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Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.

Her Royal Spyness (A Royal Spyness Mystery)

Her Royal Spyness - Rhys Bowen

As the granddaughter of Queen Victoria’s least noteworthy daughter, Georgiana is thirty-forth in line to the throne and has all the expensive responsibilities of royalty, like having the proper wardrobe for official functions, but none of the money and being royal she’s not supposed to work. While rattling around her family’s Scottish estate she discovers she’s about to be married off to an Eastern European prince whose unfortunate personality, fish-like looks and likelihood of being assassinated combine to make him highly undesirable as a husband so she flees to London and camps out in the family mansion without servants, proper food, heat or hot water.


Even living in genteel poverty it’s fun to be in town, hobnobbing around with her bright young things friends, but problems begin piling up immediately. She doesn’t know how far to trust the roguish but very appealing future Irish Lord she’s party crashing with in order to eat, she needs to find a way to earn money without her royal relations finding out about it, she discovers a body in her bathtub causing her well-meaning but none too bright duke brother to be wrongly arrested, and she’s commissioned by the Queen to spy on her cousin David’s married lover Wallace Simpson. Fortunately Georgia is resourceful, smart and game. She’s learned a thing or two from her commoner Cockney grandfather, a retired police officer and the father of her decidedly not royal mother, a globe-hopping former actress with a penchant for men who bears a strong resemblance to Nancy Mitford’s Bolter. And Georgiana is upper crust enough to be able to place people based on their vocabulary, a distinction Mitford labeled U and non-U, which she uses as a linguistic tool in her quest to exonerate her brother. It all makes for a perfectly fun book, and fortunately it’s the first of a series.