Crowned and Dangerous by Rhys Bowen

27774658This is the last (for now) book in the Her Royal Spyness series that I’ve been plowing through for the last year or so. I had to take a brief pause while reading this as I ran out of time on my library renewal, so I had to send it back and request it again. It’s a VERY quick read, though!

This time the crime happens before Georgie even gets involved, which is a nice change of pace! Georgie and Darcy are heading to Gretna Green to elope, when they stop for the night and find out that Darcy’s father’s been arrested for murder. Darcy drops everything to go back to Ireland to help out and then breaks it off with Georgie because the scandal will follow her forever. Luckily, Georgie doesn’t give up and heads to Ireland to help out, whether he wants her there or not. Additionally, Darcy’s former paramour-turned-benefactor/friend, Princess Alexandra “Zhou Zhou” Zamanska flies her little plane over to Ireland, not wanting to be left out of the “fun.”

Georgie and Darcy’s investigating feels a lot more realistic in this book. It’s also great to see Darcy’s family and learn a little more about his life before he bumped into Georgie and began his life as an international man of mystery. The murder case gets wrapped up off screen for the most part, so that’s not as satisfying, especially since you know it was never going to be Darcy’s father going to hang. The Queenie situation also wraps up quite nicely, so I’m happy to see how Georgie proceeds from here.

Ten books is a nice round number, but I do hope there’s at least one more for Georgie and Darcy. I’m sure there would be a murder or some crime to investigate as they lead up to their big, white wedding. Fingers crossed!

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No Day But Today: RENT 20th Anniversary Tour

In addition to my trip to the musical stylings of my favorite 90s FBI agent, this week, I was also lucky enough to see the 20th Anniversary touring cast of RENT at the Golden Gate Theatre. Bless my friend George for sharing his birthday bounty with me!

Musical theatre nerd confession: I’d never actually seen RENT live.

I know, I know. I’ve got “Will I?,” “One Song Glory” and “Seasons of Love” embedded in my marrow from repeated chorus performances through my formative years in the mid-90s. The movie version was one of the first DVDs I requested when I joined Netflix after I graduated from college over a decade ago. But this was my first time seeing the stage show as it was meant to be seen.

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True Story: I Went to a David Duchovny Concert

Back in the halcyon days of early November, while we were still basking in the glow of a Cubs World Series win, David Duchovny tweeted his North American tour schedule. (I know, I know, I’ll give you a moment to deal with that sentence.) I put out the call to find my other “ladies of a certain age” who needed to share this experience with me.

And I found my people quickly.

Five days later, the U.S. elected a new president and my attention was focused elsewhere. (Has it really only been three months? I feel like I’ve aged YEARS!) Luckily, my friends were on the ball:

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Malice at the Palace by Rhys Bowen

22915531I finished the penultimate book in this series while waiting for jury duty to start and it was the perfect antidote to that experience. Our heroine seems more like the royal descendant she is and there was nary a Fig or Binky to be found. Georgie is tasked with keeping Princess Marina company until her wedding to Prince George. This means living at Kensington Palace, with all its trappings, and any funds need to do what she needs to do. Queenie with her hopeless maid shtick is getting old, but perhaps after the surprise ending/cliffhanger, this will also be changing.

The mystery is resolved rather quickly at the end, almost handwaved away when the perpetrator also dies, but since the victim was peripheral to people in Georgie’s periphery, perhaps that was for the best. There’s really great stuff happening with Georgie and Belinda as well as Georgie and Darcy. There a few odd characters to round things out, but it’s mostly just a page-turning romp, which is exactly what I wanted. Last book (written so far!) starts tomorrow!

Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen

18693750A cold and rainy Saturday made for a lovely environment for catching up with Lady Georgiana Ranoch on her latest adventure.

This time, Georgie has been whisked out of England by her mother, who needs to go to America to get a quickie divorce, so she can marry her latest paramour. And since anything is better than going to drafty Castle Rannoch with her horrid sister-in-law, Fig, Georgie is keen on the adventure.

Dear Darcy tags along (without Georgie’s knowledge) as there’s a “gentleman” jewel thief on the loose and he’s rumored to be crossing to America on the same ship. Once on board the ship, Georgie’s mother is re-discovered by a Hollywood producer who simply MUST cast her in his next movie. Eager for a bit of fame and happy to be rid of dull Reno, Georgie and Claire head to Tinsel Town and find that not all is what it seems. And because this is a Royal Spyness mystery, someone has to die and Georgie has to solve it.

On its face, the book was fine and a quick read. It was a bit funny to think of the place I left last weekend as just this side of a Wild West town, with “talkies” still just coming into their own. However, the mystery was rather easy to solve and Georgie and Darcy either need to get married and have sex or just stop talking about it for now. I was happy that he finally stopped dithering her around, but all of this talk of not having money to keep her in the style befitting her station is boring. Just get married, be poor as church mice and be done with it!