Crowned and Dangerous
Her Royal Spyness, Book #10
By Rhys Bowen
Author Website: Rhysbowen.com
Nothing is simple when you’re thirty-fifth in line for the British crown, least of all marriage. But with love on their side, and plans to elope, Lady Georgiana Rannoch and her beau Darcy O’Mara hope to bypass a few royal rules…
With Darcy driving me out of London in a borrowed motor car, I soon discover that he isn’t planning to introduce me to the pleasures of sinning in secret—as I had hoped—but to make me his wife!
Of course, there are some quibbles to be dealt with, such as my needing special permission from the King to marry a Roman Catholic and the question of where we might live after the honeymoon. Though he will inherit a title, Darcy is as broke as I am. Even his family’s Irish castle has been sold to a rich American who now employs Darcy’s father as a hired hand.
Throwing these cares to the wind, nothing could deter us from our mission—except perhaps the news that my future father-in-law has just been arrested. It seems the rich American was murdered and Darcy’s father had more than enough motive to do the deed. With the elopement postponed, we head for Ireland where he insists he’s innocent, and it’s up to us to prove it—for better or worse. (Goodreads)
Readers are always in store for a royally good time with Lady Georgie, and Crowned and Dangerous is the solidly written tenth installment in the Royal Spyness mystery series.
Crowned and Dangerous picks up right where Malice at the Palace left off with Georgie and her boyfriend Darcy on the road to elope in Scotland. Their plans are waylaid by the weather, and Darcy discovers that his estranged father, Lord Kilhenny, has been arrested for murder. The wealthy American Timothy Roach, who purchased the Kilhenny estate when the family fell on hard times, was murdered with a family heirloom in the castle. All indications point to Darcy’s father’s guilt, but he cannot remember what happened the night of the crime. Darcy and Georgie, with the help of flamboyant Polish Princess Zou Zou and a friendly face at the American Embassy, get to the bottom of the mystery, married or not.
I adore both Darcy and Georgie and always hope that they will get their happy ending someday. They were so close this time around, even with Georgie’s need for permission from the king to marry a Catholic. They work well together, despite Darcy’s attempts to keep Georgie away from the action, and complement one another’s styles. It was nice to learn more about Darcy’s upbringing and family. His father, though curmudgeonly, was endearing. His Great Aunt Oona and Great Uncle Dooley were delightful. And, new character Princess Zamanska “Zou Zou” was so over-the-top, yet the fantastic life of the party. They were all welcome additions to the cast of characters, and I trust we will see them again. Even ladies maid Queenie was more tolerable here.
The action was centered in Ireland in this installment, and the new setting provided a breath of fresh air for this long running series. Bowen brought all of the local color to life, and I felt like I was there with Georgie and company as they explored the local village and Dublin. The town’s devotion to Lord Kilhenny was touching and made the story more real.
The murder mystery itself was well written, including a number of surprises along the way that kept me completely interested until the very end. I appreciated the inclusion of real events and people sprinkled throughout. Even when the facts were fudged a bit to fit the story, they felt authentic. I particularly enjoyed a scene that included Georgie’s cousin, the Prince of Wales, and his scandalous flame Wallis Simpson.
The Royal Spyness mysteries are lighthearted and amusing jaunts, and I get a kick out of my time spent in the 1930s with Georgie. I recommend Crowned and Dangerous to readers looking for a fun diversion from the responsibilities of everyday life, and those who like historical cozies.