Ruth's Reviews > Her Royal Spyness

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
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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 blackmailing Frenchman winds up dead in her bathtub with her brother as the prime suspect, Georgiana decides to use her newfound freedom as an incognito maid to root out the real killer.

Her Royal Spyness is a light, fairly enjoyable (if predictable) read that's heavy on chick lit elements and short on a solid, well-developed mystery. The novel's biggest strength is the character of Georgiana and her often-hilarious attempts to learn basic skills that most people take for granted - such as making one's own breakfast. Bowen also provides some fascinating "insider" glimpses into the royal social scene of the 1930s (such as the royal reaction to the infamous Mrs. Simpson). However, the story falters a bit by being a little too much of a modern chick-lit novel and not enough of a solid historical mystery. The pacing also tends to plod a bit as it gets bogged down in Georgiana's flirtation with a rakish Irishman and her Bridget Jones-style obsession with will-they-or-won't-they jump in the sack. There's too little focus on the murder mystery and the story is in desperate need of some balance. The novel's concept is cute and original - here's hoping sequels build on this foundation and deliver more solid mysteries.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 18, 2008 – Finished Reading
February 2, 2009 – Shelved

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