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Betrayal: Lady Grace Mysteries    by Patricia Finney order for
by Patricia Finney
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2004 (2004)

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* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

This 2nd in the Lady Grace Mysteries propels Grace Cavendish into 'mystery at sea'. Lady Grace begins her daybook entries for Betrayal on 'The Fourth Day of May, In the Year of Our Lord 1569 at Eventide'. Though their daily task of winding wool is dull, the Maids of Honor anticipate excitement on the morrow, when they are to accompany Queen Elizabeth I to the docks at Tilbury. They travel by ship to view the Royal Dockyards, which were built years past by the Queen's Royal Father. Sea Captains Francis Drake and Hugh Derry are quite taken with the red-haired beauty Lady Sarah (a flirtatious Maid). But, they are pirates, not the rich courtiers Sarah's parents are sure to prefer as their daughter's suitors.

Upon the entourage's return from the Dockyards, Lady Sarah is nowhere to be found. While helping with the search, Grace meets pageboy Robin, who has a message for Lady Jane from Sarah. It says 'that I send my love and she need not worry for me', highly suspicious since Jane and Sarah are not friends. A letter to the Queen indicates that Sarah has eloped with Captain Drake. It is very curious, however, that Sarah left behind her jewelry and toilette, and Grace determines that the handwriting is not Sarah's. Long appointed Lady Pursuivant to the Queen, Grace is on the case. With the help of her friend Masou the tumbler, she cuts her hair and disguises herself as a page named Gregory. The duo boards Drake's vessel as stowaways. Gregory and Masou climb the mast ropes and perform various naval chores while searching for Sarah. Grace's archery skills are useful in defending Drake's ship from a Spanish attack. Their suspicions of Drake decrease when he speaks of his ship as 'the finest thing a man can have ... When you're master of your own ship, you're as free as the wind.' But, where is Lady Sarah and who has taken her?

Writing as Lady Grace Cavendish, Patricia Finney has produced another finely-honed mystery in an engaging series. A wealthy glossary defines a splendid array of terms, such as banshee, capstan, dottle, and jakes. Included is an informative 'Note About Ships and Sailing', along with Finney's 'The Fact Behind the Fiction'. I highly recommend Betrayal as a seaworthy historical mystery for teens.

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