Exile: Lady Grace Mysteries
Delacorte, 2006 (2006)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
have long been a fan of Patricia Finney's for her wonderful Irish historicals -
A Shadow of Gulls
The Crow God
- and Elizabethan historical mysteries such as
. This is my first venture into her YA series starring the Queen's Lady Pursuivant and Maid of Honor, Grace Cavendish.
is the fifth in the
Lady Grace Mysteries
series, aimed at middle school readers.
he story is narrated by Lady Grace herself, through entries in her
. As this episode opens, the Court is astir and the Maids of Honor excited about the imminent arrival to the Greenwich Palace of Placentia of the exiled (and exotic) Banoo Yasmine of Sharakand. Her family have all been killed by a usurper and the Banoo seeks sanctuary (and financial help) from Queen Elizabeth. Grace's friend, acrobat Masou, tells her of the legendary
of Sharakand, who '
can twist and fold their bodies into incredible shapes.
s surety for a loan from the Queen, the Banoo offers the legendary
Heart of Kings
ruby, only to discover that it has been stolen from her room overnight. Grace's friend, laundrymaid Ellie, is accused and only Grace and Masou believe in her innocence. They soon determine that only a
could have accessed the room in which the jewel was held, and go to great lengths (that add to Grace's reputation for clumsiness) to figure out who in the Sharakand entourage might be one of these talented contortionists.
s always, Patricia Finney writes an engaging mystery steeped in the Elizabethan era and in the daily life of a Queen's Maid of Honor. At the back is a handy Glossary of Elizabethan terms like
, a note on the Queen's jewels, an informative section on '
The Fact Behind the Fiction
', and an excerpt from the next episode,
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