Aug 7, 2015

Book Review: Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen

The Friday 56: *Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader. Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. Post it. Add your (url) post in Linky at Freda's Voice.
Also, visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader.

Queen of Hearts: A Royal Spyness Mystery #8 by Rhys Bowen, published August 4, 2015, Berkley

Book beginning, first chapter:
MONDAY, JULY 9, 1934
Dear Diary: Weather fine but absolutely nothing to do. Dying of boredom.
I was sitting in a white wicker chair under a spreading chestnut tree on a manicured lawn.Behind me the stately battlements of Kingsdowne Place, seat of the dukes of Eynsford, were reflected int he perfect mirror of the lake, its surface ruffled only by a pair of gliding swans. Before me was a tea table, groaning under tiers of cucumber and smoked salmon sandwiches, strawberries and cream, eclairs, Victoria sponges, petit fours and scones with clotted cream. It was about the most perfect afternoon one could wish for, one of those rare English summer days when the only sounds are the buzzing of bees among the roses the clickety-clack of a distant lawn mower and the thwack of ball on bat at the cricket match down in the village.  
Page 56:
When we went down to dinner, there was no sign of Princess Promila.
"She was very subdued last night," I said. "I hope she's feeling all right."  
My comments: What an intriguing plan for a mystery series. A young English aristocrat, Lady Georgiana Rannock, is regularly commissioned as a royal spy by the Queen, who wants to keep tabs on everyone around her. Georgie travels on the Queen's behalf, reporting back to Her Majesty on the goings on with her subjects in and around the realm.

In this novel, however, it's Georgie's actress mother who persuades her on a trip across the Atlantic to America, where she plans to get a quickie divorce in Reno, Nevada, so she can marry her latest beau, the wealthy Max.

The trip on the boat across the Atlantic is adventurous, with lots of important people, including an Indian princess and a movie mogul, Cy Goldman. Cy persuades Georgie's mom to act in his latest picture in Hollywood and arranges for her to stay at his Hollywood mansion. When Cy turns up dead, however, several suspects at the crowded mansion come into the fore. Georgie is, of course, involved in the sleuthing to find out what happened to Cy.

Well known movie stars such as Charlie Chaplin appear at the Hollywood mansion, adding to the glamour and intrigue of the setting and place. The author seems to throw in everything but the kitchen sink to keep this mystery enticing. Even having an Agatha Christie-like scenario where many people are confined and isolated in a house where a murder has occurred, while the police try to find the culprit. And all these devices work.

I am looking forward to reading Malice at the Palace, the 9th and next in the series by Rhys Bowen.

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.


Unknown said...

This sounds like quite the adventure and the cover is fantastic. I like the idea of her being a spy for the queen:)

Here's my 56 -

Kathy Martin said...

This sounds like a lot of fun. I am not familiar with the series and will be looking into it. My 56 this week comes from No Mercy by Lori Armstrong - a gritty mystery set in South Dakota. Happy reading!

Lauren Stoolfire said...

This sounds like a great new series for me to start! :) Thanks for sharing.

Check out my Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings):

Anne@HeadFullofBooks said...

I like the subtitle: "Royal Spyness Novel". Is spyness a word? Ha! It sounds like a fun mystery.

My Friday Quotes

Katherine P said...

I'm behind in this series but I always enjoy it. Georgie is just so much fun and I can't imagine what trouble she'll land in during an ocean voyage!

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I love stories set in this era....and I loved the setting and "the spread" in the excerpt. Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “FRIDAY ON MY MIND”

fredamans said...

I'm intrigued by this princess.....
Happy weekend!

Lisa Ks Book Reviews said...

This was the first book I read by Rhys Bowen. I rather enjoyed it. She's a wonderful writer.

Nicole said...

A spy for a queen what a fun idea! Happy Weekend!

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