It was fun
If you are of Royal Blood you can't work the cosmetic counter at Harrod's
Great story. I loved the whole experience of this book.
Ms Kellgren was fabulous. One of the best readers I have ever listen to. I loved her accent, her dramatization and her interruption of the story. I will be looking for more books that she narrates.
Yes, only wish I have the time.
Trying to write this review without using the cliché words “cute” and “cozy” is so hard, because it was! It’s cozy in the way only the British royal family can be. Picture the lovely Helen Mirren sitting in a clearing at Balmoral, and that prancing deer—the epitome of visceral restraint! That’s this book.
At its center, penniless Lady Georgiana, 34th in line to the throne, is looking to strike out on her own, and earn a living—an unheard of endeavor for someone with royal blood in the 1930s. Why can’t she be content to marry a distant wealthy relative, like all the other young ladies of good, royal breeding? Leave it to stubborn Georgiana to get embroiled in murder, black mail, and seduction in the process. This is the stuff that makes for fabulous reading!
While this book was nominated for the Agatha Award in 2007, I’d say that the mystery element wasn’t its strongest point. Although it’s my belief that that isnt’ necessarily a bad thing. I see this book as an introduction to Georgie, her family, and Depression era London. Everyone had fallen on hard times, and that included members of the aristocracy. It was also startlingly witty and hilarious! I listened to the audio edition of this book and the narrator, Katherine Kellgren, did a wonderful job of intoning the accent and demeanor of all of the characters. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. If you like historical “cozy” mystery books like this one, might I recommend the Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood? That is also an awesome series set in 1920s Australia, and I find that it’s even better when you listen to the audio editions. Check out the first book in the series, Cocaine Blues.
The tongue in cheek references to other fictional characters scattered through this -There's a Detective Sug (surely from Dorothy Sayers' Wimsey series), references to young nobles stealing detectives hats (certainly a reference to PG Wodehouse's Jeeves series) and a "William Darcy" O'Hara (which *must* be an austen reference). I get the feeling there are even more of these little tugs of the forelock that I missed and look forward to hearing more of them in later volumes
It's simple, fun and chick flick entertainment. Easy beach read. Read the whole series so that says something.
Book blogger at Bookwi.se
I have to admit, that being a new parent and trying to keep up with work and enjoying my new daughter and trying to get enough sleep, I have just not been interested in reading anything heavy. I have already finished more than my goal of books for the year (which is a new record number of books), so I don’t feel pressed to read to review.
Consequently I have been reading fun books. And this is a great example of a fun book. Georgie is the younger sister of a Duke. She is 34th in line for the throne in 1932. But that does not mean things are going well for her. She is 21, her brother has stopped giving her a living allowance. Her father has died after losing all of the family money in American investments, her mother left her father when she was a young child and has been sleeping her way through all of the rich and famous of Europe since then.
Georgie has had enough of her current life stuck in a cold drafty castle in Scotland with her very sweet, but fairly hapless brother and distant and condescending sister in law. So she heads to London to make her way on her own. But things are not that easy. She does not really have any job skills. And she can’t take just any job, because there is society to think of and her cousin (the Queen) will find out. If she doesn’t figure out a way to take care of herself, she is going to be sent off to the country to be a lady in waiting for a great aunt (the last remaining daughter of Queen Victoria). She will never find a husband (or have any fun) out there.
Things are really not going all that well when she comes home to find a dead body in her bathtub. I assume this is homage to Dorothy Sayers’s first Lord Peter Wimsey book Whose Body? which also has a body in a bathtub as the center of the mystery.
This is a modern book, where Dorothy Sayer was writing as a contemporary of the 1930s, Rhys Rowen is writing of the same time 85 years later. But there are some good parallels. Both are mysteries with real humor. And both have brilliant, but somewhat scattered main characters.
Obviously there is the difference in the gender of the characters in a time when gender mattered significantly. But also because the portrayed eras feel different. Wimsey for all of his lightness suffers from PTSD after fighting in WWI. Georgie is young, naive and stumbled into a lot of answers. Wimsey acts like a fool but is not at all the fool.
There is also the light feminist angle. Georgie is still a part of her class and station. But she is reaching out and willing to push boundaries in ways that is clearly different than Wimsey because Wimsey is both male and still rich.
All in all, this was a fun series, and I will read more of it.
(originally posted on my blog, Bookwi.se)
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I love this series -- it's a lot of fun, and while it's very fluffy, there is a lot of information in there about the lifestyle and class structure of 1930's England. Also, Katherine Kellgren's narration is fantastic!
Fun and enjoyable read .. different angle on the usual mystery
Life in London from different perspectives
Lighthearted murder mystery set in the 1930's (?). Georgiana is royalty...sort of. She is a "Lady" and is in line for the crown...34th in line. Georgiana is an independent, resourceful single woman and broke. She may not have money, but she has friends and her royal name to influence. This book is an easy and enjoyable read following Georgiana's adventures to make some money, to lose her virginity, to clear herself and her brother of murder charges.
A little comedy, a little mystery, a little romance. Very enjoyable read.