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Royal Blood (Royal Spyness Mysteries) Hardcover – 25 Nov 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: BERKLEY - US; 1 edition (25 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425234460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425234464
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.9 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,432,692 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 is 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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Winter is setting in, and Lady Georgiana Rannoch is trying to figure out how she will survive the coming months without an income. But her immediately problems are solved when the Queen asks Georgie to be the family representative at a royal wedding. In fact, the bride is an old school friend and has asked Georgie to be one of the bridesmaids. There's just the little matter of finding a maid willing to work for free to accompany her. Georgie finds the worst maid imaginable, but desperate, they set off together.

The wedding is to take place at a remote castle in Transylvania, a castle that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler. Georgie doesn't believe in vampires, but she has just arrived when she sees someone climbing up the castle wall. Then people are appearing and disappearing from her room. She is quite spooked before someone keels over dead. The death has deep political implications. But was it a vampire or is the killer all too human?

This series is as much about Georgie's life as a poor, minor royal trying to support herself during The Great Depression as it is about the mystery. That becomes clear in this book as we really don't even get to the location for the main story until about the 100 page mark. Once we arrive at the castle, things pick up into high gear, and I was hooked on the story until the surprising end. And the characters were more than enough to carry me through the early part. I love Georgie and her friends, so catching up with them in any form is fun. Since you won't get some of the story here if you don't know the characters, I do suggest starting with earlier books in the series. You'll enjoy this one so much more if you do.

This series continues to grow on me with every book. The pages flew by as I read, and I can't wait for my next visit with Lady Georgiana.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Mar. 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the fourth book in a new cozy mystery series by the author, and it is a winner. This series is a charming, funny look at life among the upper crust in 1930s England, as seen through the eyes of Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, known as Georgie to those near and dear. Her grandmother was one of Queen Victoria's daughters, making Georgie thirty-fourth in line to the throne.

Georgie is definitely a thoroughly modern Millie, who is currently living alone in her family's New Hyde Park London townhouse, where she fends for herself as best she can. Unfortunately, she is flat broke, as her brother, Binky, cut off her allowance due to a reversal of fortune. Tired of living hand to mouth, Georgie gets a bit of a respite when the Queen asks her to represent the royal family at a wedding in Transylvania. It also turns out that the bride to be is an old school chum of Georgie's.

Accompanied by Lady Middlesex, whom the Queen has asked to chaperone Georgie, as well as a new maid that she is breaking in, Georgie makes the trek to Transylvania, where everything seems just a little creepy. The castle, where the wedding is to take place, is rumored to have been the home of Vlad the Impaler, and is fraught with nerve-wracking bumps in the night that bring vampires to mind.

To make matters worse, her maid is clueless about just what it is that a maid is supposed to do. Our Georgie is definitely on edge, and when a rather unpleasant wedding guest mysteriously dies while dining, things seem that they cannot get any worse, though they do. Of course, this book would not be complete without the inclusion of her elusive heartthrob, the irresistible Irish Peer, Darcy O'Mara. Together they try to get to the bottom of the strange events at the castle, before it is too late.
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By Amanda Moran on 16 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Royal Blood is the fourth book in the Royal Spyness Mystery Series and combines two of my favourite genres (historical fiction and romance) with something new for me; crime and mystery and I found it a very enjoyable read.

The story is told in the first person from the point of view of Lady Georgiana, cousin to the King of Engand and 34th in line to the throne. I liked Georgiana immediately; she's lighthearted and fun and I loved her take on both her situation and the people around her. Georgiana is twenty-two; her family are desperate for her to marry and make a good match and she's a lovely mix of slightly scatty, confidence and occasional bursts of insight.

I loved the 1930′s setting and I was surprised how little of the story actually focussed on the murder which doesn't actually happen until around half way through the book. Royal Blood is as much about Georgiana and her life as it is about her attendance at a royal wedding in Transylvania. The story starts in depression-era London and moves on to a remote and spooky castle in Romania. Lady Georgiana finds herself faced with a host of strange goings on at the spooky castle and the vampire references added a fun twist to the story.

As this is the fourth book in the series I was a little concerned that I wouldn't be able to pick up the story but it reads perfectly well as a standalone novel. I would like to go back and read the rest of the series now though as I'd love to get to know Georgiana, her friends and family better, particularly Georgiana's love interest, the mysterious Darcy O'Mara. I also love the gorgeous illustrated covers for this series and think the whole collection would look lovely on my bookshelf!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 118 reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
"Royal Blood" oozes with intrigue 8 Sept. 2010
By Novel Chatter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The last thing her Ladyship expected to see while peering into the dark, Transylvanian night was some "thing" or some "one" climbing up Bran Castle wall.

Such are the things that tend to happen to poor Lady Georgiana Rannoch. She's twenty-two, "depressedly" single, and thirty-fourth in line to the British throne. The King is her second cousin, and his wife, Her Majesty Queen Mary, loves to give Georgie little tasks. Most recently, she dispatched Georgie to keep tabs on the Prince of Wales' new American lady friend. Prior to that, Her Majesty put Georgie in charge of a visiting German princess with a fondness for shoplifting and American gangster slang.

This time Queen Mary appointed Lady Georgiana to represent the Royal family at the wedding of Georgie's old school mate, Princess Maria Theresa of Romania, to Prince Nicholas of Bulgaria. Adding to the atmosphere of the royal wedding is its location, the dark and dreary Castle Bran, Transylvania, purported home to vampires and werewolves. And then there's Prince Seigfried, whom Georgiana unceremoniously dumped earlier in the year, ensconced in the bedroom right next to hers.

In Royal Blood, the highly anticipated fourth book in author Rhys Bowen's "Royal Spyness" series, we find Lady Georgiana in the middle of another murder, and this time a mysterious vial is found in her room. Everyone is snowed in, the pass is closed, and there are no tracks leading from the castle. Just who is trying to frame Lady Georgiana and why?

Among the supporting cast of players in Royal Blood are many familiar faces in this series: Georgie's trusty bed-hopping best friend, Belinda Warburton-Stokes, Georgie's brother Binky, the current duke, and his tiresome, penny pinching wife Fig. As always, the mysterious and handsome Darcy O'Mara pops up at just the right moment! New additions to the mix are: Georgie's royal traveling companion Lady Middlesex, Queenie Hepplewhite her bumbling new maid, and a mysteriously dark butler named Dragomir.

Let me be honest, I love this series and was somewhat apprehensive about reviewing Royal Blood. Often times, at this point in a series, the plot and characters can become flat and repetitive. Not so in Rhys Bowen's latest! Quite the opposite, the characters remain fresh and interesting. The plot is crisp, and the turns are sharp and deadly. Ms. Bowen wisely gives the reader just enough information about the history of the players to allow a first time reader to feel right at home in Castle Bran. Rhys Bowen has written another brilliant, not-to-be-missed addition to this well loved series.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Transylvanian Adventure 13 Dec. 2010
By Ted Feit - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
For anyone who likes cozies, with a little mystery thrown in, a Royal Spyness Mystery is right up his or her alley. In a change of scenery, Lady Georgiana is asked to travel from London to the Castle Bran in Romania's Transylvania to represent the Crown at the wedding of the Princess Maria Theresa and the Bulgarian Prince Nicholas. It seems Georgiana went to school with the princess, who had specifically asked for her friend to be a bridesmaid.

Yes, that's the castle reputed to be Dracula's, giving us the opportunity to anticipate vampires, werewolves and the like, and amusement, along with royal shenanigans, sex [both requited (friend Belinda) and unrequited (Georgiana)], and other assorted goings-on. The mystery is the apparent murder by poison of the head of the Bulgarian armed forces and a favorite of the king, possibly a cause of another Balkan war.

There are some cute moments in the novel, although the formula is becoming somewhat wearisome. Georgie's love life (or lack thereof) is becoming a little boring, while Belinda's is, of course, predictable. As for Georgie's ability to solve crimes, it is more like stumbling into situations that seem to be resolved while she is present. The writing moves the story along apace, and the 1930's royal atmosphere is interesting. The novel is recommended for readers, and they are many, who appreciate the genre.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Best Yet!!!! 20 Sept. 2010
By Kentucky Rose - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Rhys Bowen turns out a superb who-done-it in this new addition to the series. A definite can't miss. New characters add sparkle and life. Lots of intrigue and danger with great escapes. Not a book to put down lightly once you start to read it. Now the important question is - when is the next book in the series coming out? Can't wait!!!!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Rather a let-down from the earlier titles in the series 20 Jan. 2013
By Michael K. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's late in 1932 and Lady Georgiana, living on tea and toast because her family's broke and she has no way to earn a living, gets drafted by her cousin, Queen Mary, to go and represent the family at a royal wedding in a castle in Transylvania. One of her old friends from school, a Roumanian princess, is marrying a Bulgarian prince. Georgie is dutiful (and maybe she'll get a few good meals out of it), so off she goes, into the Balkan winter. Of course, it all turns out to be much more complicated than that, with everyone being snowed in, and strange figures creeping about, and the distinct possibility of vampires and werewolves. Somehow, too, her ex-actress mother is there (Georgie's father was the late Duke of Rannoch), and her best friend, the slutty Belinda, and (of course) her heart-throb, the rather wild Darcy O'Mara, who seems to do something secret for His Majesty's government. Then there's a murder -- Georgie is accumulating a good deal of experience with murders -- and in order to prevent international political complications, they'll have to try to cover the whole thing up. At least until after the wedding.

Somehow, though you know going in that this isn't meant to be a "serious" murder mystery, this fourth entry in the series isn't nearly as much fun as the previous three. The pace rather plods and the usually sprightly and tongue-in-cheek humor seems forced. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen. And it's hard to accept that a no-nonsense girl like Georgiana would ever seriously consider the possibility that vampires were real, even in a spooky castle.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Royal Blood 14 May 2011
By wisbech - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Her Royal Spyness novels are delicious! Read one and you will be captivated. Having read all of them I have started on the first of the Molly Murphy series and will read all of those. Sheer entertainment blended into historical facts. Rhys Bowen is responsible for my house being dusty, the garden needing to be weeded and a lack of sleep! I just can't put one of her books down until the last page, then I have to stop myself from putting the next one on Kindle until a few other things have been accomplished!!
I am so glad Amazon listed the first Royal Spyness which intriqued me enough to get started.
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