn't about her pop star potentiality. Instead, it focuses on how she much loves music without making it solely about her, and all of the friends that she makes along her journey when her real fear that she was alone in the world. I loved, loved the boys. Such good sports! Alice joined in with their mischief as easily as any child (probably) should, and I'm glad that bullying wasn't a theme as many other stories would have jumped on, just in order to highlight how different the worlds are supposed to be for boys and girls. She was adopted quite easily, and all of their efforts to help and defend Alice only endears them even more. Her relationship with the older men in the story are also well done, and Master Kenton in particular develops into someone very much like a second father. The action is quick, err, that is to say, things happen quickly, but for its genre I wouldn't say it rushes. Instead, things are clear from the beginning what happens, and the rest of the intrigue is Alice figuring out how to remain unnoticed. Of course, not everything is explained and things are tied up prettily, but I don't think it detracts from the story much (poor Sir Henry, I'd like to know what happened to him).

People might complain that there's very little reason behind Alice's actions, but for an 11 year old girl who feels she's (mostly) alone and without the power to change things, I think her fear of fessing up everything in her self-interest of survival and reluctance to go to the adults made sense. She is scared to death at many times, but that didn't mean she couldn't trust others or rely on her friends to come to her help. Now that I like, more than all of the heroines who feel they can tackle on the world alone with only their wit, charm and beauty, I'd say.

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Reading Progress

February 12, 2012 – Shelved
Started Reading
February 19, 2012 –
page 5
1.95% "Hah! I like these boys already!"
February 19, 2012 – Finished Reading

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