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A Murder for Her Majesty Paperback – January 20, 1992

4.5 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-9 Having witnessed the murder of her father, Alice Tuckfield flees to York in search of a family friend. There she is befriended by some members of the York Minster Boys' Choir, who disguise her as a boy and sneak her into the choir. Alice's new identity becomes more than a joke when she discovers that her father's murderers are searching for her and that one of the priests at the cathedral was also involved in the murder plot. The suspense in Hilgartner's gripping mystery is balanced by the fascinating details of daily life at the York Minster during the Elizabethan era. The characterizations, especially of Alice, who must keep many secrets to protect her life; and the priests, a rather diverse group, are carefully realized. Elizabethan York, especially as Hilgartner describes it during the Christmas season, is an appealing setting. Her descriptions, while accurate, never dominate the story. This page-turner will attract readers; it may even entice some to go on to read other historical novels. David Gale, "School Library Journal"
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The suspense in Hilgartner's gripping mystery is balanced by the fascinating details of daily life at the York Minster during the Elizabethan era." School Library Journal, Starred

“Hilgartner tells a colorful, engrossing tale of villainy.” —Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (January 20, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395616190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395616192
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
You travel back to the time of Queen Elizabeth I. Alice Tuckfield witnesses her father's murder and is now in fear for her own life. Where can a young girl alone in the 16th century hide? How can she disappear? I just love this book and plan to reread it this summer. This story is full of music and history and sends you back to another place and time. An interesting look at life in the cathedral choirs. It makes me want to visit York someday. If you get hooked on the time period you can go on and read King of Shadows by Susan Cooper (love it) and The Shakespeare Stealer series by Gary Blackwell.
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Format: Paperback
Fast-paced, this book has great depth. My mom and younger sister both read it, while I was in the middle of a different book, "To Kill A Mockingbird". They highly reccomended it, and as soon as I completed "To Kill A Mockingbird", the next morning I picked this book up. I didn't put it down once, and as soon as I finished it I went back to the first page and read it again(it was even more interesting, since I knew everything)! That was yesterday ... and you may not believe it, but I read it again cover to cover today! I just can't get enough of it, and I wish there were a sequel! Although I will acknowledge a few historical innacuracies, it's still a great story with a great plot, with a lot of depth, and considerable character developement ... not only in Alice, but in several of the choirboys and priests. Highly recommend it ... as long as you can free up some time in your schedule for two to three hours of straight reading!
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Format: Paperback
'A Murder For Her Majesty', deals with a young girl who witnesses the murder of her father and must deal with men who conspire to murder her in turn. The novel is a wonderful combination of suspense and heart; Alice Tuckfield's journey in discovering who she is and where she belongs as well as all the people she encounters along the way will appeal to all readers of all ages. The book is well-written and extremely fast-paced, a great solution for boredom and leaving readers wishing for a sequel.
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Format: Paperback
A Murder for Her Majesty is exciting but completely unreliable as a historical novel. It is full of major and minor anachronisms: the choir sings carols that weren't written till the 19th century; York Minster uses an order of service appropriate to late 20th century American Episcopal churches but totally inaccurate for Elizabethan ritual; the political organization of the church ("the Queen could not appoint bishops herself") is completely backwards--bishops WERE, in fact, appointed by the Queen--Alice is portrayed as eating a potato and drinking tea, both of which were not in the English diet till 100 or more years later; there are house numbers (a 19th century invention) and on and on and on. It's outrageous not only that the author's own research was so sloppy but that nobody anywhere along the editorial process caught any of this. What's the use of a historical novel if the history it teaches is so utterly inaccurate?
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Format: Paperback
I first read this book in fifth grade (now I'm a college student), and the next year I signed up for choir. I've been singing ever since! The descriptions of music opened up a whole other world I'd never particularly thought about, and without which my life would be immeasurably poorer. And if you're a kid reading this, please don't dismiss it because I make it sound boring and educational--it's really exciting!
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Format: Paperback
Alice Tuckfield has a real problem- her father is dead- murdered by agents of the queen and she needs a safe place to hide. Luckily, she stumbles onto some boys who sing in the cathederal choir. Communal life suits hiding her among them- even the choirmaster doesn't notice her for a week. But Alice overhears conversations and knows that her father's murderers are connected to the catherderal. This book is great for introducing students to life in the 16th century- the school work, the ways of church and society. Also Alice is a fine heroine- the action is slow at first but it picks up quickly.
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Format: Paperback
When I started reading this book I found it hard to put down. I found it so exciting with lots of things happening. At the beginning of the story Alice Tuckfield after seeing her father's death runs into a few choirboys who give her food and a place to stay for the night. The boys then think that it would be a good prank to hide her in the choir and she soon gets used to the boys and tries not to reveal that she is a girl. The rest of the book is now your turn to read and I am positive you will enjoy it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A Murder for Her Majesty doesn't waste time getting started. Right in the first chapter, Alice is running away from home, and gets brought in by a group of choirboys, who decide to hide her in their house and even come up with a plan to disguise her as one of them. It's through flashback and background information that we find out how she got there.

Alice had witnessed her father being murdered by two men, who claimed to be working for the Queen of England. Scared for her life, she heads off to London and arrives at a cathedral, only to learn to her horror that the criminals have arrived there as well; in fact, they work there.

Now she's in even more danger, as she's a member of the very choir of that cathedral, with murderers at high positions of power. Luckily for her, not all of them know what she looks like, even when they see her looking them right in the face. But complications arise, bringing with them many close calls, before things really do get bad for Alice.

The story moved faster than I was expecting for a 240-page book. Something that advances the plot and especially the suspense occurs in just about every chapter. In fact, I went from reading about 25 or 50 pages a day, to finishing off the last 140 pages in my last day of reading the book. The suspense and pacing had just ramped up to the point where I just had to keep going. Definitely the sign of a good read!

The characters come alive pretty well, too. Each of the choirboys Alice stays with has their own personality. Most are mischievous, though one really doesn't like the whole situation and tries to out Alice several times (before the boys discover the kind of danger she's really in).
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