Publishers WeeklySet in 1546, Herring's captivating debut depicts the future Elizabeth I as a keen and shrewd detective. A killer is stalking London, beheading young women and dressing their bodies in nuns' clothes. When one of the princess's own ladies becomes a victim, the 12-year-old Elizabeth, daughter of the now failing Henry VIII, joins with her friends Simon Maldon, a physician's son, and Hugh Bellows, the captain of the king's Welsh Guard, in the hunt for the murderer, though they're careful to keep Elizabeth's involvement a secret from her father. Filled with colorful and believable characters from all classes of society, the story moves swiftly to its dramatic conclusion. Fans of historical mysteries will look forward eagerly to the next in the series. (Jan.)
Library JournalWhen the headless corpses of young women litter the streets of London, an aging Henry VIII sends his trusted captain of the Welsh Guards to find the killer. Hugh Bellows is aided by Simon Maldon, the crippled son of Henry's former physician, and 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth. As the three investigate in their own distinctive fashion, they form a tight-knit bond. VERDICT This historical series debut delivers the goods with panache. The danger of living in a politically unstable England as its king slowly dies in agony is vividly portrayed here, and the discovery of the murderer's identity is carefully plotted. Highly recommended for fans of Elizabethan mysteries by Karen Harper, Kathy Lynn Emerson, and Fiona Buckley.\
Kirkus ReviewsHerring (Macbeth's Niece, 2007, etc.) pairs a future queen and a physician's son to hunt down a depraved murderer. Young Simon Maldon strikes up an unlikely friendship with Princess Elizabeth when his father is called to Hampstead Castle to treat a household servant. Henry VIII is in his last years, his only son is sickly and daughters Mary and Elizabeth are kept in the background, away from the devious political maneuvering at court. When a headless woman is found in the castle garden, Simon and Elizabeth secretly aid Hugh, a captain in the Welsh Guards who's been tasked with finding the killer. The murdered girl, a pretty but stupid member of Elizabeth's household, was not the first to die in this fashion. The other victims were women of easy virtue whose deaths attracted little attention, even though the corpses were dressed as nuns with rosaries by their sides. After they learn that a tall man wearing a richly decorated cloak was seen in the area of each crime, Simon roams the streets of London artlessly asking questions about the murdered women while Elizabeth decorously calls on members of the aristocracy. Among the possible suspects are Elizabeth's castellan, several handsome but dissolute courtiers, a known criminal and a madman. As the murders continue, the investigators must divine the ruthless killer's motives before he strikes again. Elizabeth and Simon are believable sleuths in a promising volume rich in historical detail and intended as the first of a series.
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Her Highness' First Murder based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
In 1546, Londoners are frightened as a serial killer beheads young women and dresses them in nun's garb with rosary. The victims were all loose so no one in power cared. However, the murders come to the castle when a member of twelve years old Princess Elizabeth's retinue is killed. She and two friends, physician's son Simon Maldon and Captain of the king's Welsh Guard Hugh Bellows, begin to investigate while trying to conceal the princess' role from her father, her ailing brother and her older sister. Their inquiry works as witnesses describe a tall man wearing a decorated cloak at several crime scenes. Still they have too many suspects while struggling with a lack of motive. The Key to this delightful royal historical amateur sleuth is readers will believe the tweener princess and her allies are credible as detectives as they investigate across sections of all social classes residing in London. Although Elizabeth has been an investigator in other series (Karen Harper comes to mind), fans will enjoy her as a mid sixteenth century Nancy Drew. Harriet Klausner