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WHEN MARGARET CAVENDISH, 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.
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 laundry maid. Grace must prove her friend's innocence, find the true thief, and restore the stone to its rightful owner.
There is much excitement at Court as the famous painter Levina Teerlinc arrives to paint the Queen's portrait. The Maids of Honor are recruited to help entertain the Queen during the sittings, and to pose for the painter while the Queen is busy. They love being in the studio but have to beware as deadly poisons are used in some of the paints! One of Lady Grace's fellow Maids of Honor, 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 assistants be involved? Can Grace solve the mystery and discover the truth behind the strange happenings at Court?
Preparations for the wedding of one of Lady Grace's fellow Maids of Honour are interrupted when a shipment of gold, on its way to the Queen, is stolen! The culprit is a single masked horseman, all in black - or is it a gang of ruffians from the forest. The clues seem to point in several different directions and Grace, as Queen Elizabeth's trusty Secret Lady Pursuivant, can't make head nor tail of them. Could one of the newcomers to Court be involved? And will Grace be able to help recover the fortune?
GHOSTLY SIGHTS! The Queen and her Maids of Honour are spending the summer at a nobleman's estate where a new manor house is being built. But the work has to stop when a spooky figure appears. Could the ghost of a murdered Earl be haunting the site of his own death? Grace begins to investigate and finds that there are many rumours about the ghost--and uncovering the truth could be dangerous ... Explore the world of Queen Elizabeth I's Court within the daybooke of Lady Grace, her favourite Maid of Honour.
Queen Elizabeth is furious at the delays to the production of her new coin uaand so Lady Grace and her fellow Maids of Honour escape her bad temper and set off to skate on the frozen Thames. But their outing turns sour when a body is discovered on the banks uaa man blindfolded with coins on his eyes. Grace is sure something odd is going on and decides that, as the Queen's Lady Pursuivant, she should be the one to investigate. Along with her friends Ellie the laundrymaid and Masou the acrobat, she delves deep into a dangerous world of counterfeiting and corruption.
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