I have been a fan of Rhys Bowen’s books for a couple of years, and I always look forward to new releases. All of her books are lovely, but I must admit that her Royal Spyness series is my favorite. If you’re not familiar with this series, here’s a brief explanation: the books take place in 1930s England, and Georgiana Rannoch is 35th in line for the throne. She is an astute young woman, and she often receives royal requests for help. Of course, one cannot refuse the Queen of England. Georgie has all sorts of adventures, and solves mysteries.
Crowned and Dangerous is the 10th book in the Royal Spyness series. When we last encountered our heroine Georgie, she was attending the wedding of her cousin Prince George to Princess Marina. As the story begins, she has been swept away by her enigmatic beau Darcy O’Mara, who after several years of casual dating, intends to take her to Gretna Green and marry her.
Alas, fate intervenes and Darcy sees a newspaper bearing grim tidings: his father, Lord Kilhenny has been arrested for the murder of the wealthy American man who bought the Kilhenny estate several years ago.
Darcy rushes off to his father’s side, and informs Georgie that she is to remain in England, and her involvement in the case would be too scandalous. Those familiar with the series will know that our Georgie is not easily deterred, and so she ventures over to Ireland, determined to stand by her beloved and to prove his father’s innocence.
The mystery portion of the book is rather interesting because Georgie and Darcy do not really have access to the crime scene. They have to rely on the facts of the case, and the prognosis seems rather grim since the accused claims he was drunk and does not really remember anything. Georgie doesn’t do nearly as much sleuthing in this book as she has done in the past, and she practically stumbles upon the solution through luck/fate.
Despite this, Crowned and Dangerous is a lovely book. Bowen devotes her time to building up Georgie’s world. Most of the book takes place in Ireland, but it was nice to receive updates (as it were) on the friends and family who have appeared in previous books. It was also quite lovely to meet some new characters, like Darcy’s Aunt Oona and Uncle Dooley, as well as the debonair Zou Zou. And of course, what Royal Spyness book would be complete without Georgie’s maid Queenie? She plays a more minor role than she has in the past, but she still manages to steal the show.
I would recommend Crowned and Dangerous. If you are new to the series, I recommend starting at the beginning and reading the books in order. This is a solid entry in the series, with some nice set-up for the next book. Although there is a murder to be solved, this is a light book infused with humor. Georgie is a delightful protagonist; her manners are impeccable, but she is kind to everyone, regardless of their social position. She’s clever, and she’s funny, and I always enjoy her adventures. Now that I have read the book, I suppose that I am going to have to re-read the rest of the series while waiting a year for Georgie’s next adventure!