Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review: Assassin (Lady Grace Mysteries #1)

 I really, really liked this book!  What a fun read!  Check out the synopsis from Goodreads:

When Margaret Cavandish, one of Elizabeth I’s Gentlewomen of the Bedchamber, lost her life in a bungled attempt to kill the Queen, her daughter, Lady Grace, became a protégée to the monarch, who takes Grace under her wing. Now Grace, a spunky girl who romps through the gardens with the laundry maids and court tumblers and rolls her eyes at her fellow ladies, chronicles the court intrigues that swirl around her. . . .

It’s the spring of 1569 and 13-year-old Lady Grace, the youngest lady-in-waiting to the Queen, finds herself at a glittering ball choosing amongst three suitors. But the Queen’s generosity turns deadly as threats, dark secrets, and even murder descend on the Tudor court. And it is up to Grace to use her intelligence, stealth, and curious nature to solve the mystery that threatens the very lifeblood of England.

I'm not exactly sure where to begin.  The story is written as a series of "daybooke" entries, which is kind of fun.  It made me feel like I was part of her innermost thoughts that way.  In fact, in the beginning of the story Grace writes, "I'd completely forgotten about it.  Hell's teeth!  (It's a good thing Mrs. Champernowne can't see how much swearing I do in my head.)"  Made me laugh out loud.  I'm glad other people can't see how much swearing goes on in my head.  But being inside Grace's head is a pleasure!

I love the character of Grace.  She is witty and funny and charming.  I love the way she sees life and her funny comments, like this one, "He signed, turned the key, and opened the gate.  He didn't even bow!  He would have for Lady Sarah, I believe, if only to get in a stare at her dugs.  Not for me, though.  My body hasn't started to develop in that way yet.  So I curtsied to him anyway, because the more you curtsy to people, the more they'll do for you, so it's worth the wear on your knees."

Assassin is the first in a series of books that progress alphabetically.  So far there are 12: Assassin; Betrayal; Conspiracy; Deception; Exile; Feud; Gold; Haunted, Intrigue, Jinx, Keys, and Loot.  And each one is a mystery set in the court of Queen Elizabeth.  I'll admit I didn't understand many of the terms that she uses (like bumroll or farthingale or jakes) but luckily there is a glossary in the back that explains them.  Also in the back of the book are Notes about the topic of the book and a section called The Fact Behind the Fiction that explains the history of Queen Elizabeth.

This was a fun read for me!  Lady Grace made me laugh out loud many times.  The cover art is not exactly my favorite, so I almost didn't read the book (yes, I must be a cover art snob!)  They have another book out that includes the first two books, Assassin and Betrayal, that has a much prettier cover design.   Four and a half stars!

1 comment:

Misty Moncur said...

Ooo, looks good. I'l have to read it!