Thursday, August 1, 2013

Review: Maid of Secrets

Maid of Secrets
By Jennifer McGowan
Published: May 7, 2013

Seventeen-year-old Meg Fellowes is a wry, resourceful thief forced to join an elite group of female spies in Queen Elizabeth’s Court. There she must solve a murder, save the Crown, and resist the one thing that will become her greatest freedom–and her deadliest peril. 

For Meg and her fellow spies are not alone in their pursuit of the murderer who stalks Windsor Castle.

A young, mysterious Spanish courtier, Count Rafe de Martine, appears at every turn in the dark and scandal-filled corridors of the Queen’s summer palace. And though secrets and danger are Meg’s stock-in-trade, she’s never bargained on falling in love…

My review:

I love Tudor history and the idea of a novel set during that time period and featuring a young woman who is training as a spy really appealed to me. 

Meg is a thief and actress with the gift of being able to recall what she hears with perfect clarity. When her acting troupe performs before Queen Elizabeth, she comes to the attention of Sir Robert Cecil whose pocket she picks. He has her arrested and then offers her a chance at redemption by becoming a spy for Queen Elizabeth. 

I liked that things didn't just come easily for Meg from that point. She had to really work at developing skills like learning to read. She also had to work to fit in with the other spies in training. It was great to see a friendship grow among the girls, even Beatrice who at times seemed like evil incarnate. Something else I enjoyed was the glimpse of real historical figures like Queen Elizabeth, Cecil, and Walsingham. The details of working with a theatre troupe were also fascinating.

The mystery of what happened to Meg's predecessor and trying to figure out who was good and who was bad kept the pages turning. The romance was not as appealing to me for some reason. Maybe it just seemed more of an instantaneous attraction that wasn't really based on Meg getting to know Rafe. 

Overall I thought this was an entertaining book because of the characters, the mystery and the setting and I'd probably read the sequel to find out what happens next for Meg. This would be a good pick for fans of Y.S. Lee's The Agency mystery series as well as those who like historical fiction set during Tudor times. 

Note: I received an e-ARC for review purposes courtesy of Edelweiss and the publisher


  1. Ooh-I've enjoyed The Agency series and love Tudor HF so I'm looking forward to checking this out. Also love that Beatrice really has to work to prepare-things shouldn't come easy for the heroine right away.

  2. I like the sound of this book - especially the historical and mystery aspects! The romance sounds a bit underwhelming, but I'll still check this one out.

    Great review!


Reading Extensively is now an award free blog. Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment. I enjoy receiving feedback! Due to increase in spam, I've enabled comment moderation. Sorry for any inconvenience!