If you like a bit of historical comedy with some British royalty, Her Royal Spyness is for you.
What is Her Royal Spyness?
Written by British author Rhys Bowen, Her Royal Spyness is a humorous historical series about the penniless cousin of King George V of England in 1932 who is acting as a spy for the queen.
Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, daughter to the Duke of Atholt and Rannoch, is flat broke. And when her brother cuts off her allowance, she leaves Scotland for London where she has been summoned by the Queen to spy on her playboy son. Soon, this amateur sleuth starts to solve crimes.
Her Royal Spyness Books in Order:
- Masked Ball at Broxley Manor – It’s a prequel short story, but it’s better to read it a bit later. At the end of her first unsuccessful season out in society, Lady Georgiana has all but given up on attracting a suitable man—until she receives an invitation to a masked Halloween ball at Broxley Manor. Georgie is uncertain why she was invited, until she learns that the royal family intends to marry her off to a foreign prince, one reputed to be mad.
- Her Royal Spyness – London, 1932. Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, 34th in line for the English throne, is flat broke. She’s bolted Scotland, her greedy brother, and her fish-faced betrothed. London is a place where she’ll experience freedom, learn life lessons aplenty, do a bit of spying for HRH—oh, and find a dead Frenchman in her tub. Now her new job is to clear her long family name…
- A Royal Pain – London, 1932. Poor Lady Georgiana—thirty-fourth in line to the throne—has nothing to serve her Bavarian princess houseguest, even though the Queen of England has requested that she entertain her. Then there’s the matter of the body in the bookshop and the princess’s unwitting involvement with the Communist party. It’s enough to drive a girl mad…
- Royal Flush – Scotland, 1932. Back home until a little London scandal blows over, minor royal Lady Georgiana Rannoch has two equally important objectives. Queen Mary wants Georgie to keep the divorced, American, and entirely unsuitable Wallis Simpson from seducing the Prince of Wales, while Scotland Yard wants her to stop one of the members of the shooting party at Balmoral from turning their sights from the quails to His Royal Highness…
- Royal Blood – London, 1932. With her hateful brother Binky in town, Georgie has been desperately seeking an escape. So when an invitation from the Queen of England arrives asking her to represent the royals at a wedding in Transylvania—legendary home of vampires—she’s delighted to accept. But when the bride starts acting a little batty and a prominent wedding guest is poisoned, something must be done lest the couple’s vows become “till undeath do they part…”
- Naughty in Nice – London, 1933. Her Majesty the Queen is sending Georgie off to Nice with a secret assignment–to recover her priceless, stolen snuff box from the disreputable Sir Toby Groper. Her Majesty’s trust is an honor, but an even greater honor is bestowed upon Georgie in Nice when none other than Coco Chanel asks her to model the latest fashions. Unfortunately, things go disastrously wrong on the catwalk and before Georgie can snatch the snuff box, someone’s life is snuffed out in a very dastardly way. With a murderer on the loose, how’s a girl to find any time to go to the casino?
- The Twelve Clues of Christmas – Scotland, 1933. While her true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending his feliz navidad tramping around South America and her mother is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with droll playwright Noel Coward, Georgie is quite literally stuck at Castle Rannoch thanks to a snowstorm. It seems like a Christmas miracle when she manages to land a position as hostess to a posh holiday party in Tiddleton. The village should be like something out of A Christmas Carol, but as soon as she arrives things take a deadly turn when a neighborhood nuisance falls out of a tree.
- Heirs and Graces – London, 1934. Entrusted by Her Majesty the Queen with grooming Jack Altringham—the Duke of Eynsford’s newly discovered heir fresh from the Outback of Australia—for high society, Georgie now has the luxurious opportunity to live in one of England’s most gorgeous stately homes. But upon her arrival at Kingsdowne Place, Georgie finds herself in a manor full of miscreants, none of whom are pleased with the discovery of her new ward. Then the duke announces he wants to choose his own heir and causes quite the hubbub. Somewhere along the way Jack’s hunting knife ends up in the duke’s back.
- Queen of Hearts – England, 1934. Georgie’s mother is hearing wedding bells once again—which is why she must hop across the pond for a quickie divorce in Reno. To offer her moral support, Georgie agrees to go along on the all expenses paid voyage across the Atlantic. While her mother meets movie mogul Cy Goldman, Georgie finds herself caught up in the secret investigation of a suspected jewel thief. Lucky for her, the lead investigator happens to be her dashing beau, Darcy!
- Malice at the Palace – The King’s youngest son, George, is to wed Princess Marina of Greece, and the Queen wants Georgie to be her companion: showing her the best of London—and dispelling any rumors about George’s libertine history. The prince is known for his many affairs with women as well as men. But things truly get complicated when one of his supposed mistresses is murdered. The Queen wants the whole matter hushed.
- Crowned and Dangerous – As Lady Georgiana’s beloved Darcy drives her out of London, she soon discovers that he is planning to make her his wife! Of course, she’ll need special permission from the king to marry a Roman Catholic. Though he will inherit a title, Darcy is as broke as Georgie. Even his family’s Irish castle has been sold to a rich American who now employs his father. Nothing will deter them from their mission—except perhaps the news that Georgie’s future father-in-law has just been arrested for murdering the rich American.
- On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service – When Georgie Rannoch receives a letter from her dearest friend Belinda, who’s in an Italian villa awaiting the birth of her illegitimate baby, she yearns to run to her side. If only she could find a way to get there! But then opportunity presents itself in a most unexpected way–her cousin the queen asks her to attend a house party in the Italian Lake Country. The Prince of Wales and the dreadful Mrs. Simpson have been invited, and Her Majesty is anxious to thwart a possible secret wedding.
- Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding – What Georgie thought would be a simple wedding has been transformed into a grand affair, thanks to the attendance of the queen, who has offered up the princesses as bridesmaids. Georgie thought that withdrawing from the royal line of succession would simplify my life. But before Darcy and her tie the knot, they have to find a place to live. Her globetrotting godfather offers them his fully staffed country estate and she heads to Eynsleigh alone, only to have her hopes dashed. The grounds are in disarray and the small staff is suspiciously incompetent. Not to mention the gas tap leak in the bedroom, which she can only imagine was an attempt on my life. Something rotten is afoot.