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.
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.
As with all cozy mysteries, it is the lives of the characters that propel the story forward. While the mystery is intriguing, it is merely the framework around which the characters evolve. The combination of some history with mystery, as well as a touch of romance, is irresistible. Set within the social mores of the time, all the characters, both downstairs and upstairs, manage to add to the ambience of the book. Filled with sly humor, those who enjoy cozy British mysteries will find this one to be an entertaining and madcap romp.
on 16 October 2012
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!
I'm not normally one for murder mysteries but there was plenty in this novel to hold my attention and the book is much more than I would have imagined a murder mystey to be! At just over 300 pages, Royal Blood is a quick read and from what I've seen, this is the ideal mystery series for chick lit fans as Lady Georgiana makes a fun and amusing heroine as she tries to find the right man and escape her overbearing relatives. I liked the glam 1930′s setting and the humour and I will definitely read more of the series.