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Her Royal Spyness Hardcover – 3 Jul 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group (3 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425215679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425215678
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.9 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,478,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Although I now live in California, I'm a transplanted Brit--born in Bath, but my mother's family comes from Wales. Hence my first mystery series featured a Welsh police constable (the Constable Evans Mysteries of which there are 10). I've been a writer all my life but finally decided to write what I like to read--mystery novels with a great sense of time and place.
I currently write two series: The Molly Murphy mysteries set in 1900s New York City, featuring an Irish immigrant woman, and the lighter Royal Spyness Mysteries about a minor royal in 1930s England. She's Lady Georgiana, 34th in line to the throne, but completely penniless. These have been described by Booklist as "a smashing romp."
My books have been nominated for every major mystery award in the US and I have won 9 including Agatha, Anthony and MacAvity awards.

My Royal Spyness books ring true because I married into a family that once owned stately homes and has cousins with funny nicknames. So many good anecdotes there! The Royal Spyness books currently have a movie option and I'm hoping they will become more available in Britain.

When I'm not writing I love to travel, hike, sing, play my Celtic harp and generally enjoy lie.

Product Description

About the Author

Born in Bath, Somerset, Rhys Bowen now lives in San Rafael, California, with her husband. She is the author of many award-winning series including the Royal Spyness and Constable Evans mysteries. Constable & Robinson are publishing her award-winning series of atmospheric historical dramas featuring feisty Irish immigrant Molly Murphy in old New York City. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Lady Georgiana has a problem. She's over the age where she should be married, but she's still single. And her brother has just cut off her allowance.

Now if you're thinking, "No problem, just get a job" then you need a few more details. See, Georgie is thirty-fourth in line for the throne of England and this is 1932 London. Even though she has no money, working is beneath her class. Beside, what can she really do?

Georgie doesn't let that stop her, however. She starts trying her hand at anything she can think of, as anonymously as possible of course. And she may have found the perfect way to make some money to support her self. That is, until she finds a very dead man in her own bathtub. How did he get there? And, more importantly, is Georgie's life in danger?

I've been a devoted fan of Rhys Bowen's work since I discovered it five years ago. So buying this book was a no brainer. And I must say I enjoyed it.

The mystery itself was a little slow, especially at the beginning. Once it got going, it held my interest until the end. And I was completely stumped, figuring it out only when Georgie did.

What kept me going was Georgie herself. She is lots of fun with a great sense of humor. Her narration had me grinning most of the way through the book. She's just the right mix of upper class and realist to be immediately likable.

This book is as much about Georgie's search to support herself as it is the mystery. If read as such, it will be very satisfying. Light and fun reading.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Sept. 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
HER ROYAL SPYNESS (Cozy-Lady Victoria-England-1930s) - G
Bowen, Rhys - 1st in series
Berkeley Prime Crime, 2008, US Paperback - ISBN: 9780425222522

First Sentence: There are two disadvantages to being a minor royal.

Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie may be 34th in line for the throne, but she is also broke. She is staying at the family mansion, Rennoch House, in London and learning to be self-sufficient.

A disagreeable Frenchman shows up at the door looking for her brother. He claims their father, a gambler who had lost the family fortune, had also lost the family home, Castle Rennoch. Victoria later finds the Frenchman dead in the bathtub and her brother her brother headed back to the Castle. She doesn't believe her brother killed the Frenchman; how she just has to prove it.

This first book in Ms. Bowen's new series introduces us to a cast of delightful characters. While some seem to be social stereotypes, it's hard not to be drawn to Lady Victoria and her non-titled grandfather, an ex-policeman. In fact, almost the first half of the book introduces us to the characters. Only after that do we get into the mystery, which is decently done except for way too many coincidences.

The book is a bit too light for my taste, but it is a fun.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jo D'Arcy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Sept. 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first in what has since become a series of books by Rhys Bowen - about Georgie, a single girl who has yet to find a husband, but has no means of supporting herself because she is not qualified to do anything and seems to have got herself tangled up with her families and her brothers problems when she comes to London and a dead body of a rather arrogant Frenchman is found in the bath. A man trying to get her into her bed. As well as this a cousin by marriage has asked her to do some spying on her son who seems to have got himself involved with a divorced American woman.

An interesting premise but let me add in a few more bits - Georgie is in fact thirty-fourth in line to the throne, she has no means of her support as her brother, Duke of Glen Garry and Rannoch has cut off her allowance to keep the ancestral pile in Scotland, Castle Rannoch in one piece. Despite having being presented at season many years before her gawkiness and clumsiness have not enabled her to be married off. The rather arrogant Frenchman comes to Georgie's brother because he claims he won Castle Rannoch of Georgie's father through gambling. Darcy O'Mara is the wild Irish man who is trying to bed Georgie, but then he suddenly changes his mind. Oh and the cousin is in fact Queen Mary wanting Georgie to spy on her son David and someone called Mrs Simpson.

Now if you know your history, this book is well set in the 1930s and based in London. It was paced enough to keep you turning the page and there was plenty of story as well as red herrings before you realised that perhaps there was more to the Frenchman and in the bath. The humour of the book is there, as we see how Georgie tries to earn a living, by cleaning for people. Nothing to dirty though - she cannot bring herself to go down the coal hole.
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By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 30 Sept. 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In 1932, a well-brought-up young lady, 34th in line to the English throne, simply does not take up paid employment, no matter how hard up her family is, or given that she has had her allowance cut off. But Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie does not care for the conventions. She's determined to make her own way in the world, so she bolts from the family home in Scotland and heads to London. But once there, she finds that she not only has to learn how to build a fire and dust, but also discovers that life may have become much more complicated than she could ever have imagined. The Queen commands her to spy on her son's current amour, Wallis Simpson, she finds herself having feelings for a totally unsuitable Catholic Irishman who's way too charming for his own good, and she's beginning to worry somebody's trying to kill her.

This is a delightful story; Lady Georgiana is cheerful and flippant about her class in life, yet very alive to the distinctions in Society that make so many people worse off than her; she loves her family and friends yet does not shy away from their failings; and she's determined that anybody trying to make trouble for her family will not get away with it, if she has anything to do with it.

The style of writing is light and engaging, and the story is complex enough to keep the reader's interest, and intriguing and a jolly good `detective'-type story along with it. Definitely recommended, and I shall be looking out for more in this series.
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