Thursday, October 21, 2010

Review: Her Royal Spyness

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
3.25 stars

Reason for reading: 2007 Agatha Award nominee (ran out of time to find a winner that my library owned and I wanted to read!)

Description: "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."

First line: "There are two disadvantages to being a minor royal."

My thoughts: This was a fairly fun, quick read. I enjoyed the 1930's setting and that Georgie was a liberated young woman trying to find her way in a world that no longer forced her to marry the first prince who asked (though of course her family wishes she had). I really liked that, despite her privileged upbringing, she was willing to take on any tasks she needed to do to make it on her own, unlike her pathetic brother and witchy sister-in-law, and most of the other people in he set. The scene where she tries working at Harrod's is a hoot. The upper-class twit names like Whiffy and Binky and Fig and last names like Featherstonehough that's actually pronounced Fanshawe are straight out of a PG Wodehouse novel. I found the mystery part so-so, although the dead Frenchman in the tub was certainly a good twist. I wish there had been more about the actual royal family and Wallis Simpson, although maybe that comes in later books. I didn't warm to the book quite as much as I would have liked to, but the setting and spunky Georgie made it worth my time. I might try the next book in the series when I'm in the mood for a quick cozy mystery.

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