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A Royal Pain
by Rhys Bowen

See also Royal Flush, Royal Blood, Naughty in Nice and The Twelve Clues of Christmas

A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen Wanted: One cracking good mystery read
Wanted: One intrepid, delightful, and resourceful female investigator
Found!: Georgie, heroine of A Royal Pain

Georgie ( properly called Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie) is not your typical sleuth. After all, she is 34th in line for the throne of Britain. Like many royals on that list she is penniless. Her brother, Lord Rannoch, can’t help out. Even though he has a castle in Scotland, his inheritance is nought, and he faces ruin on a day-to-day basis. Twenty-one year old Georgiana has fled the cold, draughty ancestral heap and her unfriendly sister-in-law to take up residence in London.

Bad move—she is now within easy reach of the imperious Queen, wife of King George V. Summoned to Buckingham Palace, the Queen demands of her an impossible task—baby-sit the visiting Bavarian princess, Hanni, and engineer a way for her to enchant and snare the Prince, who is enamoured of Wallis Simpson.

Now, why on earth would the Queen choose Georgie? Well, she did survive finding a dead body in her bathtub (Her Royal Spyness—book one in the series), not to mention pulling off disguising herself as a housemaid to the wealthy. Talk about extreme ways to earn a living—Georgie seems to be a magnet for them. Naturally, she overlooks the fact that her life experience has not included training as a maid or a detective, and she’s certainly had no experience entertaining royalty.

But what is it with this Bavarian princess? She seems to have watched too many American gangster movies and taken them to heart. Georgie not only has to get the Prince to fall in love with the unlikely Bavarian gal but curb her wild enthusiasm for partying with the “in” set. At the same time, Georgie has to deal with the Baroness, the forbidding chaperon trailing in the wake of the princess. Then there’s hiring “staff” (her grandfather and his neighbour) to fulfill the needs of her unwanted house guests.

Georgie faces terrifying moments—walking across slippery tiled rooftops, being locked in a building, and facing the Queen with bad news. That’s not all—murder seems to follow Georgie around, and she has more than one to contend with here. Meanwhile Georgie’s secret love, Darcy, seems to have fallen for the Princess, putting Georgie in her own murderous frame of mind. What’s a girl to do?

Full of quirky characters and an “I can’t put this book down” plot, this new series, set in 1930s Britain, captures the atmosphere and cultural quandries of the period to a T.

If you enjoy Ruth Dudley Edward’s Amiss series, M.C. Beaton’s Aunt Agatha series, and P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster books, then you won’t want to miss this new series from the pen of Rhys Bowen. But it comes with a warning: it’s contagious, as are her other two series: Constable Evans (set in a small village in Wales) and Molly Murphy (an Irish gal let loose in New York). You may also suffer withdrawal pains waiting a year for the next adventure of Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, alias Georgie.

A Royal Pain
Published: July 1, 2008
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-0-425-22163-1

Rhys Bowen’s website: Rhys Bowen

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