Royal Blood

Posted: Tuesday, 27 December, 2011 by deacongray in Book Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

Rhys Bowen. Mystery. Royal Blood. 305 pages

Rhys Bowen is an award winning mystery author. Royal Blood is the fourth book in the ‘Royal Spyness’ series, which features Lady Georgiana, penniless and 34th in line to the English throne.

While not the most recent offering of the series, Royal Blood called out to this reader. Here, we find Lady Georgiana at her wits end: her brother Binky and his wife, Fig, have descended upon House Rannoch in London, shattering the peace and quiet she has been almost enjoying. Binky is oblivious to his wife’s snobbery and the wife loves to harp on about Lady Georgiana making a “suitable” match before being placed upon the shelf. It is, after all, just the 30s and the Depression is in full force across the globe. So, what’s a girl to do? Accept the Queen’s order to travel to Romania and attend the wedding of a school friend as a representative of British royalty, of course. Especially if it means escape from the odious Fig and real meals instead of toast and baked beans for a change!

And so, the journey from England to Romania begins. Because no proper young lady, especially an actual Lady, would dare journey without a companion, along comes the battle axe known as Lady Middlesex and her companion, Mrs. Deer-Harte. The latter is prone to superstitions and “feelings”, laying the groundwork of vampires in Lady Georgiana’s head. These feelings are only further cemented when it is announced that the royal wedding will take place in the original Lord Dracul’s Castle, deep in the mountains.  Coupled with the feeling that someone is watching her, seeing someone scaling the Castle walls, waking up with someone standing over her, the superstitions soon take full hold of Lady Georgiana. When a foreign diplomat is murdered at dinner, it is clear to Lady Georgiana that the intended victim is none other than the bridegroom. But the murder must be covered up to ensure the wedding takes place without international incident. And then, Mrs. Deer-Harte ends up dead at the bottom of a treacherous set of stairs and Lady Georgiana finds herself in a dungeon…

What’s a girl to do? Solve the mystery, of course! And she does, with aplomb. These are not the psychological thrillers of masters such as Koontz or King. No, they are lighthearted and fun reads. Lady Georgiana is addictive. You are invited to start at the beginning and work your way up to Royal Blood, but it isn’t necessary.

© Mikyla Abigor

  1. Ermilia says:

    Oh goodie! I’ve been looking for a new (new to me anyway) mystery writer. I’m working through the Stephanie Plum series, but want to experiment with someone new. Rhys sounds fun, thank you for sharing!


    • I definitely recommend Ms. Bowen for a good read! She has several series going at this time. While I have only read books from the ‘Her Royal Spyness’ series, I doubt the others are bad. It’s like Charlaine Harris. Thanks to True Blood, based off the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series, Ms. Harris is a well-known author. But she has several other series’ as well. I recommend the Lily Bard: Shakespeare series or the Harper Collins series.

      • Ermilia says:

        I’m not much into vampires except in manga (don’t ask me why because I don’t know) but some can pull it off. Mystery authors I’m familiar with are Janet Evanovich, Lillian Jackson Braun (who I adored but kinda burned out on) and Tom Clancy though not very well on the last one. The Shakespeare series sounds intriguing though. I’m excited to pick up some new authors in 2012. Thank you for the recommendations.

  2. You’re welcome. My personal reading habits are very eclectic. While I love vampire fiction, I much prefer historical romance and funny murder mysteries (as opposed to ‘heavy’ murder mysteries). I love chick lit, too!

    • Ermilia says:

      Oh you have to read Single in Suburbia (review here: or any of the early Stephanie Plum novels. Janet Evanovich is a very light murder mystery writer and Stephanie’s antics are hilarious. I haven’t read any historical romance novels that I can rattle off, but I enjoy them as well. Oh one more you have to read, Undomestic Godess by Sophie Kinsella. I read it before I started writing reviews, but it’s amazing enough that I’m considering reading it again just to throw my own review into the mix.

  3. Single in Suburbia sounds familiar, but I am not sure I have read it. I started a Stephanie Plum once, but never finished it. I don’t remember it as bad, though. My mom loves them! And yes! Undomestic Goddess is great! Love all things Sophie Kinsella. Frankly, I like most English “chick lit” writers, with Katie Fforde being my favorite!

    • Ermilia says:

      Stephanie Plum novels are a series you have to read in order. I’ll admit I tired of the dysfunctional love triangle when it wasn’t resolved by the 10th book, almost as bad as the dysfunctional relationship in No. 1 Lady’s Detective Agency. I just added Katie Fforde to my to-read pile. If she’s anything like Sophie, I’m going to love her. I feel like there’s some other chick-lit books I’ve read that you’d enjoy but for the life of me I can’t remember what they are.

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