The Queen of England has concocted a plan in which penniless aristocrat Lady Georgie is to entertain a Bavarian princess and conveniently place her in the playboy prince's path, in the hopes that he might finally marry.
But queens never take money into account. Georgie has very little, which is why she moonlights as a maid-in-disguise. She must draw up plans: clean house to make it look like a palace; have Granddad and her neighbor pretend to be the domestic staff; un-teach Princess Hanni the English she's culled from American gangster movies; cure said princess of her embarrassing shoplifting habit; and keep an eye on her at parties.
Then there's the worrying matter of the body in the bookshop and Hannis' unwitting involvement with the Communist Party. It's enough to drive a girl crazy.
Listen to more Royal Spyness mysteries.
©2008 Janet Quin-Harkin (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"All the characters from the first book in this rollicking series are present here - Georgie's much-married actress mother, her kind-hearted and resourceful Cockney grandfather, her sophisticated friend Belinda and the enigmatic Darcy O'Mara, a penniless Irish peer to whom Georgie finds herself attracted. There are also fleeting references to the war clouds that are gathering in Europe and the rise of fascism at home and abroad, both of which are neatly tied in with the murders and their solution. It works - both as a grand period piece and a lighthearted and completely diverting mystery." (The Denver Post)
If you haven't sampled this series, do yourself a favor. Start with the first and listen to them all. They are a wonderful mixture of humor, suspense and a bit of romance on the side. You will fall in love with the main characters as portrayed by the incomparable Katherine Kellgren.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY - (mystery) A Royal Pain is Book 2 in the series, and I liked it even better than the first. It is set in 1932 England. The main character, Georgie, is a 21-year-old of Scottish noble birth who has moved to London and is learning to navigate the high-society single social scene. She also does some amateur sleuthing for the Queen. As the cover art suggests, this series is light and humorous. The characters are fun and likeable, even the bad ones, for the most part.
This story centers around the visit of a Bavarian princess (Hanni) who comes to stay with Georgie. When numerous people start dying or being killed, the mystery begins. Despite all the fun, the mystery is complicated, engaging and very exciting. There are lots of clues and suspects, so you will need to pay attention, and it will keep you guessing till the end.
PERFORMANCE - I must give out fives to narrators too easily because there are so many good ones, but then there's no room to rate a performance like this. I loved this narration. Every character has a different voice or accent. There's stuffy British royalty, cockney, Scottish, German, American, southern U.S. and probably more. And then the voice of Georgie's best friend Belinda, which is...well, just hear for yourself.
OVERALL - The story stands alone, but if you don't listen to the series in order you will miss some character development and, of course, the slow-moving romance Georgie seems to be building with Darcy. I don't recall any cursing, but there are some adult comments and situations. I'd recommend this for girls high school age through adult. Probably not a book for guys, though the mystery is really good. Great fun + complicated mystery + awesome performance = highly recommended book.
who am I?
I suspect I'd enjoy this even more were I English, or more
knowledgeable about the English cast system, accents, and
so on. Even without that, this (as others in the series) is a
Books available on Audible have a lot of great narrators. But also
some who are just ho-hum, and some that are annoying (depending,
of course, on your personal preferences). IMHO, Katherine Kellgren
ranks among the best of the best.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
For sheer listening pleasure the Royal Spyness series of audiobooks is unmatched. This 10 novel and 1 short story series is written by Janet Quin-Harkin using the pen name Rhys Bowen. Ms. Quin-Harkin is the grand dame of living British mystery writers. Narration is by American actor Katherine Kellgren who is likely the best voice narrator in the English speaking world. Kellgren gives each character his or her own voice as she narrates in the perfect regional accent of each. A Royal Pain is Novel 2 in the 10 novel series. I realized recently in looking at my Audible library that it was the only novel in the series not there. This novel is set in 1932 London and as usual Lady Georgie has a murder or two to solve. I VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND this audio book and every book in the series.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys light mysteries and particularly if they listen while they drive. You don't have to have listened to the first book, but I think you will have missed out on the build-up of the characters. It is the characters that make it so funny. Although the situation here is amusing too. Lady Georgiana has to chaperone a Bavarian princess who is the Royal Pain of the title.
The most memorable moment for me was when the Princess's love interest was stabbed upstairs while Georgie was downstairs. A nasty bit of business that made the book more serious for several chapters.
Frankly, I am not sure that I would sit down and read any of these books - it is Katherine Kellgren's performance that makes them enjoyable for me. She brings out every bit of comedy there is by
These are light hearted mysteries for entertainment purposes.
Baltimore book lover
This series is so charming. Not the most challenging mystery in the world, but the characters are interesting, the setting is charming and narriator is top notch. I recomend this series to anyone who likes their murders cozy and Agatha Christy-ish.
I absolutely loved this series of books and can't wait for Audible to release the next one. It is interesting how Rhys has managed to portray the Royal Family and events from the early '30's. Fun to read references to a young Queen Elizabeth. Also after release of the movie - The King's Speech - gives some more insights - especially funny how Mrs. Simpsonn is portrayed.
Rhys incorporates a mystery into each of these tales along with a wonderful sense of humour. There is a bit of romance, however it does not overshadow the main story line.
This book is most likely to appeal to those who are interested in historical references and who have some kowledge of the Royal family. Also life in the 1930's.
The main character is a terrific example of a young independent woman determined to make her own way in the world.
The first book was fresh and funny (if still a bit of a fluff read). This one is not as good. The story is thin, almost nonexistent at first and doesn't pick up until the end. About the ending though (No spoiler) - It's not a bad ending but to say that it's rushed is an understatement. Characters are still enjoyable to listen to thanks to Kellgren's excellent performance. If not for Kellgren I'd say, give this one a miss.
She is so funny...so innocent. Loved her as a maid...and as an escort LOL
Great book for light, fun, listening. Good in the car, or while out walking.
I find the naraters voice a bit grating, but ok.
"Murder in the bookshop (almost a library)"
I have the printed version but have not opened it since listening to this great audio edition read by Katherine Kellgren.
This series is comparable to the Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood. They are both in the same era with Ladys dealing with murders each with a lighthearted style about them.
Katherine brings the characters to life in this and other ones in the series. Mrs Huggins does seem to have a similar voice to Queeny in the later books (but they may be related).
Murder in the bookshop (almost a library)
Delightful romp with an excellent narrator. Lots of twists, turns and shocks in the plot held my interest and the heroine is delightful. My only criticism would be that I thought the ending was a little rushed but otherwise it was a very enjoyable listen.
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