Author: Rhys Bowen
Series: Her Royal Spyness (Book 1)
Publication: Berkley; Reprint edition (July 1, 2008)
Description: INTRODUCING “A FEISTY NEW HEROINE” (JACQUELINE WINSPEAR) who’s thirty-fourth in line for the throne—and flat broke.
From the Agatha Award-winning author of the Molly Murphy and Constable Evan Evans mysteries!
Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, 34th in line for the throne, is flat broke. She’s bolted Scotland, her greedy brother, and her fish-faced betrothed for London. The place where she’ll experience freedom, learn life lessons aplenty, do a bit of spying for HRH—oh, and find a dead Frenchman in her tub. Now her new job is to clear her long family name.
My Thoughts: It is nice to be part of the British royal family but not if you are twenty-one, thirty-fourth in line for the throne, and completely broke. Georgie is the sister of the current Duke of Glen Garry and Rannoch. Her grandmother was the youngest of Queen Victoria's daughters. But it is 1932 and the duke has fallen on hard times.
Georgie decides to go to London to try to make her own way but she doesn't really know what she can do. She is camping out in the family home with no servants, no heat and no prospects. She reconnects with some school friends but they aren't much better off. She knows that she doesn't want to marry a man she doesn't love or work as a companion for one of her elderly relatives. She decides to start a housecleaning business but has to keep her role secret. Royalty doesn't dust!
She comes home one day to find a body in her bathtub. The man who said he was collecting on her father's gambling debts is the victim. Her brother the current duke, who is knows as Binky to his family, had come to London to meet with the man but has fled back to Scotland leaving Georgie to pick up the pieces. When the police target Binky, Georgie has to find a way to investigate and find the real killer.
Meanwhile, the queen has summoned Georgie to the palace and asked her to attend a house party so that she can see if the Prince of Wales is really infatuated with Mrs. Simpson. Her Majesty wants Georgie to act as her spy. Georgie is busy with both investigations and is also suffering an unusual number of accidents. Georgie has always been sort of clumsy but falling off a boat, being pushed onto Subway tracks, and falling down a flight of stairs are well beyond her usual clumsiness. She has become someone's target but she has no idea why anyone would want her dead. Somehow, Georgie manages to persevere and solve all the different cases.
I liked the writing style and I liked all the period details in this first in a series of mysteries starring Georgie. I'm eager to read more.
"I think I have something you're going to love," Belinda said at her most condescendingly British. "I have to tell you that royalty have worn my creations."I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.
"Oh, my dear, I won't hold that against you, but please never use that as a selling point again. I immediately picture the dowdy duchess, looking like a Christmas pudding with a tiara on top, or that awful straight-backed queen of yours, looking as if her corset were made of reinforced steel and two sizes too tight."