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Maid of Secrets: Maids of Honor    by Jennifer McGowan order for
Maid of Secrets
by Jennifer McGowan
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Jessica Maguire

When I first picked up this novel I thought I would be reading some cheesy drama, something akin to the television shows Desperate Housewives or Devious Maids, only in print. In other words, I thought I would be reading a book that I would dislike and be rolling my eyes with each turn of the page. I am happy to admit that I am quite wrong in my original assessment.

What I found is a well developed and complex story full of mystery, crime, drama, romance, and intrigue. The novel, set in Elizabethan England, follows the story of Meg Fellowes, a pick-pocketing orphaned teenager.

Meg's talent picking pockets lands her in the position of being a Maid of Honor, a small group of remarkably skilled ladies in the service of protecting the Queen and her secrets. Essentially, Meg and her fellow Maids are spies for the crown.

The Maids of Honor go through intense training and schooling tailored to each girl's talents. But is her training enough to keep Meg safe? After all, the Maid she replaced was murdered, her eyes gouged out and her ears and tongue cut off as payment for her services. And the killer is still at large.

On top of this, the Spanish are visiting, increasing tensions and the risk of harm to the Queen. The Maids must be more diligent than ever.

With danger lurking at every turn and a Spanish courtier's interest in Meg, there is never a dull moment in this book. Although this novel is for readers ages twelve and up, I really feel that Maid of Secrets is much better suited for adults and older teenagers. I feel that the 400 plus pages of complex story line, character development, and content may be too intense for younger readers.

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