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Royal Blood (A Royal Spyness Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – September 6, 2011

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Product Details

  • Series: A Royal Spyness Mystery (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425243745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425243749
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #298,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Agatha-winner Bowen successfully mixes Wodehousian farce with a whodunit plot in her fourth 1930s mystery starring Lady Georgiana Rannoch (after 2009's Royal Flush). When the queen asks Georgiana, a distant relative of George V, to attend the wedding of a royal cousin and old schoolmate, Princess Maria Theresa, in Romania, the impoverished 22-year-old must scramble to come up with a maid to maintain appearances. She ends up with Queenie Hepplewhite, a clumsy if well-meaning servant who lost a previous job after setting fire to her mistress's clothing. Once in Romania, the pair find themselves in the midst of a sensitive murder case at the remote castle where the nuptials are to take place. Field Marshal Pirin, head of the Bulgarian army and a close adviser to his country's king, collapses during a festive meal and is later found to have been poisoned. Bowen once again demonstrates her mastery of the light, romantic mystery.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In this fourth Royal Spyness mystery, penniless Lady Georgiana Rannoch desperately seeks escape from both London and her dreadful relatives. Rescue comes from the queen, who asks Georgie to attend a royal wedding in Transylvania. Georgie is the thirty-fourth person in line for the English throne, but she’s also an old schoolmate of the bride, Princess Maria Theresa of Romania. Georgie hires a young, inexperienced Cockney woman to be her maid; meets her overbearing traveling companion, Lady Middlesex, along with Miss Deer-Harte; and they all hie off to Transylvania. Once they’re at the old castle, a mystery man vexes Georgie (Could he be a vampire?); then the vulgar Bulgarian field marshal Pirin drops dead at dinner. Georgie, her erstwhile beau Darcy O’Mara, and bridegroom Prince Nicholas must solve the mystery or risk an international incident. Georgie also has to deal with Maria Theresa’s brother, Prince Siegfried, who has decided Georgie would be an ideal wife. Bowen keeps the mystery light and humorous, but the discerning reader will note the social problems underlying Georgie’s breezy narrative. --Kat Kan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Was a fun read.
Amazon Customer
Fun and tongue in cheekness....the edge of romance keeping you guessing.
David H. Hopkins. Susan G Hopkins
Rhys Bowen should definitely stick with the "Royal Spyness" series.
H. Bala

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Novel Chatter on September 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The last thing her Ladyship expected to see while peering into the dark, Transylvanian night was some "thing" or some "one" climbing up Bran Castle wall.

Such are the things that tend to happen to poor Lady Georgiana Rannoch. She's twenty-two, "depressedly" single, and thirty-fourth in line to the British throne. The King is her second cousin, and his wife, Her Majesty Queen Mary, loves to give Georgie little tasks. Most recently, she dispatched Georgie to keep tabs on the Prince of Wales' new American lady friend. Prior to that, Her Majesty put Georgie in charge of a visiting German princess with a fondness for shoplifting and American gangster slang.

This time Queen Mary appointed Lady Georgiana to represent the Royal family at the wedding of Georgie's old school mate, Princess Maria Theresa of Romania, to Prince Nicholas of Bulgaria. Adding to the atmosphere of the royal wedding is its location, the dark and dreary Castle Bran, Transylvania, purported home to vampires and werewolves. And then there's Prince Seigfried, whom Georgiana unceremoniously dumped earlier in the year, ensconced in the bedroom right next to hers.

In Royal Blood, the highly anticipated fourth book in author Rhys Bowen's "Royal Spyness" series, we find Lady Georgiana in the middle of another murder, and this time a mysterious vial is found in her room. Everyone is snowed in, the pass is closed, and there are no tracks leading from the castle. Just who is trying to frame Lady Georgiana and why?

Among the supporting cast of players in Royal Blood are many familiar faces in this series: Georgie's trusty bed-hopping best friend, Belinda Warburton-Stokes, Georgie's brother Binky, the current duke, and his tiresome, penny pinching wife Fig.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ted Feit VINE VOICE on December 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
For anyone who likes cozies, with a little mystery thrown in, a Royal Spyness Mystery is right up his or her alley. In a change of scenery, Lady Georgiana is asked to travel from London to the Castle Bran in Romania's Transylvania to represent the Crown at the wedding of the Princess Maria Theresa and the Bulgarian Prince Nicholas. It seems Georgiana went to school with the princess, who had specifically asked for her friend to be a bridesmaid.

Yes, that's the castle reputed to be Dracula's, giving us the opportunity to anticipate vampires, werewolves and the like, and amusement, along with royal shenanigans, sex [both requited (friend Belinda) and unrequited (Georgiana)], and other assorted goings-on. The mystery is the apparent murder by poison of the head of the Bulgarian armed forces and a favorite of the king, possibly a cause of another Balkan war.

There are some cute moments in the novel, although the formula is becoming somewhat wearisome. Georgie's love life (or lack thereof) is becoming a little boring, while Belinda's is, of course, predictable. As for Georgie's ability to solve crimes, it is more like stumbling into situations that seem to be resolved while she is present. The writing moves the story along apace, and the 1930's royal atmosphere is interesting. The novel is recommended for readers, and they are many, who appreciate the genre.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kentucky Rose on September 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Rhys Bowen turns out a superb who-done-it in this new addition to the series. A definite can't miss. New characters add sparkle and life. Lots of intrigue and danger with great escapes. Not a book to put down lightly once you start to read it. Now the important question is - when is the next book in the series coming out? Can't wait!!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 20, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's late in 1932 and Lady Georgiana, living on tea and toast because her family's broke and she has no way to earn a living, gets drafted by her cousin, Queen Mary, to go and represent the family at a royal wedding in a castle in Transylvania. One of her old friends from school, a Roumanian princess, is marrying a Bulgarian prince. Georgie is dutiful (and maybe she'll get a few good meals out of it), so off she goes, into the Balkan winter. Of course, it all turns out to be much more complicated than that, with everyone being snowed in, and strange figures creeping about, and the distinct possibility of vampires and werewolves. Somehow, too, her ex-actress mother is there (Georgie's father was the late Duke of Rannoch), and her best friend, the slutty Belinda, and (of course) her heart-throb, the rather wild Darcy O'Mara, who seems to do something secret for His Majesty's government. Then there's a murder -- Georgie is accumulating a good deal of experience with murders -- and in order to prevent international political complications, they'll have to try to cover the whole thing up. At least until after the wedding.

Somehow, though you know going in that this isn't meant to be a "serious" murder mystery, this fourth entry in the series isn't nearly as much fun as the previous three. The pace rather plods and the usually sprightly and tongue-in-cheek humor seems forced. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen. And it's hard to accept that a no-nonsense girl like Georgiana would ever seriously consider the possibility that vampires were real, even in a spooky castle.
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More About the Author

Rhys Bowen's books have been nominated for every major mystery award and she has won thirteen of them to date. She currently writes two historical mystery series, each very different in tone. The Molly Murphy mysteries feature an Irish immigrant woman in turn-of-the-century New York City. These books are multi-layered, complex stories with a strong sense of time and place and have won many awards including Agatha and Anthony. There are 13 book so far in this series plus two Kindle stories, The Amersham Rubies and The Face in the Mirror--a great way to introduce new readers to Molly's spunky personality.

Then there is Lady Georgie, Rhys's latest,and very popular, heroine. She's 35th in line to the throne of England, but she's flat broke and struggling to survive in the Great Depression. These books are lighter and funnier than Molly's adventures. They poke gentle fun at the British class system--about which Rhys knows a lot, having married into an upper class family rather like Georgie's, with cousins with silly nicknames,family ghosts and stately homes. The seventh book is called Heirs and Graces, and on November 5th The Twelve Clues of Christmas comes out in paperback, perfect timing for the holidays.
The series received the Readers Choice Award for favorite mystery series and Rhys was nominated for career achievement.

Rhys was born in Bath, England but spent time during her childhood with relatives in Wales. Those childhood experiences colored her first mystery series, about Constable Evans in the mountains of Snowdonia. 10 books including the Edgar nominee Evan's Gate. She has lived in Austria, Germany and Australia, but has called California her home for many years. She now escapes to a condo in Arizona during those cold California winters. When she's not writing she loves to travel, sing, hike, paint and play the Celtic harp.

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