Thursday, February 28, 2013

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

Her Royal Spyness (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #1)Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Downloaded from Narrated by Katherine Kellgren.

A very light satirical mystery set in 1930’s England. Georgie is 21, a Duke’s sister and 34th in line to the throne. Despite some intimacy with royalty, her family is dead broke so she escapes from a drafty estate in Scotland to London where she hopes to earn a living and avoid being forced to marry minor European royalty. Inevitably she finds herself embroiled in a couple of mysteries that she must of course solve to save herself and her family from disgrace or worse. Along the way, she gets support from her party girl school chum Belinda, gets swoony over a rakish Irish lad named Darcy O’Mara, and interacts with both the posh and less respectable halves of her family.

The story takes a while to take off but mostly because the characters and background are being established in a basically entertaining way. The book is meant to be light fare and amusing and it delivers on both counts in a competent way. All the characters are established types (Darcy = Irish rogue, Belinda = the party girl with a heart of gold, Georgie’s Granddad = the wise, practical but slyly noble cockney, Binky = the witless, oblivious aristocrat, etc… etc…) with very little depth but are essentially likeable. Georgie herself is rather bland but is made perhaps a little more interesting by her mix of modern and traditional values.

The narrator of this audio edition was quite good, handling all the accents pretty well and doing female and male, old and young voices pretty effortlessly. She does a plummy British accent very well and does especially well with the character who pronounces his Rs like Ws.

It was an enjoyable light read that didn’t make a huge impression. It could have been cleverer and funnier and less clich├ęd but it still managed to keep me interested all the way through. I will likely read the next in the series but am not dying to run out and read it now.

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