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Her Royal Spyness [Hardcover]

Rhys Bowen
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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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: 20.8 x 13.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 682,393 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lady Georgiana Sets Out on Her Own 16 Aug 2007
By Mark Baker TOP 500 REVIEWER
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
3.0 out of 5 stars Very light, but fun 3 Sep 2008
By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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
4.0 out of 5 stars A Secret Agent with class? 16 Sep 2010
By Jo D'Arcy TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
And the body of a dead Frenchman is exactly what Lady Georgiana, the heroine of this book, finds in her bath at the start of this comic murder mystery.

This is the first in a series of, currently, three "Royal Spyness" mysteries by Rhys Bowen, who is also the author of the "Molly Malone" and "Constable Evans" mystery series. The heroine and central character is a delightful but penniless minor royal called Lady Georgiana (full name Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, but known to her friends as Georgie), great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria and half-sister of the Duke of Atholt and Rannoch.

The book is set in 1932. On overhearing that Queen Mary has asked her brother to organise a house party in the hope of marrying her off to Prince Seigfried of Romania, who she can't stand, Georgie escapes to the family home in London, Rannoch House. This does not get her away from the Queen's plans for long: instead HM asks Georgie to spy on the Prince of Wales and report back on whether he is really serious about this american woman, Mrs Simpson, who the prince seems to be spending a lot of time with.

Before this gets very far, Georgie finds the aforementioned foreign body in the bath at Rannoch House. Worse, it soon becomes apparent that both Georgie and her brother would have had a strong motive to murder the dead man, and the Duke is arrested. While trying to keep an eye on the Prince of Wales, find evidence to clear her brother's name, and surreptitiously earn a few pennies to keep body and soul together, Georgie comes to suspect that someone is trying to murder her too. But why?

Fairly amusing, and I intend to read the other books in the series, which are A Royal Pain (Royal Spyness Mysteries) and Royal Flush (Royan Spyness Mysteries).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Her Royal Spyness
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... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Keen Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars good fun
not much spying but plenty of murder and mayhem. love the main character and darcy. worth a read. x x
Published 13 months ago by Fay
3.0 out of 5 stars A madcap, frothy romp
This is enjoyable light reading for when you need something fun, frivolous and frothy.

There's nothing in the slightest bit challenging here, and some very familiar... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Roman Clodia
3.0 out of 5 stars Her Royal Spyness (A Royal Spyness Mystery)
A easy to read novel with just a touch of "what will happen next" not the obvious always something surprising
Published 18 months ago by Elaine O`Brien
3.0 out of 5 stars A royal disappointment
I was looking forward to reading this book. I enjoy most crime whether it is cosy or heavier weight crime. But for me this book necessitated too much suspension of disbelief. Read more
Published 19 months ago by tigger
3.0 out of 5 stars Her royal spyness
Easy to read, witty in parts. Few words used that would not be spoken in that time. American spellings which surprised me.
Published 19 months ago by M McWilliams
5.0 out of 5 stars Her RoyalSpyness
Georgie is great fun. I can't wait for the next one.I love the mix of historical figures and facts that weave in and out of Georgie's obviousley ficticious life. Relax and enjoy
Published on 11 April 2011 by laura
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I didn't have very high hopes for this novel, I must admit. The concept seemed very formulaic, especially since whodunnits from that period (1930s) have been done to death (no pun... Read more
Published on 7 Nov 2010 by Mrs. Trudie A. Bamford
4.0 out of 5 stars A BREEZY WHODUNIT...
This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series by the author, and it is a winner. This is a charming, funny look at life among the upper crust in 1930s England, as seen... Read more
Published on 8 Oct 2010 by Lawyeraau
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