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Editorial Reviews

Editors Select, August 2013 - I am absolutely not joking when I say I had to beat out no less than 7 other hard-core in-house Royal Spyness fans for the privilege to choose Rhys Bowen’s newest installment as my top pick for August. If you have already started listening to this series I don’t really need to talk to you because you’ll already be as excited as I am about Heirs and Graces. If you have not picked up Her Royal Spyness then listen up: Please, I beg of you, do not hesitate. I have yet to recommend this series without effusively positive results. I’m not generally a cozy mystery fan, but Rhys Bowen’s delightful saga is my top favorite series to date, and Katherine Kellgren is at her most talented and charming in her spot-on performance of the myriad voices at play.

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Mystery, 2014

As 35th in line for the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch may not be the most sophisticated young woman, but she knows her table manners. It's forks on the left, knives on the right - not in His Majesty's back….

"Here I am thinking the education I received at my posh Swiss finishing school would never come in handy. And while it hasn't landed me a job, or a husband, it has convinced Her Majesty the Queen and the Dowager Duchess to enlist my help. I have been entrusted with grooming Jack Altringham - the Duke's newly discovered heir fresh from the Outback of Australia - for high society. The upside is I am to live in luxury at one of England's most gorgeous stately homes. But upon arrival at Kingsdowne Place, my dearest Darcy has been sent to fetch Jack, leaving me stuck in a manor full of miscreants…none of whom are too pleased with the discovery of my new ward. And no sooner has the lad been retrieved than the Duke announces he wants to choose his own heir. With the house in a hubbub over the news, Jack's hunting knife somehow finds its way into the Duke's back. Eyes fall, backs turn, and fingers point to the young heir. As if the rascal wasn't enough of a handful, now he's suspected of murder. Jack may be wild, but I'd bet the crown jewels it wasn't he who killed the Duke…."

©2013 Janet Quin-Harkin (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Nancy
  • St Charles, MO, United States
  • 08-07-13

Enjoyable light murder mystery

I've really enjoyed this series. This installment wasn't my favorite, but it was nice. There was a nice twist at the end.. but, it felt like there was a long build up, but the ending was rather abrupt.

I was also cooling a bit on the romance between Georgie and Darcy. Darcy was around more, but I didn't feel the spark between them as much as I had in other books.

This series has been one of my favorites. I look forward to each installment.. but this one, seemed just a bit off the mark to me. Yes, I enjoyed it! It was just not quite as good as some of the other installments.

The narrator does a great job.

Yes, I'd recommend it, just read the installments in order.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • B.J.
  • Minneapolis, MN, United States
  • 08-11-13

Delightful Series

This isn't the series to go to if you want to expand your mind. But, if you'd like a well-crafted light (and I do mean light) mystery with an easy-to-listen-to narrator, this is the one. Start at the beginning and just go through them. Once in a while this kind of book is a nice break. Be warned. It's a cupcake, not a meal.

By the way ... this is a series you can share with your mom, grandma and great aunt. It's all just good, clean fun.

The narrator, Katherine Kellgren, really needs a shout out. Her work is terrific. She makes Georgie come to life.

25 of 29 people found this review helpful

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Fun! Again!

Can we talk about what a wonderful narrator Katherine Kellgren is? She just never drops the ball. Ever. Each recurring character is precisely the same as they have been in each previous book.

I love this series. It's pure historical fun. Heirs and Graces has a neat twist ending (with Georgie ending up rescued by someone other than Darcy, hooray!), and delightful caricatures of British nobility.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Deborah
  • Maple Grove, MN, United States
  • 08-20-13

Heir Again

Georgie discovers another body. With all the practice she's had, it is no wonder that she is getting better at examining the crime scene. The description of the house and estate rival the interactions of Georgie and the other characters.

Katherine Kellgren is a splendid narrator who brings each character to life and makes it so enjoyable to listen to the story.

I am waiting with great interest to follow Georgie's next adventure.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • karen
  • RITTMAN, OH, United States
  • 08-12-13

Very Enjoyable Listening Experience.

What did you love best about Heirs and Graces?

Rhy Bowen does and amazing job of spinning a mystery around a Royal Family. With all the characters in the story, you can not pinpoint who did the deed. Great Ending to the story!!

What did you like best about this story?

The story was great, the voices that Katherine Kellgren added put the book over the top.

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

She brought believable accents and dialects that would have been lacking had you just read the written word.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Great Author and Entertaining Story

I listen to several different genres and Rhys Bowen's books rank up there with my favorites. Rhys makes her characters come to life for her readers and they have very distinct personalities. I love the chemistry between Georgie and Darcy! Queenie is such a disaster it's hilarious! Georgie's Granddad is a loveable character and one of my favorites. He always pulls through for Georgie! I love the suspense, mystery, romance, and comedy that Rhys incorporates into her books. I can't wait for the next one.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Ann
  • Tucson, AZ United States
  • 04-17-14

Almost ruined by narration

This is a good story almost ruined by narration. Katherine Kellgren used to be a good narrator, but in recent years she has gone over the top dramatically trying to act out the events in the books she reads and giving the characters exaggerated accents. In Nora Robert's Dark Witch and Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles she actually ends up shouting most of the lines! Some of those dramatics show up in this book, too. She does a much better job on the early books in this series.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Scarce and predictable action, not enough Darcy.

Very little happens, and what does happen is accidental rather than arising from the innate motives of a character. Therefore as the plot unfolds there is no character development and thus not much interest. Sadly, Darcy is relegated to an incidental character not much involved in plot development. This is the least interesting of the series.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Another winner for Rhys!

Would you listen to Heirs and Graces again? Why?

Yes. The series is light and fun.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Heirs and Graces?

The ending when Darcy says he's staying at the manor. Usually he's running off somewhere.

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

I liked the twins. (Two characters, I know, but they were done so well.)

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

Yes - and I did!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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LOVED IT! Best of the series so far!!!!!

I have loved every single book in this series about Lady Georgiana Rannoch, an impoverished distant cousin of the queen, whose life is a constant search for finding a secure place somewhere. Her peculiar circumstances, of being a "royal" but without any money or training for a career, has left her open to having to go to new places, where she meets people and gets herself into situations where intrigue and murders occur. Naturally, she is the clever one who winds up solving the mysteries.

This was the absolute best in the series so far--and the wait was worth it! Katherine Kellgren, the most talented narrator, has outdone herself with the amazing versatility she shows for creating different voices. I have never "read" one of the books in this series (always listened to these recordings of them) but cannot imagine doing so, after listening to Kellgren's delightful readings of them. There are just not enough superlatives available to describe the range of her vocal skills. The stories are loads of fun--they are genuine mysteries, but with a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) mockery of the aristocracy, laugh-out-loud funny much of the time, and genuinely quite addictive! I recall that the first of the series I ever read, I chose with some skepticism, since that does not sound like the typical books I read--but by the end of the first chapter of the first book, I was a confirmed follower of Rhys Bowen's Lady Georgiana series. The author, the narrator and the uncommonly clever writing work together in a way that many recorded books do not.

In this book, Georgiana goes to a lush mansion with Lady Edwina, a wealthy duchess with great pretensions, to help her teach a long-missing grandson how to behave properly in his new place in society. However, when the young Australian outback, sheep-farming youth meets his royal and very pompous, grandiose grandmother--the outrageous fun begins--along with the murder.

If you choose to listen to this book--it would be wise (and fun) for you to begin at the beginning of the series. However, it would be fine to begin with this one--I believe it could be a great stand-alone book on its own.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Katherine
  • 04-27-17

I found it quite tedious

It was ok but just dragged. It wasn't the worst in the world but not something I would want to listen to again.

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  • Mrs. Rm Walters
  • 08-25-14

Not as good as it should have been

What did you like best about Heirs and Graces? What did you like least?

I hated the ending, pretty disgraceful to be honest.

If you’ve listened to books by Rhys Bowen before, how does this one compare?

Not as good as earlier ones.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I am getting more than a little tired of the over hysterical narration. It has been getting steadily worse over the series.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No.

Any additional comments?

I am wondering if Rhys is finding her character a little jaded, perhaps a rest might not be a bad idea.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Maureen
  • 10-28-17

Highly recommended

Well, mannered? Well-mannered? It's all a matter of an artful pause and a certain inflection. Katherine Kellgren reads beautifully, minds her p's and q's and does well on the gushier parts. These little mysteries are a lot of fun and a great diversion.