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Her Royal Spyness (Her Royal Spyness #1)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  11,479 ratings  ·  1,427 reviews
London 1932. Narrator Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, 34th in line for the throne, is flat broke. She bolted from Scotland -- and engagement to Fishface (Prince Stiegfriend) -- for London, where she has:

a) built a fire in the hearth
b) fallen for an absolutely unsuitable Irish peer
c) made a few quid housekeeping incognita, and
d) been summoned by the Queen to spy
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published July 3rd 2007 by Berkley Hardcover (first published 2007)
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Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. KingMaisie Dobbs by Jacqueline WinspearMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
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Community Reviews

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Let's say one of your friends sets you up on a blind date with a guy you know nothing about. You go to the restaurant to meet him, and you're filled with trepidation because the whole experiment could go either way. You've heard really good things about him from your friend, but for all you know, she could just be biased, or your tastes may not match.

You get to the restaurant, you find your blind date, and he's not bad to look at. In fact, he's quite appealing. You chat casually over cocktails
Oh good, a new shelf: "Vaginal-Mystery"! Bored of the corsets, there are only so many virgins to read about who get pregnant in the Epilogue, you know?
This is the start of a new fetish: Lady mysteries. I've listed a few before, Deanna Raybourn being my fave, so I downloaded the firsts to a few other series.
This one I really enjoyed although it was very fluffy. It was mainly the main character that made it engaging, Georgie is 34th in line to the throne, so it was an interesting new angle, her be
Lady Georgiana is thirty-fourth in line to the English throne, but the distinction of being a royal, albeit a minor one, hasn't kept money woes at bay during the Depression. However, since royals - no matter how minor - aren't supposed to get "common" jobs, Georgiana's only option, according to the Queen, is marriage to the highly repulsive Prince Siegfried. Georgiana resolves to support herself, even if she has to do it clandestinely. And so she decides to work as a maid (horrors!). When a blac ...more
Trying to write this review without using the cliché words “cute” and “cozy” is so hard, because it was! It’s cozy in the way only the British royal family can be. Picture the lovely Helen Mirren sitting in a clearing at Balmoral, and that prancing deer—the epitome of visceral restraint! That’s this book.

At its center, penniless Lady Georgiana, 34th in line to the throne, is looking to strike out on her own, and earn a living—an unheard of endeavor for someone with royal blood in the 1930s. Why
Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen follows the tale of Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie - otherwise known as Georgie - as she moves, or rather is kicked out, from her home in Scotland. Georgie is the half-sister of a Duke and 34th in line to the throne, but even though she's royalty, she's dirt poor. Upon coming to London, she realizes that she must get a job. She's excited to begin her new life as an independent, working woman (even though she's never so much as washed dishes) when a dead ...more
An excellent read! It was a fun story and I liked the descriptions of things from that time period. I felt like I was there in 1930s London. The characters were likeable too, especially Georgie. A very resourceful girl with nine lives :) This story reminded me of Agatha Christie's Tommy and Tuppence stories, even though those take place a decade earlier than this one.

I am looking forward to starting the next in the series. This is a wonderful escape read and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Jacob Proffitt
While there are laugh-out-loud moments (mostly early in the book), there are enough detractions that I can't really recommend the book. The heroine is a delight but the mystery is a bit thin (so it's good it didn't really start until about halfway through the book) and some of the character actions are a little too driven by story purposes and authorial manipulation rather than flowing out of character for my taste. Still, it was entertaining enough that I stayed up late to finish it.
Melissa Railey
I was sold on these books by the name alone. And it's that kind of humor that just really makes this book. One of those little things that I always enjoy is a good little cozy mystery and this is the definition of a cozy. Georgie is a terrific character. She's fun, hilarious and caring. Plus, she thinks pretty quickly on her toes. Rhys Bowen created terrific side characters in Belinda, Georgie's non-royal grandfather, her mother, and some insignificant little Irishman named Darcy. ;) The series ...more
Melissa Proffitt
Very cute story. It took a while to get started, and I can see why--Bowen had a lot of things to establish so she could bring them up later, when the actual mystery began. I liked the characters, the mystery was a little light-weight, and I might read some of the others in the series, but in general there wasn't much to this book.
In an industry absolutely saturated with generic career-related cozy mysteries, Her Royal Spyness is a wonderful breath of fresh air. The lovely purple cover and interesting title caught my eye while I was at the library, and I picked it up hoping to be entertained. And entertained I was. From the fascinating historical settings and whimsical humour to the cast of characters, this first installment of Rhys Bowen's new Royal Spyness series delivered a great deal of fun.

Lady Georgiana Rannoch of t
This is a rather lightweight historical mystery.

Our Heroine, Georgiana, is the younger sister of a penniless duke, and 34th in line to the British throne. Consequently, she has been educated to do nothing very much, and is debarred from taking any kind of a job (always supposing she could find one; it's 1932 and the Great Depression is in full swing).

Georgie's brother is amiable but thick, as well as broke, and his wife is obnoxious, so she flees the draughty ducal seat in the Scottish Highlands
ADORBS! Mitford-esque without the anti-semitism, this novel was tons of fun. The actual mystery itself trod over not-very-original ground, but the characters are sharply done, and the wit is sly as can be. I listened to the audio version, absolutely wonderful performance by Katherine Kellgren, the narrator.

ETA: I have to amend my enthusiasm after a bit of time, not for this novel, but for the series. After consuming the second book and the first chapter of the third, I am not as high on this se
I did enjoy this book. Not as much as I'd hoped, but it was fun, light, and an amusing read.

Set in London in the 1930s our protagonist, Georgie, decides to declare her independence and travel from Scotland (where she lives with her half-brother and sister-in-law) to London. As a distant relative of royalty, Georgie has a title to her name - however, that title is not accompanied by any funds, so, she must do her best to learn how to live on her own without a maid and discover a way to earn a liv
Fun read! Liked Georgianna as the plucky heroine/detective/spy. The mystery part isn't particularly hard to figure out, but the colorful characters and historical references made it worth my time. You spend some time getting to know Georgie, her half-brother, Binky, and his wife Fig. Yep, Binky was preferred to Roderick, the man's given name. And for those fans of Pride and Prejudice, there's a Darcy in the story. If you wished that he were an Irish rogue in the original, you get him here--Darcy ...more
I've read all five books in the Royal Spyness series. The first book had me debating as to whether or not I should continue on with the series. There was a 3 for 2 sale on Audible so a decision was necessary. The second book must have hooked me because I went right on through the fifth and was left wanting more.

This is light, fluffy, and sometimes silly reading but the characters, including the annoying ones (they are meant to be annoying) are entertaining and likable. Also, most important to me
Randee Baty
I was already a fan of Rhys Bowen because of the other two series she writes but now I'm a fan because of this one too!

I'd call this an updated version of a British cozy. It's fun, it's light, it's easy to read and the characters are very likeable. The heroine is a minor British royal who's incredibly long name has been shortened to Georgie. She's 34th in line to the throne and impoverished. She needs to make her own way in the world with just her name, family connections and knowledge of how t
Sue Smith
What a fun book! I do enjoy a book that is well written and one with a sense of humor! The added bonus was to have an interesting group of characters that haven't cropped up everywhere else or that seem to the carbon copies of every other who done it or murder mystery out there. It made for a really great read and an interesting insight into the world of the British elite!

The main character and, ultimately, the 'detective' in the adventure is 21 year old Georgiana Rannoch, thirty-fourth in line
This book was completely charming from beginning to end. Although it is billed as a mystery, the mystery portion of the book doesn't really begin until about half way through. For most of the book the heroine, Georgie (aka Lady Georgiana), is struggling to go her own way. Penniless, but of royal blood, she arrives in London and has to try to find a means to support herself without coming to the attention of her royal relations. She tries housecleaning and working at a make-up counter with much c ...more
I thought this was an entertaining "light and fluffy mystery" but found that the very "lightness" and "fluffiness" of it also detracted from my enjoyment. There really was no mystery to speak of for a good first chunk of the book--then, our heroine finds the inevitable dead body and... well, one would think the plot should build but it really doesn't. We don't have enough "clues" to really form a good idea of whodunit. Rather, it seems pretty much anyone could be a suspect for no other motive th ...more
I really do like British mysteries set after the Great War, and so, it was with a song in my heart that I picked up the first book in this series, looking forward to the chummy hours I'd spend with Georgie and her set as we sleuthed around London. My exuberance gave way to a dreary sense of fatigue as it seemed that the whole thing was unfolding in real time, and we were spending not enough time with the Bright Young Things, and too much time learning to toast our own crumpets.

The story picked
Oct 29, 2009 Wealhtheow rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: liz, fans of humorous mysteries, the comic version of Walton's Farthing
Shelves: historical
Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie grew up in a castle, always knows what fork to use, and could marry a prince if she'd only say "yes."
Of course, the castle is drafty, the silver forks lift nothing better than baked beans, and the prince has no throne and no sex appeal. From the very first page, Georgie is exceedingly appealing. She's 34th in line for the throne, but she's so penniless that she takes to crashing parties for the food. In 1930s London, there are a great many parties to go
The first In the series but I think any of the books in this series could stand alone. I thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas Mystery. This being the first, it does explain the characters in detail, which took a few chapters, but I had a good time getting to know Georgiana better, she is such a delight.

A story of independence, an untimely murder mystery that may just take down the whole lot, a bit of royal history and a little romance thrown in for good measure. Many suspects, too many, at one poin
This was a fun chick-lit, cozy historical mystery type book. It was a fun read and Georgie is a likable character. I love the interwar period as a setting, it's a time of such great change especially for women. While this is definitely lighter in tone than some of the other books I've read in this setting the effects of the war and the changes in society are still evident. The only thing I didn't particularly like was the names of some of the characters, I'm sure it's accurate to the time and to ...more
Not even Katherine's narration could make this enjoyable for me. The repetition was annoying, I don't need to be reminded three times in one conversation that someone is speaking with a Scottish accent. Nor do I need the main character to think-explain everything going on and then repeat those points in several conversations with multiple characters.

It's a shame, I was looking forward to this series because of the audio editions, but this is it for me.
Quick, fluffy, and predictable, but sometimes I need to read something that is basically mainlining a package of Pixy Stix with a side of mocking British aristocrats.
It’s 1932, and the world is gripped by the Great Depression. The health of King George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert, first monarch of the House of Windsor) is rapidly declining. George’s son Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, the Prince of Wales) has begun spending more time with American actress Wallis Simpson, who is still married to her second husband, shipping executive Ernest Aldrich Simpson.

Into this tumultuous time enters our young heroine Lady Victori

It’s kind of, sort of, like Jeeves and Wooster except there’s no Jeeves, and Wooster is a girl and she’s broke and she occasionally fights crime.

The worst part is the book reads with a slight anachronistic tone to it – yes, it’s hard to write in an older style, but that would have been easily solved if Bowen had just made the book in the memoir style and made Georgie a cackling old woman, delightfully writing down her life at some point in the early 21st century rather than narrating allegedly a
Bryan Higgs
Having been brought up in England, I'm highly aware of class distinction and class consciousness in the UK. For reasons I'm not really sure of, I seem to be more sensitive and less patient with the stupidity of English class structure than are most British people

Now, a lot of UK TV comedies make fun of the bumbling upper classes, and their accompanying pretentiousness -- Hyacinth Bucket in "Keeping Up Appearances" is one that readily comes to mind. We British seem to like making fun of our inept
nomadreader (Carrie D-L)
(originally published at

narrated by Katherine Kellgren

The backstory: Her Royal Spynessis the first book in Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness historical mystery series, which is set in 1930's London.

The basics: Lady Georgiana is 34th in line for the throne of England. She's also broke and unmarried. Given her station in life, working is challenging at best.

My thoughts: I have a fascination with the 1930's and aristocracy, and I snapped up Her Royal Spyness in an A
As the granddaughter of Queen Victoria’s least noteworthy daughter, Georgiana is thirty-forth in line to the throne and has all the expensive responsibilities of royalty, like having the proper wardrobe for official functions, but none of the money and being royal she’s not supposed to work. While rattling around her family’s Scottish estate she discovers she’s about to be married off to an Eastern European prince whose unfortunate personality, fish-like looks and likelihood of being assassinate ...more
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Cozy Mystery Corner : Her Royal Spyness 7/11/12 16 143 Jul 17, 2014 03:16PM  
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"I'm a New York Times bestselling mystery author, winner of both Agatha and Anthony awards for my Molly Murphy mysteries, set in 1902 New York City.

I also write the Agatha-winning Royal Spyness series, about the British royal family in the 1930s. It's lighter, sexier, funnier, wicked satire. It was voted by readers as best mystery series one year.
I am also known for my Constable Evans books, set
More about Rhys Bowen...

Other Books in the Series

Her Royal Spyness (9 books)
  • A Royal Pain (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #2)
  • Royal Flush (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #3)
  • Royal Blood (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #4)
  • Naughty in Nice (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #5)
  • The Twelve Clues of Christmas (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #6)
  • Heirs and Graces (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #7)
  • Queen of Hearts (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #8)
  • Malice at the Palace (Royal Spyness #9)
A Royal Pain (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #2) Royal Blood (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #4) Royal Flush (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #3) Murphy's Law (Molly Murphy Mysteries #1) Naughty in Nice (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #5)

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“They don't hang dukes, darling. He'd be let off by reason of insanity. Everyone knows the upper classes are batty.” 20 likes
“The words hot, lot, and got were not apart of a ladies vocabulary.” 4 likes
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