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Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding

Narrated by: Jasmine Blackborow
Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,318 ratings)

Regular price: $19.95

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Publisher's Summary

Handpicked by Rhys Bowen, Jasmine Blackborow is the dazzling narrator for the 12th installment of Rhys Bowen's best-selling Royal Spyness Mystery series.  

Georgie, or Lady Georgiana Rannoch, is busy planning her upcoming nuptials to Darcy O'Mara. Unfortunately, what has started as a simple wedding has become quite a royal headache and grand affair, thanks to a guest list that includes the queen and the appointment of princesses as Georgie's bridesmaids. “If only Darcy and I had eloped!” she thinks, as she attempts to organize her wedding and find a place for her and her husband-to-be to live. 

Just as she despairs of ever finding a home, her godfather offers his fully staffed country estate. With Darcy off in parts unknown, Georgie makes her way to Eynsleigh alone, only to find the grounds in disarray, and the small staff suspiciously incompetent. Not to mention the gas tap leak in her bedroom, which is beginning to look like an attempt on her life. Something sinister is afoot - and bringing the place up to snuff may put Georgie six feet under before she even gets a chance to walk down the aisle.... 

©2018 Janet Quin-Harkin (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Overall I loved it!

I have to admit I was ready to launch the audiobook, listen to 10 minutes and say the series is ruined without Katherine Kellgren. She had brought me so many hours of joy throughout 11 books. She will be missed! (PS: Rhys you added a lovely intro on how we all feel about Katherine's early passing. It was beautiful)
But to my great surprise I loved Jasmine Blackborow's narration for the series. It took a little getting used to and there are some small issues I have like her pronunciation of Georgies surname Rannoch (I will never know if Katherine had it right or if Jasmine has it right but I do like my continuity)
Jasmine is a keeper and I look forward to more Georgie stories with her.

As for the story itself I still have some of the same issues I had in book 11 with continuity and repetition. Examples for this book are - why does Belinda still act like she has money issues when she became a wealthy woman a few books ago with an inheritance? Why does Georgies mother prefer Claridge's when it was Browns hotel she favored for reverting to her old title of duchess? Why did we reference Belinda's maid leaving when she already left in a previous book to be a typist. I know people might think these are small issues but it really is sloppy writing.
On the positive side I feel the mystery itself was more solid than previous efforts. And it kept me entertained. I will gladly listen to this one again.
Yay for Georgie finally getting married. If this was the last book in the series that would be a lovely way to bookend it. But I know its not and I know there will be more. Consistency issues aside I love the series and will be back next year for a new adventure!!!

57 of 59 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not bad. Could be better.

I found the story fine. However, this narrator often gives Georgie a strident voice and even has her snapping at Darcy. She has lost her sweet innocence which is what makes her so lovable. Zuzu and Queenie are well done as is her mother. I did miss the old Belinda as well. She is no longer nearly as distinctive and blends into other characters. I know the old narrator is impossible to replace but I am sad that our Georgie has gone. Maybe a another narrator should have a shot at it.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not Sure what Happened to Georgie?

I love this series but this book was not close to being the best. First off, the new narrator did a great job. She had big shoes to fill and she did it well.

My complaints are about Georgie's character. What happened to her? Wow...she turned into a judgmental elitist like every other upperclass person of the times. Never would have thought that I would have preferred her mother to her.

Comments such as "Queenie probably thought she was as good as us" was rude and it wasn't like Georgie to think that. She would kindly put Queenie right but never to the extent as she did in this story with her thoughts that she was better than everyone around her.

She whined constantly about: Wish Darcy was here, he would know what to do. Wish Grandad was here, he'd know what to do. Wish Zu Zu was here, she'd know what to do. Wish Mommy was here, she'd know what to do. What happened to the Georgie who could handle life on her own? Who discovered how to survive with little to nothing? That's what she did when she took off for London. She might have made mistakes but she tried. This Georgie only whined for someone to come save her while investigating the mysterious happenings at her new home.

Give me back the Georgie I knew. I'm not sure I like this one. To sum it up, the narrator did not impact my negative impression of the book. I give the narrator 5 stars. It was how Georgie was written in this one. It did nothing for me but make me want to stop the audio book and ask why did I care to listen to Georgie whine all the time?

38 of 41 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Why did Georgie change so much?

I have enjoyed every other book in the series. Georgie has always been an aristocratic every-woman. Right? She is born of the royal family but due to reduced circumstances she is poor, humble, and ruggedly capable. The Georgie of this book is an entitled lady of the manor who seems far more unsure of herself. I found it very difficult to reconcile the Georgie of this book with the Georgie of the rest of the series.

I missed Katherine Kellgren. I was so sorry to read of her passing. She leaves impossibly big shoes for any narrator to fill.

27 of 29 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Let's discuss the narration!

Young British actress Jasmine Blackborow was selected by author Rhys Bowen to replace Katherine Kellgren who died early in 2018 of cancer at age 48. I love this cozy historical mystery series. I've written in my reviews of this and other Kellgren narrated series on multiple occasions going back several years that I consider her the very best audio book narrator ever. Every book she narrated is a unique piece of audio art. I rate the work of many other narrators 5 stars despite the fact that Kellgren's narrations are better. I believe Jasmine Blackborow deserves 5 stars here even though she is not of the quality and stature of Katherine Kellgren. I'm reminded of the negative reaction of some reviewers three years ago when Robert Bathurst replaced Ralph Cosham in narrating Canadian author Louise Penny's wonderful Chief Inspector Gamache/Three Pines series with Book 12. Apparently the reviewers were not aware of Cosham's death soon after completing Book 11 in 2014.

Oh, the novel? It's wonderful as usual! Lady Georgiana Rannoch, Her Royal Spyness, is happily married in late July, 1935. Her frequently expressed virginity frustrations are finally over.

Each novel in this series is standalone, but to fully appreciate the marvelous characters that are so vivid that the jump off the page and the wonderful mysteries start early in the series.

48 of 53 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Disappointing installment of a beloved series

I love the Royal Spyness series. The books are fun, interesting, and an easy read. This book, however, was disappointing. Georgie's usual escapades that I find so entertaining were lacking in this book. In previous books she was kind and humble; in this book her demeanor was uncharacteristically haughty and reckless. Georgie's personality seemed to change a bit, which I did not find appealing. I found the "mystery" to be lackluster as well. There were few surprises and I found it to be very repetitive. Add to that an all too brief appearance by Darcy and this book definitely didn't grab my attention like previous ones have.
I did enjoy the extended period of time that Georgie spent with some of the secondary characters. I feel that these characters in the past have been underutilized. I also really enjoyed the narrator. She did an excellent job of bringing these characters to life.

I didn't hate the book as another installment in a series I adore. However, I don't think I'll be re listening to this anytime soon. I will revisit some of the earlier books long before I pick this book up again.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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There's no replacing Katie.

Not sure I'm comparing Jasmine to Katy but the magic is gone. I missed the usual humor of the story and the characters sound too similar. We're big Georgie fans and usually can't wait for the next installment, but if Jasmine had read the whole series, I'm not sure I'd get past the first two books.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Wanted to like the new narrator: but she's AWFUL

Katherine Kellgren WAS Georgie. I was so hopeful, based on Rhys Bowen's introduction, that Jasmine Blackborow would carry on her legacy. I could accept a narrator that did not attempt to imitate Kellgren. But Blackborow's narration is truly terrible. First, the accent she gives Georgie is essentially that of Queen Elizabeth on "The Crown." It's pretentious and haughty, which Georgie NEVER was. So, for example, in the scenes where she and Darcy are looking for a flat, she sounds like a spoiled rich bitch. The pretentiousness of Blackborow's Georgie eliminates what made Georgie so loveable--her naiveté, humility, and kindness. Second, Blackborow's narration isn't consistent. At times Georgie sounds old, more like Queen Mary, and at other times Georgie and Belinda are impossible to tell apart. Her Darcy is effeminate, and doesn't bring across any of the Irish charm that made him so endearing. I know that Katherine Kellgren is a very hard act to follow, but honestly, one would hope Bowen and Penguin would do better than this. If they can't find a better narrator, then I hope this is the last of the series.

With respect to the story, "Georgie is jealous for no reason" has been WAY overplayed. Belinda seems to have reverted to her pre-baby self, which is a shame--one would expect her character to grow up a bit after that experience. Georgie's mother's complications with the Nazi regime is not unexpected, but well played. I may have enjoyed the story more if the narration hadn't been so terrible.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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I wish I could be positive

Unlike the majority of other reviewers this latest book in the series did not leave me wanting more.
First a disclaimer I am a huge fan of this series, have listened to all of the previous books multiple times and have recommended the series to many, many others, that said, had this new narrator been the original voice of Georgie I would never have gotten past book one. How someone whom we have been told is actually english can manage to sound (at times) as though she is putting on an english accent is beyond me. Her voice characterization for Georgie jumps all over the place, often sounding much too posh and then often when Georgie is channeling her great grandmother where it would be appropriate strangely not.
Ms. Blacborow's voices for Darcy and Queenie are quite good but sadly Belinda and Claire are lacking the brittle worldliness that defines their characters in the books, the voices of Binky and Figg are forgettable at best and hearing the narrators mispronunciation of Rannock made me cringe.
Then there's the story itself. This is book 12 and Georgie has been involved in MULTIPLE murders and mysteries. It is inconceivable to me that she could have experienced so much and not become a more suspicious and aware person. In this novel things keep happening that a six year old would find odd and yet Georgie seems continually willing to accept the flimsiest explanations. Not to mention that once again Georgie is sure that Darcy is being unfaithful, something that has happened countless times throughout the series and has truly lost its effectiveness as a plot device.
Hopefully now that Georgie and Darcy have reached wedded bliss the series has reached a conclusion. I for one will re-listen to Katherine Kellgren's wonderful work on the previous books and purchase any future episodes in paperback format.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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wonderful

I cried when I heard about the passing of Kathryn Kelgrin. From the Bloody Jack series to Royal Spyness, she had a gift for bringing the characters into life in a way that is quite remarkable. This series in particular is very dear to me. I discovered it about two years ago, and through all the rough patches, it always cheered me up. This performance had it’s own magic. The narrator is wonderfully gifted, and put her own spin on the characters while not entirely changing them. I was hesitant to start the book and again teared up after reading the dedication, but I think Ms. Kelgrin would have approved. And I feel fortunate that I will always be able to go back and listen to all those stories she told so well. May she Rest In Peace.

23 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • helena
  • 08-14-18

Not the best storyline

I found after the first five minutes that I was more than happy with the new narrator. However I found storyline very weak and apart from one surprise death was able to predict throughout what was going to happen

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Littlewool15
  • 08-21-18

Narrator

I love this series and this book tied up lots of loose ends. I wouldn't be suprised if it was the last in the series! As for the Audiobook Jasmine did a good job but I missed hearing Katherine Kellgren as Georgie. RIP Katherine.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Olivia M.
  • 08-08-18

Great story, but hugely lacklustre performance.

The story was funny, exciting, and really held up to the previous books, however the narration was a huge letdown. I realise Jasmine had huge shoes to fill, but I truly believe she was the wrong choice. Many of the voices were indistinguishable and the accents fluctuated between English, Scottish, American and sometimes even an odd Spanish/Italian (and not when they were meant to). Most frustrating of all, Jasmine pronounces the main characters NAME (and title/home) differently, which makes listening for the dedicated Royal Spyness audiobook fan extremely difficult. I really struggled to get through.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • "telpen2003"
  • 04-01-19

the new Narrator

If only the new narrator had listened to at least one of the original 11 books as the only thing that ,annoyed me is that Lady Georgiana had obviously changed her last name and move castles.

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  • shiv
  • 01-15-19

So much better narrated than all the other books

So glad. The new narrator doesn’t do the dick Van Dyke cockney take off.
this is one of the best stories from the series so far. I definitely have in joyed it more than any of the other episodes because the performance is so much better.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ali
  • 10-08-18

Couldn't put it down!

At first, I was put off by the narrator's voices, being unable to distinguish characters easily and only being able to conjure up Penny, the sister in law on As Time Goes By with Judi Dench! However, it soon developed into a more natural performance and I warmed to all of them. It's amazing how one person can act all these parts so consistently. Loved the storyline - as usual I couldn't see how it would be solved!! Now disappointed that it's over :(

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ms. Jenny M. Stone
  • 08-23-18

Absolutely fantastic

I love these books , they are fantastic period writing and the characters are so engaging. Entertaining without being dark. A great listen. Please write more !

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  • Mrs Kim Hanson
  • 08-10-18

The Gang’s All Here

The Gang’s All Here - a ‘horrible American saying’ that Georgie would hate but it is appropriate. This book does a wonderful job of giving loyal readers another mystery for Georgie to solve and it also manages to weave in all the usual secondary characters we’ve come to know and love. There are even some throw backs to characters from earlier books.

A special mention to narrator Jasmine Blackborow. She had huge shoes to fill and did it with style. You captured the sense of each character and it was a seamless transition. (My only tiny hesitation was the pronouciaton of “Rannoch” but for all I know you may be saying it correctly for the first time!)

Congratulations to Rhys Bowen and Jasmine Blackborow and thank you.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-13-18

All's well that ends well

love these stories being read to me. The new reader was great and the change over did not jar for me at all. Something I'd been waiting for finally happened😀.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Maureen
  • 08-09-18

Farewell to Katherine Kellgren

How sad to hear about the wonderful Katherine Kellgren's death. Jasmine Blackborow has a different accent and isn't quite as posh in the dipthong department at first but improves throughout the reading. Another very satisfying listen from Rhys Bowen's pen. Hoping to hear more of the adventures of Georgie and Darcy because happily ever after isn't as much fun as their elegant adventures.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful