On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen

32969127I have several books to finish from interlibrary loan, so I grabbed this one next, as this series is always a quick read. I had forgotten about Georgie’s trip to Ireland, but it came back soon enough. It’s quite nice that she’s (almost) settled, though it does seem that perhaps there’s an end to this series coming.

Which may be a good thing because Georgie is becoming a little bit like Jessica Fletcher. I’m surprised that Queen Mary hasn’t noticed that every time she sends Georgie on a little spying mission, someone ends up dead and Georgie has to solve a murder. And given the short amount of time that seems to pass during and between books, she’s racking up quite a body count.

This installment takes us to Italy, where Georgie is ostensibly visiting Belinda, who is waiting to have her baby, but really she’s been “invited” to a house party to keep an eye on the Prince of Wales and Wallis Simpson. There’s intrigue, Hitler, and perhaps a preview of Georgie’s life as a Catholic wife. Oh and Georgie is almost raped – twice. But then her would-be rapist is killed, her mother is blamed and of course, the local police is useless. It would be a nice change of pace to the the local law enforcement not a group of bumbling fools, but then, I guess, Georgie wouldn’t get a save the day in her own way. Georgie’s fiancee, Darcy, is also about, spying on the meeting that’s taking place under everyone’s nose, trying to get the Prince of Wales on the side of Hitler and Il Duce. Sigh.

The whodunit is pretty well done, so I didn’t figure it out until much later than usual, which was great. There aren’t any new books listed, but fingers crossed we get at least one more, so Georgie and Darcy can finally get married!

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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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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!

Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen

Happy New Year and welcome to 2017! I hope to add more than just book reviews to the blog this year, but it seems like I start every year with good intentions and it never follows. We’ll see!

15808340Book #7 in the “Her Royal Spyness” series is a great read with a well-formed mystery. Ditched by her mum, Georgie turns to the palace for help and they send her with a former lady-in-waiting to Georgie’s grandmama (Queen Victoria’s daughter) to help a recently found heir-to-the-dukedom from Australia. Trust me, it makes sense when you’re reading it! The mean person that everyone wishes was dead doesn’t actually turn up so until about 40% of the way through the book, which really allows us to get to know the family and the dynamics. Additionally, now that Darcy and Georgiana are (secretly) engaged, their relationship really works. If he’s disappearing she knows why and when, and he’s disappearing a lot less often. Much nicer to read about!

As far as the actual “whodunit,” I have to say, I was fooled until the end. And Ms. Bowen really got me going with some of the red herrings she dropped, so I definitely felt I had it figured out. I would prefer that whenever Georgie figures it out that the person who DID actually do it stop trying to kill her when she confronts them. I actually didn’t want this one to end as I’d gotten attached to the young people in the book and wanted to know how they will get on now that the murderer has been found. Ah well!