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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Nominee - Best Mystery/Suspense Audiobook, 2011

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,657
  • 4 Stars
    3,806
  • 3 Stars
    1,524
  • 2 Stars
    352
  • 1 Stars
    192

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6,110
  • 4 Stars
    2,234
  • 3 Stars
    738
  • 2 Stars
    162
  • 1 Stars
    113

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,756
  • 4 Stars
    3,358
  • 3 Stars
    1,673
  • 2 Stars
    374
  • 1 Stars
    166
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Em
  • 06-11-12

I’ve Been Charmed

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!

117 of 119 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Happy addition to a difficult genre

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.

131 of 134 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Joy, Joy, Joy!

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!

162 of 167 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dylan
  • United States
  • 02-04-16

Such Fun

If you could sum up Her Royal Spyness in three words, what would they be?

Good mystery fun.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The plot was subtle to start but like all Royal Spyness books its setting a great story. Its fun and entertaining. Some good laughs and there are moments where you can't wait to hear what happens next because there are some great cliffhangers.

What about Katherine Kellgren’s performance did you like?

Its so hard to find a narrator that I like. One who is expressive and who can do so many characters. In each Royal Spyness book this is one of the main reasons I keep on coming back.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. I just didn't have the time.

Any additional comments?

Such a great series. I am almost finished it. Well worth the money!

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Not Bad

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.

79 of 82 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Emily
  • Anchorage, AK, United States
  • 01-24-11

Funny as all get out!

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 :)

55 of 57 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Funny, Entertaining and a Wonderful Read

I actually purchased this to listen with my wife. What a pleasant surprise! Best of all I'm hooked on a series with plenty of novels to go.

The story is of a clever, beautiful, poor yet still royal woman having to disgrace her position by working. It leads to a myriad of humorous scenes, all of which overshadow the actual mystery.

Katherine Kellgren does a wonderful job reading a variety of characters.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Delightful little mystery

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.

31 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • Union City, Tunisia
  • 08-18-10

To The Manor Born Meets The Royals

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.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Mildly entertaining, but mostly silly

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

As you might suppose from the title of this book, it is light-hearted and a little silly. I was somewhat entertained but I won't be listening to the rest of the series.

What does Katherine Kellgren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Narrator was wonderful.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. F. Hartshorn
  • 04-09-14

Body found in Dukes bath!!!

Where does Her Royal Spyness rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This series of audiobooks is among the best for easy listening. Lots of humorous episodes with a minor Royal who also has a cockney grandad.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Her Royal Spyness?

Georgie, short for Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie is the poor relation but gets called in to the palace to be the Queens spy. This leads to hilarious scenes between Georgie and Fig (the sister-in-law); who holds the purse strings of her brother Binky (the Duke); as she tries to get money or a maid to come down from the Scottish Castle to the London residences were she tries to look after herself without servants.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Georgie's meetings with her ex-policeman Grandad (the royal one haunts the castle battlements) as they investigate the Murder in their bath while dodging someone who wants her out of the way.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Full of laughs and old-fashion fun with thrills in a time between the World Wars.

Any additional comments?

Katherine Kellgren brings the book to life with the range of voices and accents she brings to this audiobook. Looking forward to the next in the series.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs. Rm Walters
  • 06-28-14

Brilliant Book

Where does Her Royal Spyness rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Very high, certainly one of my favourites.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Her Royal Spyness?

Having more or less worked out who the murderer was, I was delighted to find I was correct.

What does Katherine Kellgren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Wonderful use of accents, with just the right emphasis.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but one does have to sleep!

Any additional comments?

I will certainly be investing in the rest of the series over the coming months.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • L
  • 08-07-15

Great, light-hearted fun

This is a great, light-hearted story with a classic feel to it. It kind of reminded me of the old Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot series. Not a complicated tale, and it was easy to work out how the culprit was, but it was still fun to listen as the heroine of the story put the pieces together. I liked the narrator, she did a good job with the characters and added to the fun. This is an ideal book for a lazy afternoon when you want something entertaining but uncomplicated.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • beigehead
  • 09-27-18

disappointing

nice idea, and it started pretty well. I liked the main character and the situation she was in and was happy to go along for the ride. sadly not very much happens, and it happens very slowly and laboriously. Added to that is the least original romcom storyline (one of the men is even called Darcy, just to flag that up for anyone who's missed it). not great.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • AMG, London
  • 08-29-18

Really grew on me when i turned down reader speed!

An enjoyable mystery, following the fortunes of Lady Georgiana, a poverty-stricken relative of the British Royal Family in the 1930s, and her quest to establish an independent life for herself.

To start with i wasn't enjoying it, but once i turned down the reader speed to 0.85 it really grew on me. The reader is really talented with the different voices and accents but i felt buffeted by the onslaught till i slowed it down.

Some formulaic elements here and there, but some funny and acidly drawn characters. I will definitely be getting the next one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ann Marie Shepherd
  • 01-07-18

Her royal spyness

Really enjoyed the humour, period features and l
Phases, will definitely read all further books in the series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-25-17

Brilliant writing, charming characters. wonderful

Everything I have come to expect from Rhys Bowen, beautifully written and thoroughly enjoyable as ever

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • G. Faye Page
  • 08-24-17

Great fun.

Interesting story and performed very well. I will be ordering a few more of these.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ms. Jenny M. Stone
  • 04-05-17

Perfectly pitched and narrated

Where does Her Royal Spyness rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Not obvious, but fun and really well written. I love the narrator

Who was your favorite character and why?

Georgie

Which character – as performed by Katherine Kellgren – was your favourite?

Georgie

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Perfect vintage

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • C. Knight
  • 01-09-15

Still a firm favourite

I've listened to this more times than I care to admit to, it's just so perfect! It has everything you could want, murder and mystery, humour and romance plus good period detail and great characters. The narration is brilliant and all the characters are made very real with a mix of accents and tone you don't often find.

A genuine favourite and the start of a lovely series.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • 05-26-16

a cosy mystery

After a couple of serious books I was ready for something light and this fitted the bill perfectly. I've always had a soft spot for between the wars mysteries, and this is an easy listen. perfect for mid autumn...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 11-29-18

love it grea range of characters and thrill.

love the characters the plot . suspende that made me think aint easy to figure out but i enjoued gping along with the evidence as georgona unlocked then

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Friederike Mansfeld
  • 10-09-17

Oh dear!

I was looking for light entertainment so wasn't expecting too much, and yet this audiobook managed to underwhelm me! I didn't really like the narrator's voice but she did the voices fairly well, so that's probably down to personal taste. The story was basically just a whole string of anachronisms loosely woven together and the big reveal was highly disappointing.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Readalot
  • 05-08-17

Good fun

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I'm not sure about this. I did enjoy it, but found myself not gripped.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Let Georgie eat cake! (That tea with HM was just too much... or too little!"
NOT the fault of the book itself, but Ch 8 kept stopping. I don't know why as the other chapters played through.

Which character – as performed by Katherine Kellgren – was your favourite?

Georgiana ... and Darcy

Was Her Royal Spyness worth the listening time?

Oh yes. I might even listen to another one though it seems the romance must move slowly.

Any additional comments?

Good fun.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Vanessa Young
  • 12-14-15

Lovely, light hearted mystery.

Would you consider the audio edition of Her Royal Spyness to be better than the print version?

This is my first experience with this author's books, I have not read the print version, but the audio edition was read well.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

You could see the influence of Christie and Sayers with a bit of Nancy Mitford thrown in, but it was a wink to the golden age of detective fiction, not a rip off. I especially enjoyed the way the author used Royals as characters in the book.

Have you listened to any of Katherine Kellgren’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I have not heard any of Kellgren's performances, but I will be listening to the series, her reading was very pleasant. Apart from Patricia Hodge's reading of Love in a Cold Climate, Kellgren's is the best reading I have heard since subscribing to Audible.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I could have listened to it easily in one sitting and I think it will stand another hearing, it is very witty.

Any additional comments?

I bought this because the Twelve Clues of Christmas by the same author was available for a cheaper price and I wanted the main character's background before I listened to the Christmas story. I will be purchasing the series, the lead character Georgie is a lot of fun and the reader is excellent.