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My name is Lady Grace Cavendish, and I'm Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's favourite Maid of Honour. Everyone thinks growing up at the Royal Court is all parties and feasts and jewels - but mysterious, dangerous things always seem to happen! And because I am small and smart and very good at sneaking around, the Queen has made me her very own special secret investigator.
Last night was the Valentine's Ball, and I was supposed to pick a suitor there (boring!). But later on, one of them was found dead - with a dagger in his back! And it's up to me to solve the mystery and find the killer . . .
Everyone at the Royal Court was so excited today - the marvellous Frost Fair has come to London, and we all went ice skating! But there was a terrible discovery when the body of a man was found at the edge of the frozen river.
Why was he killed, and what is the meaning of the silver coins placed over his eyes? Are they a message - or a warning? As the Queen's own special investigator, I, Lady Grace, must uncover the truth . . .
Life as a sailor must be so exciting! But as Maid of Honour to Queen Elizabeth, I would never be allowed to try out my sea legs (I am supposed to be a prim and proper lady, you see). At least, that's what I thought - until my fellow Maid of Honour, Lady Sarah, disappeared.
The Court believes she ran away to marry a dashing sea captain, but I just know there's something odd about that note she left behind. And as her Majesty's very own secret investigator, I, Lady Grace, must find out the truth . . .
Usually I hate hunting, because I'm not a very good rider and I always end up on my bum. But today the hunt was very exciting, and a little scary too! Because there was almost a terrible accident - and it looks as though someone is trying to hurt the Queen.
Could Her Majesty's closest friend, Robert Dudley, really be to blame? As Queen Elizabeth's favourite Maid of Honour, and her very own secret investigator, it's up to me, Lady Grace, to solve this mystery . . .
A PUZZLE ON THE STAGE!
A new play: Intrigue, is just about to open in Whitehall. The play includes a very clever, convincing death scene, and Queen Elizabeth is desperate to see it before the rest of her country. But when the Queen and her court go to watch, the death scene is far too convincing - in fact, it's real! Richard Fitzgrey is murdered in front of the Queen!
Leaf through the pages of the daybooke of Lady Grace, favourite Maid of Honour of Queen Elizabeth I, and enter a theatrical world full of mystery . . .
Published: 30 Nov 2010
There is much excitement at court as the famous painter Levina Teerlimc arrives to paint the Queen's portrait.
The Maids of Honour are recruited to help entertain the Queen during the sittings, and to pose for the painter whilst the Queen is busy. They love being in the studio but have to beware as deadly arsenic is used in one of the paints!
One of Lady Grace's fellow Maids of Honour, Carmina, begins to act rather strangely - she seems confused and always tired. Her family has recently been involved in a feud with another noble family after her father was killed in a jousting tournament - is it possible that Carmina is being poisoned?
Could the painter or her assistant be involved? Can Grace solve the mystery and discover the truth behind the strange happenings at Court?
There's a new arrival - a mysterious and exotic young princess - at court and Lady Grace can't believe how many rumours there are about her already.
The exiled Banoo Yasmine from Sharakand is a beautiful girl with a pet panther and - everyone believes - magical powers. Yasmine also possesses the renowned Heart of Kings Ruby - a huge stone that she wears around her neck to balls and feasts, that legend says has the power to make kings.
When the famed jewel goes missing, the finger is pointed at Grace's dear friend Ellie the laundrymaid. Grace must prove her friend's innocence, find the true thief and restore the stone to its rightful owner.
It's the height of summer and the palace is full of ambassadors and ladies from the Spanish court. When a visit to the famous St Bartholomew's fair is planned to entertain the guests, Grace jumps at the chance to get out for the day. Not everybody feels the same though and there's a lot of superstision amongst the ladies about the gypsies, fortune tellers and herbal medicine that will be at the fair.
When a mysterious fire at the fair leaves Lady Sarah injured and a gypsy woman dead, it seems the ladies were right to be worried. But was the fire started on purpose? And can Grace get to the bottom of this mystery?
When the Court clockmaker, Mr Urseau, is found dead in his workshop - a dagger in his chest and a key clutched in his hand - rumours start flying. Was the murderer his young assistant? Or maybe his wife? Both could be after Urseau's private treasure. And where is the key from? What is it for?
Lady Grace, Queen Elizabeth's own Lady Pursuiviant, is determined to get to the bottom of all these questions. But things get even more complicated when Grace discovers that a mysterious clock was delivered to the palace on the day Urseau was killed . . .
Published: 30 Nov 2010