Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Lady Grace Mysteries: Jinx

The Lady Grace Mysteries: Jinx

Jan Burchett, Sara Vogler
Historical Fiction  Series
For ages 10 and up
Random House UK, 2008   ISBN: 978-1862304192

Lady Grace Cavendish is not that enthusiastic when the Spanish Ambassador and his “retinue” come to pay her queen a visit. Long speeches are given that are singularly boring, and the ladies in attendance are not the best of company. But then a request is made that makes up for everything. The Spanish ladies are eager to visit St. Bartholomew’s Fair which they have heard about. Though she is not keen on the idea, the queen is persuaded to let her ladies and maids accompany the Spanish guests to the fair.

The group are not at the fair long before something terrible happens. One of the tents catches fire and the Maid of Honor who was inside, Lady Sarah, is badly burned. The tent’s owner is killed by the blaze.

Many think that the fire was caused by a gypsy curse, but Grace thinks otherwise and when she goes to visit Mrs. Bea – who is a very skilled healer – to get something to help poor Lady Sarah, she discovers how right she is. In Mrs. Bea’s house she meets Rosa, the lady who was said to have died in the tent fire. Mrs. Bea feels that there is good chance that the tent fire was not an accident or a curse at all. Someone wanted Rosa out of the way – permanently.

In this book readers once again get to solve a mystery with Lady Grace Cavendish, a young woman who refuses to accept things at face value. Instead she sets about rooting around for the truth in her capacity as a pursuivant – a spy – for her Majesty Queen Elizabeth of England. Lady’s Grace’s diary entries not only describe an interesting mystery, but they also give readers an intriguing picture of what court life was like during Queen Elizabeth’s reign.