Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Review: A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen

I was in need of some quick reads, and so went back to my 'roots' and read a few quick mysteries. Rhys Bowen has three series that are favorites of mine: Constable Evan Evans, Molly Murphy, and Lady Georgiana. I think I would classify these series 'cozy mysteries' (if I truly knew what that genre name meant!). I will review A Royal Pain here and then Oh Danny Boy of the Molly Murphy series next.

A Royal Pain is the second and latest in the Lady Georgiana (actually it's Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England) "Her Royal Spyness" series. Lady Georgiana, aka Georgie, is a member of the royal family in the 1930's. She's 34th in line for the throne.

Georgie's brother, Binky, was left practically penniless after their father's fortune was lost due to the stock market crash and various other 'incidents' of their father's own making. As a result, Georgie, who doesn't want to live in the country with her brother and his 'not-so-nice' wife, lives in their London home. But, gasp! She has no servants, any money, nor any income. And the queen is forever asking for Georgie's help in matching up her son, the heir to the throne, with someone other than his American, married, older mistress.

This book has the queen asking Georgie to house and escort a visiting princess. This princess is quite a handful, being 18 and just recently left the convent where she was schooled. Georgie and the princess find several dead bodies along their adventures, which leads the police to not be very friendly, as you can imagine. As Georgie and her friends work to solve the mysteries - or maybe work to stay away but they keep cropping up - you are engaged in the drama and the fun.

The story is told from Georgie's point of view, so we get to hear her thoughts on her relatives, the times, and how she views herself. I find myself laughing out loud at her antics and how she seems to continually get herself involved, against her own wishes. Her friends and family are quite lovable, as is Georgie.

This book, as was the first one Her Royal Spyness, is a light, quick read with good characters. While some of the characters or situations are a bit predictable, the majority of the book is quite fun, unique and a good story. If you are looking for a light, 'not alot of thinking' series, this would be a good choice.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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