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Children's LiteratureLady Grace Cavendish, fictional thirteen-year-old lady's maid to Queen Elizabeth I, invites readers to peek inside her diary as she chronicles another story of mystery and intrigue. Strikingly beautiful Banoo Yasmine of Sharakand has taken refuge in Queen Elizabeth's court, and pledges her future repayment with the singularly huge and startlingly exquisite Heart of Kings ruby. However, in her ceremonial act of good faith, the stone falls to the floor and breaks into shards, indicating that the real jewel has been stolen and replaced by worthless glass. All in the court are aghast. Later, in a private audience, the queen charges Grace with the task of spying out the culprit. Court intrigue, late night vigils, and daring escapades ensue, all captured in Grace's eyewitness account. An enthralling approach to living sixteenth century history, Grace is a winsome narrator, certain to develop a life of her own. This is part of the "Lady Grace Mysteries" series. "The Fact Behind the Fiction" section concluding the book details the history of the period and identifies characters who actually lived, and those fictional ones who were created for the series. 2006, Random House Children's Books/Random House, Ages 12 to 16.