Book of the Week, cozy crime, historical

Book of the Week: A Royal Pain

Where did that week go?  Blimey. This week’s BotW is A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen – slightly by default, as I’m working on a post about cosy crime series and don’t want to repeat, and can’t tell you about Corinna Chapman again (oh the perils of binge-reading series).  Anyhow. A Royal Pain is book 2 in the Her Royal Spyness series.  The series name makes me cringe, but I picked this (and another in the series) in The Works the other week in the hope that it would help scratch my Daisy Dalrymple/Phryne Fisher itch as I wait for new books in either of those series.  And in the most part it did.

A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen
Due to nights, this week’s photo comes courtesy of my Instagram train books photos…

The Royal Spyness of the title is Lady Georgie, 34th in line to the throne and flat broke. She’s trying to make her own way in London with a secret job as a maid-in-disguise when the Queen lands her with the job of babysitting a Bavarian princess and accidentally-on-purpose putting introducing said princess to the Queen’s playboy son.  Along the way they discover two bodies, and Georgie discovers that Princess Hanni drinks like a fish, has a vocabulary strongly influenced by American gangster films and keeps getting herself tangled up with the Communist party…

This isn’t ground breaking or perfect, but it is good fun and rattles along at enough of a pace that you don’t notice its flaws too much. I had the culprit figured out fairly relatively early on, but that’s not too much of a problem for me as long as I’m enjoying the story (which I was).  I did feel like I was missing a few bits of backstory coming into the series in book two – and i suspect they are bits of backstory that couldn’t be explained without giving away too much about the previous book.  A Royal Pain never hits the heights that the best of the Phryne Fisher and Daisy Dalrymple books do, but it avoids most of the pitfalls that some other books in this sub-genre suffer from which can induce book-flinging levels of rage in me and put me straight into hate-reading mode.

As I mentioned at the start, I have another in this series sitting on the to-read pile which I’ll happily read when I get a chance, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for more in the series.  You can pick up a copy of A Royal Pain from Amazon, Kindle, Waterstones, FoylesKobo or The Works – which has the best price I’ve spotted and the very tempting 6 for £10 offer…

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