Book Review

Review: A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen

**** Dear good readers. I know it’s Top Thursday today but instead of posting a list of top picks as I normally do every Thursday, I’ve decided to publish another review that is overdue as I’m behind on my schedule for this week. This is the last review for the week so next Thursday will be Top Thursday once again. ****

a royal pain by rhys bowen

Published: July 7, 2009

Number of pages: 307

Format: hardcover

Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime

Genre: detective mystery, historical fiction, romance

Rating: older adults

Verdict: 3 hoots out of 5



Lady Georgiana is 34th in line to the throne but is flat broke. She lives on baked beans and boiled eggs, has no maid or servants, and lives alone at Rannoch House. Beside her usual living standards, Georgie is able to look after herself with a job as a maid. But Her Royal Highness summons her with an assignment: to entertain a German princess visiting in London. Soon Georgie’s world is turned upside down as she has to spend a few months with a spoiled princess, but then there’s the matter of a body in the bookshop and the princess’s involvement with the Communist Party. Once again, Georgie is on the scene of the crime and is pushed into solving another murder case.

My Review:

This is the second installment in the Royal Spyness mysteries. I haven’t read the first book yet but there were only minor references that I didn’t have to know much from the first installment to follow along in the sequel.

In the beginning we’re introduced to royal family members and friends inside Lady Georgiana’s (or Georgie) inner circle. But I had to be patient, as the mystery didn’t start until the middle of the story. Before that I had to read how Georgie was entertaining the German princess Hannilore (or Hanni) in London and acting as her chaperone before meeting Prince Edward. The entire thing is a hoax to get the prince to marry a real princess and not the American woman who will doom his majesty’s reputation and putting a dent to the royal family.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I applaud the characters with their colorful and quirky personalities, but I also thought the mystery could have done better. In this story, Georgie isn’t compelled to solve the mystery instead she was ordered to by Her Majesty in which case she has no other choice but to oblige. I found this odd of how the Queen of England could ask a royal member to close the murder case (and risk her life) instead of having the authorities or a private detective to sort it out. But Georgie investigates anyways and realizes that with confidence and a sharp mind, she has the skill to become an amateur sleuth.

I adore Georgie with her cleverness, charm, and courage; qualities that come in handy when in sticky situations. Unlike the police, Georgie can make quicker deductions at the scene of the crime while drawing up a list of possible suspects. But her feelings can get in the way as it did when she shockingly discovers that the true killer was the least person she could ever suspect. As I was following the story, I had a suspicion to one of the characters and their actions, but Georgie turns a blind eye as her feelings of compassion get in the way of identifying the murderer. This complicates things as a life was almost threatened if Georgie hadn’t intervened on time.

A delightful whodunit story with classy and clever characters including a feisty heroine and her unrequited love for a bachelor that is totally unsuitable for her. The mystery was fairly good with historical references to communists and fascists groups in 1930s London. There were a couple of unanswered questions but I still enjoyed the mystery, and the romance between Georgie and Darcy is really adorable and funny.


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