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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

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    3,891
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    3,357
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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A delightful fluff read.

Set in the early thirties upper class circles, this presents ample opportunities to make fun of aristocratic twits. And Rhys Bowen makes use of them all, but not in a mean way. You actually find yourself liking most characters. A thing that I did not expect. The whodunit build is pretty good. Well done Bowen. And Kellgren is absolutely marvelous in making characters come alive with absolutely spot on voices. She gets a little hurried (fast) when reading "action" sequences, but that's a minor niggle of mine. She's a joy to listen to. Sure, this is a fluff read. But it's good fluff. Recommended.

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Unexpectedly fun.

Georgie is great fun and Darcy is an irresistible rogue. It was fun to find a little light romance in a mystery novel. I am sure to purchase the next in the series.

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  • Kathy
  • Alexandria, KY, United States
  • 10-20-14

A Great Start to a New Series

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would. I found this to be a lighthearted read/listen with murder, mystery, royalty and romance. I also think it is an appropriate book for tweens...although it may be too tame and innocent for some of them.

What did you like best about this story?

The book has references to historical happenings and people as seen through the eyes of a fictitious relative. I love the humor and the story hints at some very serious things like war, drugs and murder. But it is basically fast-paced story, with likable characters that you want to see succeed.

Which scene was your favorite?

All the scenes that describe the main character's ability to be a klutz.

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

No tears, but there were a number of giggles throughout the book.

Any additional comments?

The narrator did a fine job portraying the various accents. It aided in visualizing the class system in Britain at the time.

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Light hearted fun

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is a fun romp if you like period pieces like Wooster an Jeeves. I had to get used to the accent, but then it was easy (and enjoyable). To follow

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

Interesting accent makes the story come alove

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A fun story with a great narration

Sometimes I need a light book in between the more serious ones, or I need a quick romp during a long road trip to make the time pass quickly. This fits the bill. I picked it up because I've heard good things about Katherine Kellgren, and a later book in the series won an Audie award. Kellgren does a great job with all the character voices and I will definitely be looking for more from her in the future.

As for the story, I was a little hesitant because I have recently listened to two other books set during similar times (London ~100 years ago) with similar strong female characters (Alexia Tarabotti and Lady of Devices). I liked Georgie the best so far because she seemed the most natural. The others were more defiant of their societies to the point of pontificating. They were the stereotype of anti-stereotypes.

I am looking forward to the rest of this series, but I am not so hooked that I am buying them all immediately so I can binge. I'll probably pick them up onesie twosie when I see them on sale and listen when I need a quick pick me up.

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DELICIOUSLY FUNNY

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

Katherine Kellgren nailed it. Her accents were delightful and she brought such personality to each character.

What did you like best about this story?

The story line was light hearted, easy to follow and very funny. This was a change from my usual listening habits and it was an absolute delight! A great break from serious and complicated stories. A very easy listen!

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

Belinda.

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

I laughed out loud many times.

Any additional comments?

Highly recommend it for readers looking for something quick, easy and funny!

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  • Cristina
  • Austin, Texas, United States
  • 09-25-14

Good aristocratic fun!!

Would you listen to Her Royal Spyness again? Why?

Yes. The narrator was amazing. I loved the story its very witty and you feel sot of bad for Georgie's situation.

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

She does different character voices so well, its hard to imagine them differently.

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

Yes it was. I found myself staying in the car a little bit longer so I could hear some more. Especially towards the end.

Any additional comments?

I recommended wholeheartedly, and would totally listen to it again. It was so much fun!!

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  • Marla
  • Independence, MO, United States
  • 09-20-14

A penniless but clever royal, must solve a mystery

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

There are many friends who would love this audiobook. Katherine Kellgren's narration, who's accent for Georgiana , bring to mind of Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins, and her roll in Thoroughly Modern Millie. This is a fun romp, of a penniless cousin of the King of England, who attempts to find employment, and ends up trying to prove her half brother innocent of a murder.

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

I loved the characters and it is a real who dun-it mystery. You didn't know if she would fall in love and lose her virginity, or be murdered. I just loved it. As the last chapters sped to an end, you were not positive who the murder was, but you knew she would either catch him or die trying.

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

Her different accents, speech patterns of the upper and lower class of the English and Americans, were so spot on. She created and performed each character with such joy and abandonment. One could hardly put down the book.

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

Once I started this audiobook, I had to try and listen to it without any breaks. This book kept me wanting more of the Royal Spryness's adventures.

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A Charming Little Mystery

Would you listen to Her Royal Spyness again? Why?

Unfortunately, like most mystery novels, I will have to put this book on the shelf for a few years before I can pick it up again, but I am very much looking forward to continuing the series.

What other book might you compare Her Royal Spyness to and why?

These are very much like the Coffee House and Cat Who series. They're simple, themed and fun. There's really not much deep thinking involved and the clues are so varied and vague that it's really not much of a plot twist. The murderer is revealed quite a bit before the heroine catches on. Regardless, that's part of the fun. It's a fantastic book that makes me want to pour some tea, settle in the big chair by the window and relax.

What about Katherine Kellgren’s performance did you like?

Katherine's voices and tempo are phenomenal. I laughed over some of her accents, but it was very sporting. I really can't critique her with the exception that toward the end she has a little trouble slipping from character voices back into the narrative. It didn't spoil anything, just added a slight distraction.

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

I did listen to it all in one sitting. It's comfy and familiar, as classic mystery lovers will understand. It's the sort of story that you slip into and drift away on.

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First class narrator, second class story

Any additional comments?

The narrator was brilliant--she can do all classes and genders to a tee without sounding ridiculous or cartoony. The story was...sufficient. It definitely has its humorous moments. I felt the ending was on the edge of the bleeding obvious, but the main character was relatable and fun. Perhaps it's just a weak introduction story and the series keeps getting better. The characters are definitely enjoyable.

Perhaps my biggest problem with the plot was that I expected it to be a story of a Queen sending a lesser royal relative out to spy for her, when in reality that took up a total of about 7 minutes in the plot (and that includes describing the room the scene took place in) and was a majorly low-stakes addition to the high-stakes plot.