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!

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The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen

13542533Brilliantly timed, the next book in the “Her Royal Spyness”series is set at Christmas. Our heroine, Georgie, has been stuck in Scotland all summer and all fall, trying to “cheer up” her beastly SIL, Fig, who seems like she actually has postpartum depression, following the birth of Georgie’s niece. Not wanting to spend Christmas in a drafty castle with Fig’s whole family, Georgie finds a paying gig as a “hostess” for a lady in Devon who is hosting a proper English Christmas Party. Georgie soon finds out that the lady is actually charging her guests for the experience, so Georgie really helping make it run smoothly for the younger guests. Georgie’s Mr. Darcy O’Mara shows up as the lady of the house is also his aunt. As usually follows with our young, British aristocratic Jessica Fletcher, people start dying when she arrives. At first the deaths seem like accidents, but for the small town called Tiddleton-under-Lovey, a death a day starts to add up and all is not what it seems.

I had a great time trying to figure out Who Dunit and How They Dunit and the Christmas theme was just divine. It also helped that after six books, we start to get some resolution between Georgie and Darcy! He actually seems into her for her for the first time and not just a guy who happens upon her while on assignment for someone else.

I’ve got the next book ready to go over break. The final three after that are waiting for me that the library, but I didn’t get there before they closed, so they’ll have to wait until 2017!

Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen

10634238Another pleasant installment in the “Royal Spyness” series, this time taking place in Nice, France. Our heroine, Georgie, ends up the suspect in a robbery and a murder, while being romanced by a Marquis, who might not be who everyone thinks he is. Along the way, she meets up with Coco Chanel, who thinks she’s the perfect model for her collection. There are also a few mentions of German political newcomer, Hitler, which take on a new meaning in this political climate.

I’ve already order the next two books in the series to see what happens next to our 34th in line to the throne!

Royal Blood by Rhys Bowen

7895168I requested a couple books from the library because why make a dent in my TBR pile, when I can get new books to read? LOL!

This is another installment in the “Royal Spyness” series, this time set in Transylvania. Our heroine, Lady Georgiana, has been asked by Queen Mary to represent the Royal Family at a wedding of between a Romanian princess and a Bulgarian prince. And Georgie just happened to go to school with the Romanian princess, who is the sister of the prince that everyone wants Georgie to marry. (They make it quite clear that Prince Siegfried DOESN’T LIKE GIRLS in this one, just in case you were wondering. I was not.)

Of course, someone dies, everyone is trapped in a Transylvanian castle and there are rumors of vampires afoot. Georgie has an incompetent maid, Princess Maria Theresa doesn’t seem like herself and Georgie’s on-again/off-again paramour Darcy O’Malley is around because why not? It’s a fun mystery that’s not as obvious as it seems. A little bit of movement on the Darcy front and Georgie acquits herself better in this book than previously. Definitely ready of the next book!

A Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen

5981169I finally finished this book at the laundromat today. It was actually a pretty quick read, but I just never seem to have the time to sit down and read it.

It’s another edition of the saga of Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 34th in line for the throne and perpetually penniless. This part’s adventures are set in motion after Georgie decides to advertise herself as an escort in the paper, though she’s totally on the up and up. Scotland Yard capitalizes on this faux pas and whisks her back to Scotland, where someone seems to be trying to off the royals while they are vacationing at Balmoral. Additionally, Georgie makes the acquaintance of Ronnie Padgett, lady pilot and adventurer, who is trying to set a speed record.

The mystery is actually enthralling and I didn’t have an inkling about what was going on until the last 20 pages or so, which was quite nice. I’ll be taking a break from this series while I catch up on some other books, but I’ll be looking forward to the next one for sure!