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On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service (A Royal Spyness Mystery) Hardcover – August 1, 2017
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Praise for the Royal Spyness Mysteries
“Wonderful characters…A delight.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris
“An insightful blend of old-fashioned whodunnit, clever satire and drawing room comedy of errors.”—New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Winspear
“Brilliant…This is so much more than a murder mystery. It’s part love story, part social commentary, part fun and part downright terrifying. And completely riveting.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny
“The perfect fix...for Downton Abbey addicts.”—New York Times bestselling author Deborah Crombie
“Fans of P.G. Wodehouse looking for laughs mingled with some amateur sleuthing will be quite pleased.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Georgie’s high spirits and the author’s frothy prose are utterly captivating.”—The Denver Post
“A smashing romp.”—Booklist (starred review)
About the Author
Rhys Bowen, a New York Times bestselling author, has been nominated for every major award in mystery writing, including the Edgar®, and has won many, including both the Agatha and Anthony awards. She is the author of the Royal Spyness Mysteries, set in 1930s London, the Molly Murphy Mysteries, set in turn-of-the-century New York, and the Constable Evans Mysteries, set in Wales. She was born in England and now divides her time between Northern California and Arizona.
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In this book, Georgie is tasked with dropping in on a house party in an Italian villa. She is supposed to be keeping an eye on her cousin David, who is still keeping company with that highly unsuitable American woman (Wallis Simpson).
Just as the house party is getting underway, one of the guests is found murdered. The victim was a rather lascivious gentleman who made overtures to many of the female guests. Many of them had every reason to silence him. Not only that, but high-ranking German and Italian officials are among the guests at the house party. With rumors of war swirling, could the murder have had anything to with that?
This was a satisfying mystery. There really were several plausible suspects, and I wasn’t sure who was going to be revealed as the perpetrator until close to the big reveal. Fans of the series will appreciate Georgie’s adventures in a new milieu. We are introduced to new characters, and old favorites make brief appearances as well. I was a bit disappointed that Georgie’s maid Queenie was left at home and not traveling along to Italy. I do remember hearing that some readers found Queenie’s bumbling to be a bit too distracting, but I definitely missed her.
I would absolutely recommend On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service. I would recommend reading the series in order to get a better appreciation for the series and for everything Georgie has gone through over the years. It is, however, fairly easy to pick up enough background information in the first few chapters if you are unfamiliar with the series. Georgie is an amicable narrator, and one can’t help but root for her and want her to succeed in life. Perhaps this is why people are so wiling to talk to her; this trait does prove to be an invaluable asset for an investigator. Georgie’s future contains many fascinating events: Berlin Olympics, death of King George VI and the subsequent abdication crisis, and World War II. It will be interesting to see how these events play out in Georgie’s story. I’m certainly looking forward to the next book!
I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I purchased my own copy because I liked the book so much.
In this book, Queen Mary wants Georgie to attend a house party in Italy to spy on Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson to see that they don't marry in secret. Meanwhile, Georgie's fiance, Darcy, who works as a spy for the government has an undercover assignment as a gardener at the same house party to spy on a secret meeting that may be taking place between men close to Hitler and Mussolini. Her closest friend, Belinda, is hiding out in the same town in Italy ready to give birth to her illegitimate child. Add to this Georgie's actress mother and her German industrialist fiance, a former classmate of Georgie and Belinda who is now married to an Italian count, a blackmailing German lothario count, and a new efficient Austrian lady's maid, and murder and a little hilarity ensue!
Rhys Bowen has a writing style that is so easy to read. The writing is so fluent and conversational that I feel like I am catching up with an old friend each time I pick up one of her books. I can't help but make a contrast between the Her Royal Spyness books and some of the other books where there is a young woman trying to be involved in mystery like the Lady Julie Grey series. Georgie (Lady Georgianna Rannoch) tries to be proper. She is just as smart, if not smarter, but doesn't try to put herself or others at risk for no reason. Most of the time, she is thrown unwillingly into the mystery; she involves herself usually due to a sense of duty (or she is asked to involve herself.) She actually assists her significant other instead of hindering him. The mysteries are always well down as well, although I must admit, this one was pretty transparent to me.
On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service is another good addition to a very fun and enjoyable mystery series.
I very believable love story that has matured with all the bumps that have been along the way. Georgie's progression from girl to woman has also been carefully crafted and endearing.
Most of the favorite characters in the series get a nod and the dilemmas Georgie faced were engaging and thoughtfully presented.
Such a great addition to the series. I just hate that I will have to wait another year for the next installment!