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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.

A Royal Pain (A Royal Spyness Mystery)

A Royal Pain - Rhys Bowen

This is the second in the A Royal Spyness Mystery series, and it’s just as fun and entertaining as the first. Lady Georgiana is a great granddaughter of Queen Victoria and thirty fourth in line to the throne, but almost totally broke, so to afford the wardrobe and lifestyle expected of a royal she periodically hires herself out as a maid—incognito, of course. This time around her life is complicated by Queen Mary’s request that Georgie host a young and beautiful but hard to handle Bavarian princess who the Queen hopes will draw her son’s attention away from that married American, Wallace Simpson.


Currently servant-less, Georgie has to enlist her non-royal, retired police officer grandfather to act as her butler, which turns out to be handy when several people in the vicinity of the boy-crazy princess start dying. It’s a precarious time for Europe. The Great Depression is still making life difficult, Hitler is rising to power in Germany, and black shirt fascists are clashing with communists in Britain. The Queen is afraid the unexplained deaths and the investigation the police are beginning to launch could lead to an international incident, possibly war, so she wants Georgie to do some sleuthing and figure out who is behind it all before the police call in the princess for questioning.


There’s wild parties, royal functions, invitations to country estates, and excursions to a communist bookstore in a dicey part of London. Georgie’s bold friend Belinda and her dashing but inscrutable love interest Darcy are back, and Georgie’s actress mother modeled on The Bolter pops in from time to time with some trenchant observations.