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Queen of Hearts (Royal Spyness Mysteries) Hardcover – 5 Aug 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 295 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group (5 Aug 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425260364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425260364
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.7 x 23.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 229,763 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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER on 30 Sep 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is the eighth in this series (which started with Her Royal Spyness) and follows on directly from the previous story, Heirs and Graces. Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 35th in line to the British throne is still at Kingsdown Place, seat of the dukes of Eynsford, but the only other people there with her now are "a dowager duchess, her two half-dotty sisters and several dozen servants". Bored, but not willing to go back to no home, with no prospects other than a `suitable' marriage, Georgiana is delighted but surprised when her mother arrives. Whisked off to America, Georgie is in for a lot of new experiences, not least of which is getting chatted up by Charlie Chaplin.

Georgie has an unfortunate habit of finding herself in the middle of murder mysteries, and this story is no different. But there's a lot of action that takes place before any unforeseen deaths, and Georgie meets up with old friends and acquaintances along the way. As with all these stories, this is an easy and thoroughly enjoyable read, of a young lady making her own independent way in the world of the 1930s. Georgie is a delightful character, and together with her lovely young man Darcy, her best friend Belinda, her rags to riches mother, and her gormless maid Queenie make for a wonderful cast.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Aug 2014
Format: Hardcover
Lady Georgiana is surprised when her mother, the actress Claire Daniels, sweeps back into her life offering a trip to America. It seems that Claire’s boyfriend Max wants to marry her, and to do that, Claire needs to head to Reno, Nevada, to get a quickie divorce. She’s looking for company on the long boat and train ride, and wants Georgie to join her. Since Georgie has never had the opportunity to go, she readily agrees.

However, danger starts on the ship crossing the Atlantic. Georgie thinks she sees someone fall overboard. Then a jewel is stolen. However, Claire is offered a part in a movie, so the duo head from Reno to Hollywood only to find the intrigue has followed them. Can Georgie make sense of what is happening?

I was wondering just how author Rhys Bowen was going to give us a good story with the book taking place partially at sea and partially in Hollywood. I need not have worried. The plot works well spanning all those miles and kept me turning the pages to find out what would happen next. Even with the change of scenery, we still get many of the series regulars, and they are always fun. The cast of new characters were great as well, and I enjoyed the cameos by some of the real celebrities from the time.

This was a nice change of pace for the series, really letting us see Georgie in a new light. I’m already looking forward to reading her next adventure.
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Format: Hardcover
Drama is hard to come by in the entire first half of the novel. I was a good five hours into the audiobook before the murder happened, which meant that the drama rather relied on the sexcapades of various characters, including Charlie Chaplin, who was not portrayed in a very positive light!

To go with that was a cast of absolutely vapid characters. Even our heroine and hero were pretty boring, petty and driven by money. They can’t get married because Darcy wants to keep Georgie ‘the way she deserves’ – an excuse so ridiculous it has to be a forced reason to keep them apart. Because there really isn’t a good reason to keep them apart, except for perpetuation of the ‘romantic tension’ in later episodes of the series. Quote marks because there wasn’t really any romantic tension – Darcy was only in the book for about five minutes, and he didn’t do a great deal in that time.

There was some good intrigue with the story of the jewel thief, and a couple of mildly entertaining moments, but they were overshadowed by the fact that the characters were at best unmemorable, at worst unpleasant. If this is the eighth book of the series, I really don’t know how any reader has lasted this long with it.
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By Anne Small on 17 Dec 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book as always by Rhys Bowen
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J Thomas on 8 Aug 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Read all these books nice light reading
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