Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932.
So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.
Everything seems to be going swimmingly until she finds a body in her bathtub... and someone is definitely trying to kill her.
©2007 Janet Quin-Harkin (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"Rhys Bowen has crafted an insightful blend of old-fashioned whodunnit, clever satire, and drawing room comedy of errors -- and created a feisty new heroine to delight a legion of Anglophile readers." (Jacqueline Winspear, author of the Maisie Dobbs novels)
"Kellgren finds unique voices for quirky characters such as Georgie’s adorable grandfather and estranged mother, Wallis Simpson, and a sexy Irish lord. Kellgren will make listeners want to meet the kilt-clad ghosts who play bagpipes in Scotland’s castle corridors and tartan-wallpapered bathrooms." (AudioFile)
This is the first novel in Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness series and it is a jewel. Katherine Kellgren brings the characters to life and will have you laughing out loud. Not that there isn't suspense in plenty and some romantic interest as well. Audible has all of this series on the site now and if you haven't heard them, you are in for a major treat!
I love a good mystery and am frequently disappointed. This one was very satisfying. The story is set during an interesting time in history, the early 1930s; the characters span a range of social classes due to the main character's position as a fiscally destitute minor royal whose mixed parentage includes a Cockney grandfather. She thinks out of the box which places her in situations that would be precluded by strict adherence to class code. The story contains enough plot twists to keep the reader guessing, but all the necessary clues are provided, so the conclusion is logical.
The narrator does a fantastic job with the voices and accents.
Since I have run the gamut of Agatha Christie's mysteries (some multiple times) I was starting to feel like a part of my life was missing, so I figured that I would give this author a shot, even on the outset, I thought these books would be overly hokey. They aren't. Also, I have to say that although the story lines are sometimes, but not wholly predictable, that this series is pretty darn enjoyable. They definitely fit the cozy genre to a "t" and I think the main character is great. Like Christie, Bowen treats English artistocracy with a tongue in cheek type of humor and manages to keep the reader interested enough in the plot to want to keep going without stopping. I don't necessarily think it is a bad thing to be able to predict some of the outcomes, as long as we aren't able to guess them all, and hey maybe this was the author's intent, anyway.
If you are looking for a happy, fun, cozy, enjoyable whodunit, this series is for you.
As an Audible Editor I listen for a living! British classics, YA novels, speculative fiction, and anything quirky, fascinating, or heart-wrenching.
I’m writing a review of the first book in this series, but that’s because you need to begin at the beginning and keep going. But you don’t want to miss any of the books in Bowen’s adorable and delightful Royal Spyness series. These books are total charmers. They tell the story of Lady Georgiana Rannoch, cousin to the Queen, in 1930s England. She’s a minor royal who's completely penniless, but expected to keep up with the Joneses. Uninterested in marrying for money, she’s trying to figure out how to make her own way in the world, with very few suitable options available to her. And then there’s the fact that keeps running into dead bodies (as tends to happen in these cozy mysteries). You may be rolling your eyes, but trust me: these books are absolutely wonderful little gems. And while I would never dare discourage reading, you really ought to listen to them. Katherine Kellgren is the real star here. She gives perfect voice to all of the characters Georgie encounters: her Cockney grandfather, a handsome Irish rogue, a crazy German princess who’s obsessed with American gangster movies, a stuffy butler, and even Wallis Simpson and Coco Chanel. I can’t wait for the next one!
I am generally not a 1st person plot view fan, but I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The mystery was not the focus of the story, and I liked that. The whole "aristocrat struggling to get by" plot was what had me coming back to it, and I laughed out loud many a time.
The narrator was perfection as well, I believe she just might be Georgie and just never knew till now :)
Say something about yourself!
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.
I have been a fan of British everything for as long as I can remember. I am so glad that I found this great set of books. As I read/listen to this story I find myself imagining Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie being play by that great British actress Penelope Keith, from the BBC1 sitcom “To the Manor Born.” I can't wait to get into the next installment of this fantastic series. Bravo to Rhys Bowen for her wit, style and elegance in showing us that to whatever station we may find ourselves in we are all people at heart.
I bought this book on a whim. The idea of a down-and-out royal trying to make a living in 1930s London was interesting enough to peak my curiosity, but mixing that with a murder mystery was enough to convince me to give it a try.
The book was a worthwhile read for me if only for the portrait it paints of the 1930s class-conscious society that existed of that time in the UK. The lives of those in the upper class as well as those not in that class (NOCD - not our class darling) is presented as is with no explicit excuses or embarrasment, just as the people who lived then must have thought of it. What are most interesting, besides the interactions of the two classes, are the unconscious restrictions placed on the upper class who still, sometimes, had to make a living.
The murder mystery added some additional interest to the book although the mystery was both much clearer and easier to piece for me than Agatha Chrisie's Miss Marple books. There were sufficient red herrings thrown in and our heroine does indeed make some stupid decisions, but it is all in fun and the true culprit did not become clear to me until the last hour or so of the book. All in all I can say that I had a good time reading it. I do not expect to read any other books in the series but I do not regret having purchased and read this one.
Ms Kellgren's narration of the book is first class - the British, Scots and American accents sound authentic (to my ears). She spoke clearly and seemed perfectly chosen for the tone and pace of the book. I feel I can recommend this book for some fun and light reading.
I' m sure this kind of book isn't for everyone, but if you like Jane Marple or Emily Pollifax, you'll like Georgie. An amusing cozy mystery/adventure in which a young royal (35th in line for the throne) adjusts to having no money, no household help and tries to survive by doing menial work and special investigations for the queen.
The narrator does an excellent job.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
This is such a delightful listen. I've been through the series now, and while I can't say I'm smarter for it, I certainly have been entertained. Suspend reality and then be taken into a different world. Katherine Kellgren is a wonderfully gifted narrator. She makes a good book even better. Charming.
I liked the concept behind the story. But the story itself is slow-moving and very badly read. The accents are too heavy and unbelievable.
I lost interest before getting to anything interesting. The pace of the book was too slow
Less use of accents
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