Read Her Highness' First Murder by Peg Herring Online


Set 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 soSet 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.)...

Title : Her Highness' First Murder
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781594148422
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 345 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Her Highness' First Murder Reviews

  • Susan Meyer
    2019-03-27 13:24

    First AdventureFor a First Adventure, this is an excellent attempt. Young Simon, son of a doctor who was once assigned to Henry VIII, is unhappy with his life as assistant to his father. But, through a lucky accident in which one of Princess Elizabeth's maids breaks a leg, he meets the young princess and impresses her with his logical and forthright thinking.When several women are found murdered and their heads missing, King Henry wants the crime solved, but the details kept quiet so as not to create a panic amongst his people. He assigns the Captain of his Welsh Guards, Hugh (his last name escapes me), and Simon, who has become a companion to Elizabeth, to solve the matter.More bodies show up, each with the head missing. The suspects multiply as well. One of them may even be Elizabeth's current guardian, Blakeley!As the three of them set about trying to discover who is commuting these heinous crimes, they meet very interesting people and are exposed to mounting danger. But that does not stop them, in fact, it challenges them to limits they didn't know they had.I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a well-written and researched novel. It will take you by surprise and you'll find yourself reading it long after you promised yourself you'd stop.

  • Peg
    2019-04-06 16:27

    This was a nice light read. It had few areas that were a bit slow and a few historical errors. I feel what irritated me at times was the reminders that these were 'children' solving this crime. The character development was complete and there was no need to be reminded, which was done in an interrupting way at times. It had a few nice turns, likeable characters and a quick pace.

  • Laurel Bradshaw
    2019-03-20 10:38

    A Simon & Elizabeth Mystery : Book One.Setting: Hampstead Castle, LondonTime: 1546Main characters: Elizabeth Tudor (daughter of Henry VIII, future Elizabeth I, Queen of England) - age 13; Simon Malden, son of the court physician at Hampstead Castle, age 14; Hugh Bellows, captain of the Welsh Guard.First paragraph, Chapter One: Simon heard the cries as they climbed the steep hill to the castle. Screams vibrated with pain and panic, fluctuating between wordless shrieks and "No, don't!" repeated several times. His father, striding ahead with his soft bag over one shoulder, seemed unaware, but Simon cringed. Despite daily encounters with people in pain, the physician's son could not become inured to it.Favorite line: On the way home Elizabeth ignored Bess' comments on women who waved goodbye by use of a dog's paw. (p. 115)This isn't marketed as young adult, but with two teen-aged protagonists it certainly could be. The language is simple and direct, somewhat like a cozy mystery. Although the murders are gruesome and a couple of the victims are prostitutes, there is no gratuitous violence or sex. The author has clearly done a lot of historical research and I like the way she works details into the plot about clothing, food, descriptions of places, etc. in such a way that it is easy to visualize being there. She has a subtle sense of humor that I enjoyed very much (see favorite line above). Elizabeth is mature beyond her 13 years, and the author lets us know of the queen she will become through her introspection. As a mystery, I was kept guessing. We follow the clues along with Elizabeth and Simon, and we know what they know when they know it. No sudden twist of plot or resolution that comes out of nowhere. I really look forward to reading more of this series.Description: When headless corpses begin appearing on the streets of London, Elizabeth Tudor is as shocked as everyone else. When one of her own ladies is murdered, Elizabeth joins with new friend Simon Maldon to find the killer. Henry VIII, also shocked by the murders assigns one of his Welsh guardsmen, Hugh, to investigate, since the women are dressed as nuns and might signal new religious troubles. Suspects include a madman, a courtier, a reformer, a well-known criminal, and others, even Elizabeth's castellan. Simon, discovering that he is good at the art of disguise, plays various parts as he works at narrowing the list. Elizabeth's part in the investigation is kept secret from the king, who would certainly not approve. But it cannot be kept secret from the killer, and in the end, he turns his attention to them. Simon, Elizabeth, and Hugh face a murderer who is beyond caring how many die, as long as he gets what he wants.About the author: Peg Herring is a writer of plays, mysteries, and romance who once taught high school language arts and history. In her spare time she travels with her husband of many decades, gardens, directs choral groups, and works to keep her hundred-year-old home from crumbling away.Series info:Simon and Elizabeth series01. Her Highness' first murder - read-------------------------02. Poison, Your Grace 03. The lady flirts with death

  • Sophia
    2019-04-12 12:27

    This was a wonderful read and I loved the blend of real with fictional characters in an exciting time of history.The story takes place near the end of Henry VIII's life when his daughter, Elizabeth is a 13 year old segregated from her siblings and her father in her own small castle residence. One of Elizabeth's attendants takes an injury while falling from her horse and that is when she is introduced to Simon, the physician's son. Simon is just a few years older and being reluctantly trained in his father's profession. He has a stunted right hand so really has no hope of that profession. Elizabeth and Simon develop a friendship in the commonality of education and intelligence. While the friendship blooms, ghastly murders are taking place all over London. First it is two prostitutes and then a highborn lady. All are choked, beheaded, and then left in the religious robes of nuns complete with rosary. Elizabeth and Simon are drawn into this when one of Elizabeth's other attendants, a flirtatious girl becomes victim number four.King Henry wants the killings kept quiet because of the nature of them, but also wants them stopped. He takes Elizabeth's advice to pair Simon with Hugh, the captain of his Welsh guard, to solve the crimes. Elizabeth is warned to stay out of it, but of course she does not.The rest of the book is a blend of detective-style questioning and observing with a grand heart-stopping finish. There are plenty of suspects who carry their own secrets. The plot is exceptional with enough twists and turns that I felt like I knew who the killer was and then I would doubt my suspicions. There are a few minor threads to the main story that just add rich layers. I was particularly interested in the blend of the historical storyline (Elizabeth's encounters with her father and his sixth wife, Catherine Parr and Elizabeth's encounters with her sister Mary) with the fictitious story against the historical backdrop of Tudor London. I love the scenes where Simon disguises himself and moves about the city from the merchant areas, to the wharves, to the seamier side.The characters are well drawn. I felt Henry VIII's physical pain and frustration for his end of life circumstances, Elizabeth's very real concern for what will happen when her father dies and having to come into her own as the woman who would be the most powerful English queen, Simon's desire to prove himself, and all the other secondary characters who were more than merely backdrop. I liked the unlikely partnership between the princess, the physician's son, and the captain of the guard bringing their individual strengths to solve the horrendous crime.I will definitely be continuing on with this series and look forward to what the next story brings.

  • Patricia
    2019-03-27 13:35

    Jacob Maldon, the village doctor, is summoned to Hampstead Castle when one of the women of the castle had fallen from a horse and injured herself. Jacob took his son Simon along to assist him. Simon is young but crippled in one arm. Simon’s visit to Hampstead Castle is the first of many visits to follow. Hampstead Castle is the home of Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn. Elizabeth’s mother was executed when Elizabeth was a child. Although now only aged fourteen, Elizabeth is wise beyond her years. She is attracted to Simon and asks that Simon be allowed to come to the Hampstead in the afternoons and practice Greek and Latin with her.Simon agrees but it isn’t long before Simon and Elizabeth are involved in a dark mystery that could bring danger to both of them. As Simon approaches the castle one day, he finds the body of one of Elizabeth’s ladies in waiting. The woman has been beheaded. When Elizabeth finds out that this is not the first victim, Elizabeth approaches the King. She asks that Hugh Bellows, a captain of the Welsh Guard, be assisted by Simon to try to discover who is stalking and killing these women. The King agrees but is not aware that Elizabeth fully intends to play a big part in the search for the killer.Five women die before the trio are able to prove the identity of the killer. Each woman had a mysterious lover but finding the identity of the mysterious lover proves difficult. Simon is disguised by Elizabeth and sent out to search for clues. The search for the murderer is dangerous and takes Simon to many strange and interesting places in his quest for the truth. Eventually it is a race against time to uncover the man's identity before he goes after Elizabeth.

  • Argum
    2019-03-22 13:42

    Elizabeth is about 13 or 14 and her father is alive but ailing. When one of her ladies falls from a horse, the former doctor to the king comes with is son to set the leg. Simon starts to study with the princess after she takes a liking to him. When one of her other ladies is found murdered and beheaded in the garden, the princess, Simon and one of her father's guardsmen investigate quietly. It was not the first murder and the beheading is a bit suspicious and volatile given Henry's history. So while not telling anyone what is happening and trying to keep the princess safe they get to the bottom of a nasty plot. This Elizabeth is spirited and stifled, intelligent and clever, loving and suspicious. It's a nice combination of steel and intellect with a certain precociousness. Interested to read the next in the series.

  • Casey
    2019-04-07 16:22

    Drawn as I am to anything having to do with Queen Elizabeth the first, I was predictably pulled to this historical mystery, which features the young Elizabeth as a sleuth in partner with Simon Maldon, the 15 year old son of a physician and Hugh Bellows, a captain of the kings guard. The characters are rich and well developed and well motivated. Both the young princess and Simon feel truly valuable for the first time in their lives as they try to track down a lunatic who has been murdering beautiful women, both noble and common, cutting off their heads and dressing their remains in the forbidden robes used by Catholic nuns before supression of the Catholic church within England. It was most enjoyable and I would highly recommend it to fans of historical mystery or historical ficiton in general.

  • Lindsey
    2019-03-24 13:23

    As an avid reader of anything Tudor, I enjoyed this mystery with a few exceptions. I had to look past the idea that two precocious teenagers were responsible for finding a serial killer (Elizabeth was 13 and Simon was 15). Also, there were a few historical inaccuracies that jarred me out of the story-such as the inclusion of Henry Fitzroy in the discussion of succession as Henry VIII's health fails (this bastard son had died well before this). It seemed like this was a good murder mystery that just happened to be set in Tudor England.

  • Leslie
    2019-04-16 10:23

    Pretty good plotting and character development, and the author appears to have done a lot of research on the minutiae of the period, but for me the story was really hurt by a couple of glaring historical errors that completely brought me out of it. 1) a reference to Henry VIII's illegitimate son, who had been dead for ten years in 1546, as a possible successor2) a reference to "treading the boards at the Globe," which wouldn't be built for over fifty years.Either of these could have been easily checked with a quick Google search and excised without the least effect on the story.

  • Cheryl
    2019-03-22 11:28

    Set in England during the reign of Henry VIII this historical murder mystery will keep you guessing right up to the end! Peg Herring's thorough research and attention to detail provide the reader with a picture of what life was like during this period of time. A great read for older teens as well as adults.Thank you to Goodreads First Reads and to author Peg Herring for providing me with a copy of this book to read!

  • Terelyn Marks
    2019-03-22 10:32

    Entertaining story featuring Princess Elizabeth (age 13) and an apothecary's apprentice, Simon, solving a series of murders. Could use a little more attention to historical detail! The author describes, in wonderful detail, late Elizabethan dress on the characters -- about 30 years too soon. A tavern keeper is making his 'last dollar' on the place. The maid is tatting and crocheting -- all techniques that hadn't been invented yet.Otherwise, enjoyable.

  • Carol
    2019-03-28 18:29

    A wonderful book! I was at first a little leery about an historical murder mystery (Boring...) but this is extremely well written and enjoyable. Best of all she writes so fluidly that you can't put the book down until you are finished. Her charactors are "well designed" and I can't wait to read her next book. It takes a LOT for an author to reach MY all-time favorite list and Peg Herring has done so with this book.

  • Jackie
    2019-04-15 16:35

    A fun who-done-it mystery, especially if you like the time period of Henry VIII and 13 year old Princess Elizabeth (later Queen). The characters were well developed, and although there could be a "next" book with Elizabeth and Simon, the book ended with no loose strings. Perfect for someone who is looking for a good quick read that doesn't involve two or three more books.

  • Shiela
    2019-03-30 13:35

    Although this book dragged at times, there was a certain appeal that made me want to read on and finish it. I don't know if it was the characters (the young Queen Elizabeth--well she wasn't queen then, and Simon, the "lame" son of a prominent doctor), or the historical aspect of it or the novelty of the plot, but there is definitely potential to this new series.

  • Michael crage
    2019-04-18 17:36

    When I started reading the book, I figured I would not like it. I don't usually like books about old England. But I decided to give it a half hour of reading to give it a chance. I am glad I did. I very much enjoyed it and had fun trying to figure out who was the murder along with the characters of the book.

  • Shelly
    2019-03-25 14:44

    A thoroughly enjoyable read, with a vivid historical setting and many likeable and interesting characters. I found myself as frustrated by the many suspects are the investigators were, but I enjoyed spending time with them as they all worked to solve the mystery. I look forward to the next in this series.

  • Jo
    2019-04-07 12:39

    I was pleasantly surprised at how well written these books were. It was very nice to see how well Peg is doing with her books. I have known her since high school and it's nice to see a local girl do well. She is very talented in every thing she does whether it be teaching, directing choral groups, directing plays, writing books and plays, or organizing the school alumni. Way to go, Peg.

  • Amy
    2019-04-09 18:42

    Getting into the story of a 13 year old Princess Elizabeth solving a murder mystery is a little bit of a challenge, but once the characters are developed and a few reminders of the era, the story flows quickly. I am looking forward to the next one, as the main characters (Elizabeth and Simon) have now been flushed out and are ready to move on to their next challenge.

  • Lara
    2019-03-23 13:36

    A little heavy on the expositioning, the author apparently having decided to proceed on the assumption that her audience knows little to nothing about Henry VIII, his wives, his children, or the time period in general. But the characters are delightful, especially sober, smart teenage Elizabeth.

  • Martha Netoff
    2019-03-21 17:19

    The ambiance of Tudor England was good and it was interesting that 13 year old Princess Elizabeth was helping to solve a serial murder mystery but I kept getting the different suspects mixed up and it wasn't all that suspenseful.

  • Elaine
    2019-04-17 10:16

    Very entertaining, even though I do not usually read murder mysteries. A different perspective of the monarchy, and very interesting especially since I have read many of Phillipa Gregory's books of the monarchs of that era.

  • Karen
    2019-03-20 12:27

    Interesting perspective and I enjoyed reading. A quick read and would love to read a book in the future about Simon's life as he grows into adulthood. Lovable character!

  • Dale
    2019-03-25 15:22

    Good strong story

  • Tami
    2019-03-30 14:33

    Historical fiction with a twist of Jack the Ripper thrown in. In spite of the gruesome murders, this was a quick and entertaining read. A whodunit that had me guessing up to the end.

  • Danielle Reily
    2019-03-31 12:36

    I really enjoyed the mix of history and mystery in this book. The characters, both historical and fictional, were interesting and relatable. I will definitely look for the rest of the series.

  • Georgia Lengyel
    2019-04-16 11:16

    I've read all of Karen Harper's Elizabethan mysteries and have been waiting for the next. This was the next best thing. Really enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading the second in the series.

  • Teresa
    2019-04-15 17:19

    3.5 stars.

  • Michelle Jackson
    2019-04-04 12:37

    This was a mildly entertaining book -too easy of a read but good junk-food for a quick in-between serious reads!

  • Erina
    2019-03-22 10:42

    3.5 but I'm rounding down to 3 because there was a few places where the story dragged. However, I like the characters and the second novel in this series is better developed.

  • Karen
    2019-03-27 17:36

    Great who done it. A woman found dead in Princess Elizabeth's household, the 13 year old daughter of Henry VIII wants to be involved with finding the murderer.