The latest of these came out last week and as I recently binge read the three books I thought it would be a good time to make a post about them.
So the premise – as the series name suggests – is that the (late) Queen subtly helps solve some murders that have occurred in her vicinity. Set a few years back – when she was in her early 90s, she uses her assistant Rozie to do the investigating she can’t do. In the first in the series, The Windsor Knot, the victim is an overnight guest at Windsor and it’s a bit of a closed group sort of thing. In the second, our the victim is a staff member, found dead by the side of the Buckingham Palace swimming pools. And in the third it’s the brother of a neighbouring aristo to the Sandringham estate.
I think the first book and the third book are stronger than the second, but given that I binge read the series I can’t say that the issues with the second book put me off. For me these work best when the problems they are solving seem the most organic – I can’t quite work out why but the second book felt much more contrived and complicated than the first one – and the third one, for all that the third is out and about all over Norfolk.
But they are all easy to read, with nice details about the royal residences involved (there really is a swimming pool at Buckingham palace – who knew?!) and enough real bits and bobs about the Queen’s life and family to feel like the person you think you know through the media. I did wonder what would happen now that Elizabeth II has died, but they are set in the mid 2010s and at the end of book three it says there is a fourth book coming so there will be one more at least, and I will be looking out for it.
As I said earlier, the new book is out now in hardback – in fact as I write this Amazon has the hardback as a Black Friday deal. I do think you need to read them in order though – but the good news is that the first in the series is in Kindle Unlimited at the moment – so if you’re a member you can read it for free. The second one has a different title in the US – so be careful of that because it’s easy to think it might be a fourth one you haven’t spotted, but the actual fourth one isn’t out until early 2024. But if you’ve enjoyed things like the Royal Spyness series, this might be the contemporary cozy crime equivalent you have been looking for.