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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Audible Book Review: Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

This was a fun listen even though I felt that some of it was far-fetched.

Genre: Cozy Mystery
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Publisher's Summary

 Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932.

So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.

Everything seems to be going swimmingly until she finds a body in her bathtub... and someone is definitely trying to kill her.

Lady Victoria Georgiana, aka Gerogie, is a cousin of the King and in line ... about 34 people back... to become ruler. Unfortunately her family has been impoverished by her father’s reckless habits. Although Georgie is close to her brother, Binky, the Duke, her sister-in-law is ready for her to be married off and move out.  When Georgie’s eavesdropping reveals that the Queen wants her brother to host a party to push her toward’s one of the lesser impressive Princes, Georgie decides to escape their Scottish Castle to run off to London.

Georgie sets off without servants for the trip or the London home.  She quickly realizes she is in trouble since she doesn’t know how to cook or even light the fire.  She visits her commoner grandfather who is willing to show her some basic survival skills.

Georgie meets a handsome, penniless Irishman rogue, Darcy, who begins to encourage her to join him in party crashing as she adds prestige to his charm.  Her man hungry best friend, Belinda, suggests Georgie might have an extra good time with Darcy but her childhood step-brother, playmate, Tristan, keeps warning her away.

Georgie is determined to make her own way and works hard to try to find a job she can handle, even if it means cleaning other people’s houses under an assumed identity. Exposure of that venture would be disastrous to the family reputation. Binky comes to town to meet with a Frenchman who claims their father lost the family estate in a game of chance. This is distressing enough but matters become worse when the man turns up dead in the bathtub. As the days go by and Georgie narrowly escapes several ‘accidents’ she begins to suspect that someone is trying to kill her in addition to framing her or her brother for murder.

Georgie has already been given a spying assignment by the Queen so it is not too surprising when Georgie finally becomes angry and frustrated enough to charge off on her own to try to find the culprit responsible for the attacks on her.  Of course that only jumps the fat from the pan to the fire.

The narrator, Katherine Kellgren, does a charming job with the British and Irish accents, wonderfully intoning the British aristocracy and the Irish irreverence. There is a lightness to the reading that enhances the fun dialogue.

Even though I thought that some of the actions were less than plausible, I enjoyed the mystery and the fun characters. This was the first book I read by Rhyes Bowen but it won’t be the last. I want to know more about Georgie’s escapades and will read more in this series.
I will add this to my TBR, Mystery and Audio Challenge Lists.


  1. I 'discovered' this series last year when I read the most recent book - 'Her Royal Spyness'. Then I went back & read the earlier books in the series. And I'll be reading more of Rhy's books too.

  2. always happy to discover a new author to look for at the library - especially when audios are avlbl as well!
    liking the sound of your comment " lightness to the reading that enhances the fun dialogue." which makes it more attractive to me as well.. thanks, Martha! great to know your notes on this one..


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