Royal Blood: A Royal Spyness Mystery

Rhys Bowen, Berkley Prime Crime, $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-23446-4
Agatha-winner Bowen successfully mixes Wodehousian farce with a whodunit plot in her fourth 1930s mystery starring Lady Georgiana Rannoch (after 2009's Royal Flush). When the queen asks Georgiana, a distant relative of George V, to attend the wedding of a royal cousin and old schoolmate, Princess Maria Theresa, in Romania, the impoverished 22-year-old must scramble to come up with a maid to maintain appearances. She ends up with Queenie Hepplewhite, a clumsy if well-meaning servant who lost a previous job after setting fire to her mistress's clothing. Once in Romania, the pair find themselves in the midst of a sensitive murder case at the remote castle where the nuptials are to take place. Field Marshal Pirin, head of the Bulgarian army and a close adviser to his country's king, collapses during a festive meal and is later found to have been poisoned. Bowen once again demonstrates her mastery of the light, romantic mystery. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/19/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
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