cover image The Windsor Knot

The Windsor Knot

SJ Bennett. Morrow, $27.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-305000-6

British children’s author Bennett (The Look as Sophia Bennett) makes her adult debut with the delightful first in a series featuring Queen Elizabeth II as sleuth. One day in the spring of 2016, the queen is hosting a gathering at Windsor Castle when a young Russian pianist is found dead in a guest bedroom. First ruled a suicide, the death turns out to be murder, and MI5 suspects it’s an inside job by a sleeper agent planted at Windsor by Vladimir Putin. But when the authorities begin questioning the queen’s staff, Her Majesty, whose loyalty to her people is as deep as theirs is to her, decides to conduct her own discreet investigation with the help of her assistant private secretary, Rozie Oshodi. Rozie is impressed with the queen’s keen observations, as well as HM’s ability to plant ideas and steer the investigation without anyone the wiser. As Rozie learns, the queen has had lots of practice. She’s been quietly solving mysteries for decades. Bennett’s depiction of the warm, wise, and witty queen and the insights into her royal life are fascinating. Fans of Netflix’s The Crown will have fun. Agent: Grainne Fox, Fletcher & Co. (Mar.)