What perfect timing for me...like flopping onto the couch with a box of bonbons, painting your toenails bright pink, smearing deep conditioner on your hair, and forgetting the day has any plans for you whatsoever. Ahhhhhh.
I've seen these titles go by and shown no interest, until the new *7th in the series* piqued my hyper-curiosity -- 7th? that's an investment from a publisher. Going to the source, reviewers I trust admitted these aren't the best pieces of literature they've read -- but it was clear they had a great time doing so. (I've given real literary gems this many stars, but using very different criteria.) I decided to give Her Royal Spyness a try, beginning with number 1 in the series.
This was just the right light hearted fun I needed for coming off a deep read that wouldn't get out of my head -- like a pint of Haagen daz for the brain. I picked up the second in the series (Royal Pain) and it seems the magic had already worn off. I'm sure I'll eventually find myself plopped back on the couch with Her Royal Spyness in the future, 'cause there's no shame in girls just wanting, and needing, to have fun (and bonbons and pedicures).
*About the narrator: I owe this to Kellgren, whom I have b-l-l-l-lasted in the past! Loathed is a strong word, but I would actually avoid books if she was doing the narrating. I purchased this without looking, and to my surprise, thought Kellgren as equal to my enjoying this book, as the story; she was a blast.
The villain was so predictable it was groan-worthy. No "detecting" is actually done by the narrator, its all handled by her friend, who is infinitely more interesting than her. The whole book just dragged on and on with nothing much happening. Waste of time.
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
I was attracted to this book from the title alone. Everything else about it was a bit of a turn-off, from the location, era and even to the genre itself; I'm not one for mystery serials. This book came up during a sale, and I wanted to try something a bit different than my usual fare.
I was very impressed by the writing and the narration. The prose aren't anything amazing, but the story is nicely paced and the characters are a hoot. I also enjoyed the introduction to the crazy little pocket of humanity on the outer fringe of the royal family. It was educational and amusing.
The mystery at the center of this plot was very interesting, and did keep me guessing for a while. It wasn't the most logical plot in the world, and if I felt like being nit-picky about it, I could probably find several things to be unhappy about.
As it stands, the book was just the right sort of light read for me at the time. I have put the sequel on my wishlist and I'll probably pick up more of the series if it goes on sale. That about says it all, doesn't it?
This is a charming book. Both a light read & a good mystery. I didn't guess the identity of the fiend until the end & that's always a good thing. The story is set in 1930's London which is a plus to me as I'm a sucker for an English mystery. I really enjoyed Kellren's narration.
I love mysteries in the style of P.D. James, Rex Stout, Elizabeth Peters, Dave Duncan, etc. I love sci fi written by Issac Asimov (the robot books), Douglas Adams, Jack McDevitt (Alex Benedict series) and Susan Collins. I love fantasy written by Terry Pratchett, and Kim Harrison. I love Kate Morton. I don't like graphic descriptions of violence.
I read these books, one right after the other and never got tired of them. If you like cozy mysteries with a little romance, and dislike graphic violence and listening to dry descriptions of sex, you will like these books.
When I look for an audiobook, it is usually with a long cross country road trip ahead of me. I want a book that will keep me company, engage my attention, and make the time go faster.
This is one of the best books I've heard. Katherine Kellgren is a phenomenal narrator. She is a wonderful performer. As an example- one of my pet peeves is women doing men's voices. It seems like they either do a really low voice that sounds sort of Neanderthal like or they don't vary it at all and you end up imagining women in men's clothes like a reverse Shakespeare play. Katherine Kellgren conquers this dilemma perfectly. She alters the voice, cadence, tempo, accents so perfectly. You know exactly who each character is, they are all distinctive and the men can be imagined in their fullness without any odd vocal distractions taking away from the story.
The heroine is fabulous. I like Georgie's spunk and sarcasm and her story is very engaging. I couldn't stop listening. I had to know what would happen next. I even stretched out time between pit stops I was so into the story. I tried to read the next book in print, but had to come back and buy the audiobook sequel. That's how good the narrating is.
I think this would be a really fun strong female/humorous mystery book on its own. But with the narration, it becomes a fully developed, complex world that I was loathe to leave.
Predictable to a fault. A tad silly. Not worth the time or money. Wished it were better, as the concept seemed good. Would not try anther.
The Book Doctor
After listening to Katherine Kellgren's expert narration, I cannot imagine reading the print edition of any of these books. The voices and the characters were so wonderfully brought to life it would feel like a disappointment to read this series rather than listening.
I love Belinda- her accent and approach to life is priceless. Having listened further in the series, I can say she keeps getting better and better.
I'd have to say Belinda as well- her vocalization is fantastic. Many of Belinda's comments made me laugh out loud.
39th from the throne, your life is still on the line.
Or- No pantsuits for amateurs.
A total delight. I have been savoring these, and only listening to Her Royal Spyness books once I have worked my way through the others in my queue. These are a wonderful treat and a great reward.
I would highly recommend it, but it's not really a mystery as it's been advertised. It's more of an amusing comedy of the life of a minor royal in 1930s London - a single woman trying to distract her family (including the Queen) who's trying to marry her off while she tries to figure out what she's going to do with her life on her own in the big city. It is wonderfully read by a woman with great talent in not only reading dialogue, but creating credible voices for the characters.
It's more of a comedy with some amateur detective work, rather than a mystery with some amusing situations popping up occasionally.
I don't know about you, but why are there so so so many 5 star reviews. I LOVE books, but so few are 5 star.
My guilty pleasure... I love Austen and mystery novels, always quick easy reading. This had some wit, but not much else to recommend.