Saturday, April 24, 2010
"Her Royal Spyness", by Rhys Bowen
Book 1 in the series
Set in London in 1930, this new series is an entertaining satire, a good combination of history mixed with fictitious fun and mystery. It features a delightful heroine Lady Victoria Georgiana, Great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria and 34th in line to the English throne.
The novel is a fun read, a bit slow at first but the reader will soon be drawn into a story that brings up multiple situations that happen to a penniless royal during a time of hardship in troubled Europe. It is comical in many ways, Ms Bowen has a great sense of humour in describing the upper class and her heroine Georgie vividly portrays what the daily life may have been for a young woman bucking tradition.
The novel is populated with many loveable characters some easily recognisable such as Mrs Simpson and the Queen. To add fun, Ms Bowen included an incorrigible sexy Irishman , an eccentric mother and an adorable grandfather. Georgie is a wonderful mix of intelligence and innocent naivety
The story opens when Georgiana's brother cuts off her allowance and she leaves the family home in Scotland for London determined to make it on her own, leaving the amenities of royalty behind. Unable to make it as a saleswoman at Harrods (fired within hours), Georgie desperate to succeed and make ends meet starts a house cleaning service. A lack of experience leads to one misadventure after another, so Georgie eventually turns to her friend Belinda. Tension builds as the incidents keep occurring, some are simply hilarious.
When a blackmailing Frenchman winds up dead in her bathtub and her brother is the prime suspect, she puts on a new hat, that of an amateur investigator with the hope of exposing the real killer. Has she found her calling?......
This novel is a light and enjoyable read that provides some fascinating glimpses into the royal society of the 1930, with a humorous and entertaining spin to it. I am looking forward to its sequel.