For reference, this is Book #12 of Her Royal Spyness cozy historical mystery series, and perhaps my favorite mystery series of all time. Rhys Bowen is certainly my favorite mystery writer (at the very least fighting for first with Dorothy Sayers). Obviously, I would recommend reading this series from the beginning and because of this, this review will be as much a look at the series as a whole as with this book in particular. Unlike many of my reviews, this one will be mostly spoiler-free, save for a few main plot points across the books.
Release: Aug. 7, 2018
Synopsis: Set in 1930s England. As Georgie prepares for her long-awaited wedding to Darcy, she finds her hands full as both her mother and grandfather prepare for marriage as well, and one of her mother’s former husbands invites Georgie to stay in a house inhabited by suspicious characters. And there most certainly will be murder involved…but will anyone actually manage to walk down the aisle?
I cannot say how much I loved this book. One of my favorite things about Bowen’s writing is that it does not have to follow the typical clique of cozy murder mysteries. Introduce protagonist, introduce set of suspects, feature murder, throw in a few red herrings, and then finally solve said murder. With Bowen, instead of wondering who did the murder, you usually are left scratching your head wondering what is even going on. Usually, confusion is a bad thing, but in a murder mystery, it is certainly a good thing.
One of the main strengths of this book, and the rest of the series which precedes it, is the writing style itself. The mood is light and the humor quirky. While all the characters aren’t extremely deep, they each have their uniqueness. You are rarely confused about who is who, as I often am when reading Agatha Christie. With Georgie especially, she is both relatable and humorous. You can still be rooting for her while also having a laugh at her expense.
Unlike so many cozy mystery series, this one really does well to build the overall plot along with the individual mysteries. Whether it is side plots about her family/friends or Georgie’s growing romance with Darcy, this series is one I read just as much for the mystery as for the characters.
This book constantly takes turns that I did not expect, but I was also mostly satisfied by the ending. I won’t get into the details, because for once I am trying not to spoil anything, but let’s just say a certain character died who I thought was more of a villain and I was disappointed that we didn’t learn more about that character. But besides that, the book tied up the loose ends of both the mystery and some bigger plots from previous books.
This is the type of book that you read when you are sick of reading philosophy (at least, that’s the case with me). It’s light, quirky, fun, but it also gets your brain thinking without making you too exhausted. This book is also a quick read, and I read it just after finishing The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (which was over 500 pages), which made it even more of a relief.
I would highly recommend this book, but naturally if you are not caught up on this series, I would also suggest starting from Book #1 first, or you will have no idea who is who.
Have you read this series? Heard of it? What is your favorite cozy mystery series? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more madness and, as always,
Best wishes in your life full of adventure,