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What do you call a Frenchman in the bath? A Foreign Body,
This review is from: Her Royal Spyness (Thorndike Core) (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).