Written by British author Rhys Bowen (Molly Murphy, Evan Evans), 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.
How to read the Her Royal Spyness Series in Order?
All the books of the Royal Spyness Series offer standalone stories but Lady Georgiana’s life is developed a little more in each novel.
- 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 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 – Georgie, or Lady Georgiana Rannoch, is busy planning her upcoming nuptials to Darcy O’Mara. Unfortunately, what has started as a simple wedding has become quite a royal headache. Just as she despairs of ever finding a home, her godfather offers his fully staffed country estate. With Darcy off in parts unknown, Georgie makes her way to Eynsleigh alone, only to find the grounds in disarray, and the small staff suspiciously incompetent. Not to mention the gas tap leak in her bedroom. Something sinister is afoot….
- Love and Death Among the Cheetahs – Georgie is excited when Darcy announces out of the blue that they are flying to Kenya for their extended honeymoon. It is only after they arrive that she suspects he has actually been sent there on an assignment. They are picked up in Nairobi and taken to a lovely house in Happy Valley. Darcy finally confides that there have been some spectacular robberies in London and Paris, and it is suspected that the thief was a member of the aristocracy and may have fled to Kenya.
- The Last Mrs. Summers – Georgie’s best friend, Belinda, inherits a spooky old house in Cornwall and asks Georgie to go with her to inspect the property. When they arrive, they meet Rose, a woman Belinda knew as a child when she spent her summers with her grandmother in Cornwall. Belinda never liked Rose, who has always been bossy and a bit of a bully, but when Belinda’s house proves to be uninhabitable, Rose invites them to stay with her. Rose is now married to Tony Summers, Belinda’s childhood crush, and lives in the lovely house on the cliffs that he has inherited. Rose confides that she thinks Tony killed his first wife and now she is afraid.
- God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen – Georgie is excited for her first Christmas as a married woman in her lovely new home. She suggests to her dashing husband, Darcy, that they have a little house party, but when Darcy receives a letter from his aunt Ermintrude, there is an abrupt change in plans. She has moved to a house on the edge of the Sandringham estate, near the royal family, and wants to invite Darcy and his new bride for Christmas. Aunt Ermintrude hints that the queen would like Georgie nearby. Georgie had not known that Aunt Ermintrude was a former lady-in-waiting and close confidante of her royal highness. The letter is therefore almost a royal request, so Georgie, Darcy, and their Christmas guests: Mummy, Grandad, Fig, and Binky all head to Sandringham.
- Peril in Paris – When Georgie receives a letter from my glamorous best friend, Belinda, Darcy suggests they take a trip to Paris to visit her. It seems he also has a spot of business of which to take care. She will be staying in Belinda’s flat as she works feverishly on Coco Chanel’s fall collection. Darcy has asked Georgie to take on a small chore as a part of his latest assignment. She is to covertly retrieve something from an attendee of Coco’s show. It seems easy enough, but she discovers that this little errand could have terrifying consequences for a world on the brink of war.
- The Proof of the Pudding – Sir Mortimer approaches Georgie and asks to borrow her new chef for his upcoming party, and Georgie and Darcy, her dashing husband, are invited! The tour of the poison garden is fascinating, as is Sir Mortimer’s laboratory. Shockingly, just after the banquet several of the guests become sick. And one dies, apparently poisoned by berries from the garden. But how could this be when they all ate the same meal and the same delectable dessert? Georgie has to find the culprit to save her new chef and her own reputation-all before her bundle of joy arrives!
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