Sunday, August 1, 2010

Royal Blood-Rhys Bowen

Royal Blood
Rhys Bowen
Berkley, Sep 2010, $24.95
ISBN 9780425234464

In 1932, Her Majesty Queen Mary asks the thirty-fourth person on the queue to the throne Lady Georgiana Rannoch to represent the crown at a royal wedding in Romania. Georgie has many reasons to agree which include she is broke and bored; sick of her obnoxious brother Binky, her boyfriend Darcy will attend, and her former schoolmate Princess Maria “Matty” Theresa is the bride. The only detractors for the twentyish Georgie is her chaperone is Lady “Horse-face” and she needs a maid so as to not embarrass her country.

At the eerie looking castle in Transylvania, Queenie Hepplewhite becomes Georgie’s maid though the servant has been canned for her clumsiness; she accidentally lit her previous employer on fire. Soon after the British arrives, guest Bulgarian Field Marshal Pirin collapses at dinner; he was poisoned. Unable to resist and with Queenie as her assistant or better described her albatross, Georgie investigates the killed the womanizing officer.

This is an engaging lighthearted Royal Spyness Mystery (see Royal Flush and Royal Pain) that hooks the audience with the subtle and slapstick jocularity. The amateur sleuthing whodunit and the depression Era in London and Romania fully developed for the reader to feel as if we are part of the wedding party. However, it is the comedic team of Georgie and Queenie who make for a zany frolic as the Royal Blood flows down the chin of Matty in Transylvania.

Harriet Klausner

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