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Her Royal Spyness #8

Queen of Hearts

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Lady Georgiana Rannoch, thirty-fifth in line for the British throne, knows how to play the part of an almost royal—but now she’s off to Hollywood, where she must reprise her role as sleuth or risk starring in an all-too-convincing death scene…
 
My mother, the glamorous and much-married actress, is hearing wedding bells once again—which is why she must hop across the pond for a quickie divorce in Reno. To offer my moral support, and since all expenses are paid by her new hubby-to-be, Max, I agree to make the voyage with her.
 
Crossing the Atlantic, with adventure in the air and wealthy men aboard, Mother all but forgets about Max and matrimony—especially when movie mogul Cy Goldman insists on casting her in his next picture.
 
Meanwhile, I find myself caught up in the secret investigation of a suspected jewel thief. Lucky for me, the lead investigator happens to be my dashing beau, Darcy!
 
Mother’s movie and Darcy’s larceny lead everyone to Cy’s Hollywood home, where the likes of Charlie Chaplin are hanging about and there’s enough romantic intrigue to fill a double feature. But we hardly get a chance to work out the sleeping arrangements before Cy turns up dead—as if there wasn’t enough drama already…
 

304 pages, Hardcover

First published August 5, 2014

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About the author

Rhys Bowen

91 books7,265 followers
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 have recently published four internationally bestselling WWII novels, one of them a #1 Kindle bestseller, and the Tuscan Child selling almost a million copies to date. In Farleigh Field won three major awards and was nominated for an Edgar. My other stand-alone novels are The Victory Garden, about land girls in WWI and Above the Bay of Angels, featuring a young woman who becomes chef for Queen Victoria.
April 2021 will mark the publication of THE VENICE SKETCHBOOK--another sweeping historical novel of love, loss and intrigue.

My books are currently translated into 29 languages and I have fans worldwide.

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 in North Wales, and for my award-winning short stories.

I was born and raised in England but currently divide my time between California and Arizona where I go to escape from the harsh California winters
When I am not writing I love to travel, sing, hike, play my Celtic harp.
Series:
* Constable Evan Mystery
* Molly Murphy Mysteries
* Her Royal Spyness Mysteries

Awards:
Agatha Award
◊ Best Novel (2001): Murphy's Law
Reviewer's Choice Award
◊ Historical Mystery (2001): Murphy's Law

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5 stars
2,924 (27%)
4 stars
4,390 (41%)
3 stars
2,802 (26%)
2 stars
373 (3%)
1 star
35 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 855 reviews
492 reviews12 followers
September 16, 2014
I swore if there wasn't some sort of progress in Georgie and Darcy's relationship I was going to swear off reading this mystery series. Or progress in Georgie's life situation. Neither happened, and on top of that Queenie, the quintessential hapless, comedic, idiosyncratic character, is no longer an endearing touch of whimsy, but a one-note joke that has been told too many times and is irritating. Further, it has gone on to the point that Georgie's soft-heartedness is now a glaring weakness that makes it harder and harder to respect her character, regardless of her cleverness at solving mysteries. Unlike Bowen's other series, that are rooted in a geographical place and with characters who are rooted solidly in relationships and work that allow for day-to-day rhythms and growth, Georgie is stuck in no-win territory. While Georgie's position as 35th in line to the throne and cousin to the king (as well as daughter of a former famous actress and rich tramp) provide interesting and exotic locales for mystery plots, the peripatetic nature of the series also means that there is little character development. Georgie is no closer to being able to support herself or have a home. Darcy, equally lacking funds and his job requiring constant travel, is no closer to being able to settle down and marry, nor is he around long enough to truly understand how precarious Georgie's situation is. (It is also getting a little ridiculous that no matter where Georgie ends up, from Eastern Europe to Southern California, Darcy's latest mission takes him to the same place.) The supporting cast other than Georgie's maternal grandpa, are selfish, careless, one note characters. Most of all Georgie is passive in most areas of her life, letting others take advantage without a peep from her. The mystery surrounding the murder of a movie mogul's death was light and enjoyable with a clever twist or two, and I probably will read the 9th novel in the series . . . maybe. But a novel series of any genre with the same cast of characters requires growth and depth over the course of the series, as Bowen has demonstrated with Molly Murphy and Evan Evans. Lady Georgiana Rannoch is not being as well-served by her creator.
Profile Image for Poonam.
605 reviews500 followers
October 10, 2017
2.5 stars

I like reading cozy mysteries and apart from Dame Christie I hadn't found any other writer that wrote satisfactory cozy mysteries. But after starting this series I have to say I have clearly a favorite cozy mystery series from recent times.

This is the 8th book in the series and even though this book is a standalone from the mystery perspective, I would suggest to read this series in order as there are recurring characters (and it's more fun when you know the nature of these characters) and also there is a build-up romance between Georgina (our main protagonist) and Mr. Darcy.

This story is different than the other books of this series as most of the other books are set among British Royalty but here the setting is in Hollywood.
"You movie types live in a fantasy world, don't you?"

There are some real Hollywood personalities that make an appearance (like Charlie Chaplin) and I really enjoyed how they have been interwoven within the story.

There are 2 different mysteries- one involving a jewel thief and the other where the producer of a studio is found murdered. Is there a connection to the robberies and the murder? We find the answer to this by the end of the story.

For me the story started off well and progressed well but it became over-dramatic at the end (similar to climax of a Hollywood movie). I could have done without that additional drama but still a decent one time read.
Profile Image for Vanessa.
136 reviews4 followers
August 12, 2014
What a disappointment. This is a good book and fun as you'd expect right up until the last quarter or so, when the author suddenly realizes the need to tie up all the plot points she's opened up and proceeds to do so in the clunkiest way possible. The deductions are straight out of Encyclopedia Brown, and the setting and characters mostly wasted. This makes me think the series is just running out of steam.
Profile Image for Caitlin Benallack.
20 reviews2 followers
September 4, 2015
These are consistently lovely cozy mysteries.

Are they great literature? No.

Are they the literary equivalent of a cupcake with sprinkles? Yes.
Profile Image for Linda Lou McCall.
58 reviews5 followers
September 28, 2014
I absolutely LOVED all of the previous books in this series! When I saw that a new one was available, I didn't bother with the reviews - I just purchased it. The characters are still well-developed and narrator Katherine Kellgren continues in her masterful vien. But the story falls flat here. First, I like British novels because.....well, they take place in the UK! This one has our familiar crew in the U.S. with not so believeable "American" characters. I don't like my posh aristocrats mixed in with "cowboys" and one-dimensional "Hollywood" players. Even "Charlie Chaplin" was lame in his cameo appearance. How can an author fail to replicate a famous legendary person like Chaplin with as much documentation upon which to draw, to say nothing of his huge body of work on FILM? As for lead character, Lady Georgiana "Georgie" Rannoch, and the love of her life, the handsome, sexy, Irish nobleman Darcy O'Mara still leaving readers with the now-stale cliffhanger on whether they WILL or whether they WON'T, I'm over it! Everyone else in these "Royal Spyness" novels are overtly having big-time sex in the early 20th century, especially Georgie's BFF, Belinda, who would be considered a "golddigging hood rat" even by modern standards. Even Georgie's mother acts "ratchet" when it comes to sex and she's (usually) married! Both Georgie and Darcy are past legal age, in love, and wickedly attracted to one another. It defies imagination that they continue to spend the night together sharing nothing more than a kiss! I could have dealt with the poor plot line if Georgie and Darcy had done the "nasty"' this time! OR I could go along with the chastity angle, if this book was targeted for the Young Adult market and ALL of the "sex-capades" among the other characters wasn't so rampant and blatant. Come on, Rhys Bowen, two broke aristocrats abstaining until they have money is no longer credible!
Profile Image for Susan.
1,062 reviews200 followers
February 15, 2015
Lady Georgiana is the star of one of my favorite cozy mystery novel series. She is thirty-fifth in line for the royal throne and poor as a church mouse. Her mother is a famous actress who neglects her and her brother runs the family castle in Scotland crippled by her father's gambling debts. Georgie is plucky though and often sent on errands by the Queen that seem to involve dead bodies.

In this addition her mother decides to travel to Reno to get a quickie divorce from her Texan husband so she can marry her current lover, a rich German industrialist. She decides Georgie should accompany her so they set off on an ocean liner first class. There are stolen jewels and a mysterious splash in the water. Was it a body? While on board they meet a rich movie studio owner who decides to cast Georgie's mother in his newest movie.

Once in Hollywood, they go with assorted other characters to the studio heads private estate, obviously modeled on Hearst Castle, where the executive is murdered. Georgie's boyfriend, Darcy, turns up to investigate the jewel theft and the murder. Charlie Chaplin even makes an appearance as a notorious womanizer.

It is just a lot of silly fun. I have a good time when I read them and I enjoyed this one very much.
Profile Image for Anastasia.
1,297 reviews63 followers
February 19, 2020
Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen is the 8th book in the Royal Spyness Mystery series. Lady Georgiana Runnoch accompanies her actress mother to Hollywood in America and gets caught up in the hunt for a jewel thief and the murder of movie mogul Cy Goldman. An enjoyable and very entertaining book that I loved. It was nice that Georgie got to spend some time with Darcy. Queenie though was starting to get a bit obnoxious and it is a shame that Georgie has taken her back. The audible version is particularly good with all the different accents and character voices. Lots of fun and highly recommended.
Profile Image for Martha.
29 reviews
August 18, 2014
I didn’t like this book as much as the others in the series. The murder was solved in a very clunky manner and the end result was kind of lame. The American characters were very one dimensional and using Charlie Chaplin didn’t add anything. The second to last chapter could have been left out altogether since the relationship between Georgie and Darcy is not developing. The author should either have them marry and work as a sleuthing team or drop the relationship altogether.
Profile Image for Jude: The Epic Reader.
525 reviews74 followers
November 13, 2022
I liked this one more than I remember liking it before. I don't usually like my cozy mysteries set in America but this one was quite fun. I like the people that were mentioned that are known even today and the way that Georgie talks about them. I didn't care about the mystery itself but I liked learning about the suspects. Setting this in Old Hollywood with our lovable characters was super fun, wish there were a little more known celebrities though.
Profile Image for Veronica .
743 reviews175 followers
July 25, 2019
The eighth book is this delightful cozy-historical mystery series is another fun adventure with Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 34th in line to the English throne. This time her mother decides to take a trip to America where she hopes to score a quickie divorce and she takes Georgie along for companionship. As usual, various plot contrivances are employed to ensure that several of the series' supporting characters wind up in America as well. In a more serious series this would be an annoyance but here it's all played for fun and so I just go along for the ride. Queenie's character is starting to wear a bit thin, I have to admit, and I could do with a bit less Belinda too but Darcy continues to delight. There was at least one missed opportunity to give the Georgie/Darcy relationship a bit more depth but this is a cozy historical after all so one shouldn't expect too much drama. The audiobook narration continues to be the best way to experience these characters.
Profile Image for Meg.
599 reviews
July 13, 2018
Very good addition to this fun series.

Mind you, there were several snide comments in there that would not be politically correct today, but were, unfortunately, acceptable at the time (1930's). So I just had to keep that in mind whenever I ran into these.

The mc's mother also said some rather cruel things to her, but then she has always been portrayed as self-centered and entitled, so I had to take these for what they were, as well.

Looking forward to the mc's next adventure!
Profile Image for Sina & Ilona Glimmerfee.
1,048 reviews122 followers
August 17, 2022
Hollywood, Juwelen und ein Mord

Die Mutter von Georgie will wieder heiraten, doch dafür muss sie erst in die USA reisen, um sich scheiden zulassen. Georgie soll sie nun auf dieser Reise begleiten und zusammen mit Zofe Queenie machen sie sich auf den Weg über den weiten Ozean.
Auf dem Schiff kommt es allerdings zu einem Diebstahl und in den USA stolpert sie dann auch noch über eine Leiche.

Mittlerweile sind Georgie und ihre Freunde einem so vertraut, dass es für mich immer ein glückliches Gefühl ist, sie wiederzusehen. Ich liebe es einfach Zeit mit ihnen zu verbringen und auf diesen Band habe ich mich besonders gefreut, denn dieses Mal führt uns die Reise nach Hollywood.
Und natürlich ist auch wieder Darcy dabei und die Liebesgeschichte entwickelt sich weiter, auch wenn Georgie in den USA einen unwiderstehlichen Flirt hat.
Dieser Band hat den Glamour des alten Hollywoods und sogar Charlie Chaplin gibt sich die Ehre.
Der Krimi-Aspekt ist für mich bei dieser Reihe zwar nicht entscheidend, weil ich es einfach schon gerne lese um Zeit mit den Charakteren und in den 30ern zu verbringen, aber ich fand auch die Auflösung des Falls interessant.

Ich werde dieser wunderbaren Reihe treu bleiben!

- Das eBook wurde mir als Rezensionsexemplar zur Verfügung gestellt -
Profile Image for Jonathan.
581 reviews37 followers
August 1, 2015
In Queen of Hearts Georgie accompanies her mother to America so her mother can get a quickie divorce in Reno, but on the way they are invited to take part in a movie production in Hollywood. But when Georgie stumbles into the investigation of a jewel thief and then a dead body is found Georgie must investigate before another person is knocked off. It's great going back to a series that you love because it feels like you're revisiting old friends. That was the case with this book, it was another stunning book in an amazing series.

All of the main characters appear in this book, Georgie, Darcy, Queenie, and even Belinda all take a huge role throughout the book. Georgie's mother is also one of the huge characters, and I must say, no matter how rude she is, I actually like her and think she's hilarious. With real people, such as the Astors and Charlie Chaplin, appearing or being mentioned in this book it adds a sense of credibility to the book, even though it is plainly fiction, and I really love when Ms. Bowen shows these people who really did live and how she imagines them, it usually ends up amazing.

The mystery was well-plotted though the killer's actions after the reveal were more surprising to me than the actual killer. I must say this was probably one of the most intense endings (by endings I mean last 5 or so chapters of the book) I've read in awhile in a mystery and somehow it fit.

Overall a really good mystery as always, with good, solid characters, and the right amount of humor. Queen of Hearts gets 5/5 stars. I can't wait for the next one coming in less than a week!
Profile Image for ✨Susan✨.
859 reviews173 followers
October 13, 2015
In this fun addition to the series Georgiana is off on an adventure to the America's with her Mother. Her mother is quite a piece of work, she is a famous actress who has made marriage into an art form. When she recieves a new marriage proposal from a very wealthy German she must get to Nevada to file for a divorce from her current oil barron husband.

They sail to New York, do some shopping, and then they are off to the Reno Court House. When they find out there is a waiting period, Georgiana's mother decides there is no way that she is waiting in Reno, which at that time, was a bleak, desolate, desert town. Hollywood is their next stop and much more of a bustling, luxurious town of inflated egos. After settling in, a famous director that they met on the ship ride to New York invites them to a weekend getaway at a his mountain mansion. The other guests attending the event make up a prestigious list of who's who in Hollywood. Soon after arriving disaster strikes and there is a murder. This is when the story very much turns into a game of "Clue", very Agatha Christie like. Everyone is a suspect and many of them have a motive.

Rhys Bowen really brought California to life and made it fun to imagine how it was back in the 30's. Another great combination of creative writing and wonderful narration by Katherine Kellgren.
Profile Image for Kylie.
1,060 reviews9 followers
August 27, 2014
I'm over this series. As another reviewer put it, Rhys Bowen phoned this one in. It's painfully cliched and poorly plotted. Georgiana becomes less likeable with every book as she whines about her charmed life and bitches at her maid.
Profile Image for Kathy Davie.
4,644 reviews699 followers
March 23, 2015
Eighth in the Her Royal Spyness historical mystery series and revolving around Lady Georgiana Rannoch as she sails off to America.

My Take
Georgie's mummy drives me bats. She's so totally clueless when it comes to her own daughter. She's got money up the wazoo but never does anything to help her penniless daughter. Well, except to point out that her daughter could simply take up with a rich man, if only she weren't so huge and homely… So it was a total treat to read about Mummy actually paying for a wardrobe for Georgie. It's also too funny to read how very snobbish Mummy is as she puts down most of the people around her for being so very common. Her, the daughter of a Cockney who starred on the stage.

I do hope she marries Max and that Max loses everything. Nothing against Max, I just want Mummy to be incredibly poor and for Georgie to have money, put that shoe on the other foot.

Aboard ship, it's more of the snobbish and nosy. You'll adore the comment Georgie throws back at Mrs. Simpson, lol. Meoww. Oh, lord, then there's Lady Porter's question of the captain, asking if "ships like this sink very often". I loved the captain's response *more laughter*. Oh, boy, this is followed by Jerry's snide comment.

Poor Georgie. Every time she's about to get some, Queenie shows up to save the day. Then there's the day when Queenie quits. Yeahh! She irritates the heck out of me, although Georgie drives me even more nuts that she keeps her. Then again, I can understand why.

Ya know, Bowen never does explain how the bracelet gets returned. Why doesn't Georgie tell Darcy about that moment of total smoothness when Algie introduces himself to Goldman?

I must say, Belinda certainly surprises me. I thought she had her mind set on one thing, turns out it was the other thing, lol.

Darcy is such a sweetheart. Understanding, loving, and so anxious to make enough money to support the woman he loves the way he thinks she needs to live. It's Darcy who keeps bringing me back. I'm curious to know just what he really does, who he works for. And I'm curious to find out if he ever does make that fortune he wants.

It's a whirlwind trip for Georgie. Wined and dined by movie stars, a fit of jealousy on Darcy's part, murder, mayhem, tension between the stars, and it seems as if everyone on board the ship shows up in Hollywood. Even Darcy gets in on the act.

The Story
It's Mummy again. Desperate for discrete companionship on her necessary journey to the depths of America, she arrives with a flourish at Kingsdowne Place (see Heirs and Graces , 7) and drags Georgie off with her.

For once, Mummy forks out for clothes for Georgie, but of course, for purely selfish reasons. It does work well for Georgie and is certainly good for her ego as she's romanced by famous actors in Hollywood while Mummy fills her time with making a terrible movie. Meanwhile cat burglars and murderers are afoot.

The Characters
Lady Georgiana Rannoch is the daughter of a duke, a cousin to His Majesty King George and to the Princess Elizabeth, and too poor for words. Queenie Hepplewhite is her very inept maid. Mummy is Claire Daniels, a leading lady on the stage who would have stayed married to the duke except it required she live at Castle Rannoch. Instead she bolted, and she hasn't stopped. She's taken up with one man after another and the latest, Max von Stroheim, wants to marry her. Homer Clegg, a Texan, is her current husband whom she hasn't seen in ages. Granddad, Claire's dad, is a retired London bobby. Claudette is Claire's maid.

Darcy O'Mara is the heir to an impoverished Irish estate, in love with Georgie, and spends most of his time jaunting about the world on secret missions.

Aboard the Berengaria sailing for America
Captain Harrison is in command. The passengers include Sir Digby and Lady Porter, Montmorency "Tubby" Halliday is a reporter for the Daily Mail, Princess Promila, Mrs. Simpson (yes, that one), and the klutzy Algie Broxley-Foggett sent to America to become a man.

Cyrus Goldman is the impresario of Golden Pictures, and Stella Brightwell is his mistress and star. Stella was also part of a talented twin act — Gertie and Flossie Oldham. Flossie became Bella Brightwell. Helen Goldman is Cy's wife and lives in New York. Mostly. Juan de Castillo is a member of an impoverished Spanish family. Freddie is Stella's ex. Ronnie Green is Goldman's assistant. Maria is his housekeeper at Alhambra II, the tacky castle Cy is building up in the hills. Jimmy is the gatekeeper.

In Hollywood
Barbara Kindell, a gossip columnist, tries to slip inside Georgie's guard. Charlie Chaplin really likes Georgie, all that lovely innocence, unspoiled, and long legs. Dolores Hanford and her husband and friends are some of the tacky nouveau riche. Craig Hart is an international star with an interest in Georgie and a need to get married.

Errol Flynn, Bing Crosby, and Norma Shearer get a mention.

Sheriff Billings is with Ventura County Sheriff's Department. Deputy Hanson will guard the suspect.

Belinda Warburton-Stoke, a.k.a., Mademoiselle Dubois, is Georgie's friend. And no longer welcome at home. Wanda will play the part of Mummy in Reno while Mummy goes off to act.

Kingsdowne Place
The dowager Duchess Edwina Eynsford and her half dotty sisters, Princess Charlotte Orlovski (she's into spiritualism) and the wrongly named Virginia, are having tea with Georgie. Edie is the head housemaid.

The Cover and Title
The cover is the woodcut design that has appeared on earlier books. This time it's a cruise ship in the background with Georgie in a green suit holding onto her cloche and leaning into a stiff wind. There's a man in a fedora and cream trench coat behind her and a woman with dark hair wearing what looks like a cross between a poke bonnet and a shepherdess hat. The trademark burgundy ribbon with a picot trim spans the lower part of the cover with the title and series information on it.

The title is all about Georgie, for she is the new Queen of Hearts.
Profile Image for LadyRhi.
117 reviews53 followers
September 22, 2014
A luxurious ocean liner voyage, stops in New York, Reno, and onto the bright lights and glamour of L.A. -- Hollywood's calling, the starlets are vamping, and Georgie's in the middle of it all!

Mummy's decided to finally ditch the stuffy Texan and whisks herself, her lady's maid, Georgie, and Queenie off to the States where she's heard a quickie divorce can be had for the right price. While they're there she might as well revive her acting career and take part in the shooting of one of the new-fangled talkies, which lands Georgie in the midst of all the gilded glory of Hollywood's femme fatales and heartthrobs. There's no reason to let this little matter of a jewel thief spoil the excitement, darling...

...Until someone knocks the producer over with a jeweled candlestick, and his murderer can only be one of the small company of guests staying at his over-the-top mansion for the weekend!

When the guest list becomes the suspect list, Georgie is grateful she's invited Darcy along. Together, they work to determine who amongst the eminent collection of silver screen idols might have had a motive to bump off the cantankerous Cy Goldman. The aging actress who was his mistress? The hag of a wife whom he fought endlessly with, but who refused to divorce him? Any one of the other actors, would-be stars, or staff who claimed to adore -- but secretly detested -- the film magnate?

It's a high-profile conundrum, and Georgie gets to flex her deductive muscles yet again. Watch out bad guys, Her Royal Spyness is on the case!

~~~

As always, it was cute! Georgie is a sweetie, and her internal monologue is fun to listen in on. Happily, her klutziness seems to have manifested itself once more, and she was tripping her way into adorably awkward situations again. I really did miss that in the previous book! :-)

*Sigh* Why do I feel somewhat disappointed? I guess Georgie's personality has evolved strangely, imho. She's matured, developed a sense of self-worth, and gained confidence -- all of which I'm very proud of her for. Oh yes, and she's fallen for a breathtakingly handsome Irish peer (penniless, but still quite gorgeous for all that)! At the same time, however, she's held onto her maidenly virtue and that almost crippling bashfulness. It didn't quite work when those qualities tried to meld together in situations like the one when Charlie Chaplin tried to creep his fingers up her thigh. Her quirks clashed awkwardly as innocence and insecurity overcame the woman who had been all about her self-assurance and cynicism with the world. The Georgie of the early books would have reacted exactly as she did here -- "OMG! OMG! What do I do?! He's trying to seduce innocent little me! Oh golly, what do I do?!?!" But the newer Georgie, the mature, more worldly Georgie, shouldn't have had any trouble giving a laugh and a gentle swat. If you're going to have a character "grow up," then follow through with it.

There is one other bit of this book that really fell down on the job, and that's the scene where Darcy arrives to find Georgie in the arms of a rich & famous lead actor and not exactly using the syllable, "No." I got SO EXCITED as I began reading this scene! I thought, here we go. This will be the ultimate test of the relationship. This is where Georgie and Darcy will really have to evaluate things and prove to themselves how much they mean to one another ... Not so much. Georgie gets to have a little flush of glee over Darcy's jealousy, and he puts his hackles right down and lumps it. REALLY!?!?!?! Ugh, this was such a wasted opportunity! Give us a right old row, Bowen! I want to see some fireworks, some genuine emotional flares of light and color. Make them really think about this. It's all been so fluffy for so long. The fuel was there, so just strike the d*mn match!!

Rant, rant, rant...

Okay, so all that's out of the way, now I can say this: I enjoyed this one. It was, as I said, cute. Georgie got her klutz back on, and all the usual suspects were present and correct. It was nice to have Georgie traveling again, and it was oh-so-fitting that the British royalty should be treated to the royal treatment of 1920s Hollywood!

Bravo!
Profile Image for kari.
848 reviews
September 23, 2015
I like Georgie. She is one smart cookie and she stays true to her values and ideas. However, she did make some mistakes in this book(kissing another man, telling herself it was all innocent, but enjoying the attention from a big movie star) and I'm growing weary of her waiting and waiting and waiting for Darcy as he is also waiting for her. I get it. If he likes it he should put a ring on it. Got it. So, please Ms. Bowen, come up with a way that they can finally get married. It wouldn't affect her ability to solve crimes, maybe it would make it better. They could be together in their adventures. Really, enough already.
The mystery takes a l o n g time to roll out. The real heart of the book doesn't start until maybe 150 pages in or more. That isn't great storytelling, in my opinion.
What I did like were the intersecting crimes. Is there one criminal? Two? That was well done. And in this one, all the clues are apparent, if you know how to put them together.
So, I'm looking forward to the next installment, but with some reservations.
Profile Image for Mark Baker.
2,014 reviews141 followers
August 19, 2014
Georgie is off to America with her mother, actress Claire Daniels. But their Atlantic crossing is marred by a jewel thief and a possible murder that only Georgie witnesses. And the danger follows them when they hit America and head to Hollywood of the 1930's.

Despite the number of miles the characters cover, the plot holds together well and we still get to see many of the series regulars, who were charming as always. Being an entertainment junky, I enjoyed this fictional look at old Hollywood and seeing the real people who made cameos over the course of the book. All told, another great read in a fun series.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Profile Image for Betty.
2,006 reviews50 followers
July 12, 2015
Lady Georgina accompanied her Mother, Grace Daniel to United States. Her Mother is going to Reno for a divorce. On the boat over they meet a Hollywood mogul who wants to make Grace Daniel a star. A ruby necklace goes missing and Georgie sees what appears to be a person thrown overboard. In Hollywood the Mogul is from dead in his library. Georgie needs to finds answers before she and her friends lose all that is dear to them.
19 reviews
August 9, 2014
Hmmm. These stories are becoming very predictable. They have all followed the same pattern - just changed the setting!
Profile Image for Sarah.
507 reviews22 followers
January 5, 2021
'My mother, the glamorous and much-married actress, is hearing wedding bells once again—which is why she must hop across the pond for a quickie divorce in Reno. To offer my moral support, and since all expenses are paid by her new hubby-to-be, Max, I agree to make the voyage with her.
 
Crossing the Atlantic, with adventure in the air and wealthy men aboard, Mother all but forgets about Max and matrimony—especially when movie mogul Cy Goldman insists on casting her in his next picture.
 
Meanwhile, I find myself caught up in the secret investigation of a suspected jewel thief. Lucky for me, the lead investigator happens to be my dashing beau, Darcy!
 
Mother’s movie and Darcy’s larceny lead everyone to Cy’s Hollywood home, where the likes of Charlie Chaplin are hanging about and there’s enough romantic intrigue to fill a double feature. But we hardly get a chance to work out the sleeping arrangements before Cy turns up dead—as if there wasn’t enough drama already…'
_____________________________

3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 stars.

Queen of Hearts is the eighth book in Rhys Bowen's  Royal Spyness series which is a cozy mystery series set in 1930s England following 35th in line for the throne, Georgiana Rannoch.

I am on the fence about this book in the series. On the one hand I really enjoyed seeing how Georgie is so much more comfortable in herself and showing some confidnce and also the refreshing change of setting for this book, which brought us onto and ocean liner and across America. But on the other hand, the murder doesn't occur until quite far into the book after following Georgie around day-to-day in her travels(as amusing as they are) and then is pretty quickly resolved. It kind of felt that the ending was really just slapped together.

I will admit though that there are two mysteries covered in the course of this book, the other being a jewel thief. This mystery is actually introduced far earlier than the book, but is fairly easily glossed over in the end.

I also found that several of the characters from the series  behaved to the extremes of their characterizations. From Belinda and her mother treating Georgie with blatant disregard at times and making some pretty cutting remarks to her that could have only been intended to hurt her feelings and confidence. And Queenie officially becoming the epitome of disrespectful and disappointing lady's maid. But Georgie puts up with all of it without complaint. Georgie has been coming into her own more and more each book and I very disappointd that she didn't stand up for herself in the least. It felt more inkeeping with the Georgie we knew several books ago.

I had initially rounded my 3.5 star rating up to 4, but after thinking about it and writing this review, I think it should instead be rounded down to 3 stars. It was still amusing and enjoyable, but between the rushed mystery and the characters behaving in a fairly disappointing way, I think that it just didn't feel like the kind of book I expect from this series.
2,606 reviews5 followers
January 30, 2023
Entertaining mystery listening 🎶🔰

Another will written travel murder mystery family and friends relationships adventure thriller novel by Rhys Bhowen (The Royal Spyness Series book eight). Georgiana and her mother travel to New York City via an ocean liner with a jewel thief. They travel by train 🚆 to Las Vegas some mummy can get a divorce. They then travel to Los Angeles so mummy can make a file . They travel to the director's castle on the California coast. A murder happens with Georgiana, Darcy, mummy, Belinda, queenie, and Algie all being involved in the investigation. Georgiana and Belinda bring the murderer in front of the sheriff where he confess but escapes and sets fire 🔥 to the woods. He dies in the fire 🔥 and it's back to England for Georgiana, Darcy, and mummy with her divorce. I would highly recommend this series and author to 👍 readers of British 🏰 mystery adventure novels 👍🔰. Enjoy the adventure of reading 👓 or listening 🎶 to Alexa read different types of books 📚. 2023 👒😉🌙👑

I enjoy British 🏰 mystery novels this series is one of my favorites. I get them from the local library ebook collection. Happy reading in 2023
Profile Image for Lauren.
2,215 reviews162 followers
October 16, 2019
Queen of Hearts
3 Stars

Accompanying her mother on board the Berengaria bound for America and a quickie divorce in Reno, Lady Georgie becomes involved in the search for an enterprising jewel thief. When her mother is offered a part in film producer, Cy Goldman's, latest picture, Georgie and her mother travel to Hollywood where the drama reaches epic proportions after the movie mogul is found dead. Who amongst the entourage was angry enough to kill?

The book begins well but fizzles in the middle, and the final chapter is completely superfluous aside form .

The initial premise of a gentleman jewel thief aboard the cross-Atlantic ocean liner has oodles of potential; unfortunately, this is ultimately lost when the ship docks, and the characters relocate to California where Bowen resorts to employing every clichéd Hollywood trope under the sun. The mystery itself is lackluster as neither the victim nor the culprit is particularly interesting.

In terms of character development, Georgie continues to delight and Darcy is as drool-worthy as ever. Nevertheless, Queenie is beginning to get on my nerves and Belinda needs to get murdered sooner rather than later.

Katherine Kellgren's superb narration is one of the book's few saving graces. Hopefully, the next installment will be an improvement.
Profile Image for Maria.
1,969 reviews35 followers
January 19, 2022
I really enjoyed this one, perhaps because part of it is set in Hollywood of the 1930's with old film stars like Errol Flynn and Charlie Chaplin. Movies were getting more and more into talkies rather than silent film, and the entire genre was changing. There were some really funny parts and some really not funny parts. I am ready to jettison Queenie, however. Anyone who can't learn is not my cup of tea. Besides, she is offending my Scots blood by being so destructive.
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