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Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

Cover to Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

Georgie has had enough of being under her stepsister’s thumb. Binky’s wife Fig is determined to keep the castle colder than even its normal drafty self by not lighting rather necessary fires, and what food there is seems to be doled out in ever diminishing quantities. To top it off, Fig has found a way to save even more money with a scheme to use Georgie as an unpaid governess for years to come.

Having had quite enough, Lady Georgiana bids farewell to her brother the duke and the family home in the wilds of Scotland. She’s London-bound and ready to make her own way somehow.  With no Scottish servants to spare, Georgie is forced to do her own cleaning, make her own meals, and, in the process, discovers there –is- a way she can make a living and escape her royal relative’s plans to use her as a pawn in the great courtly marriage game or “suggesting” she join the household of her great aunt as resident dog walker and tea fetcher. 

Such rustication does not suit Georgie, but how she has chosen to earn her bread and butter will not suit her family, or, at least, not the royal side of it. Should they find out that she, 34th in line to the throne, has taken up cleaning other people’s houses, well, the queen would not be amused.

Georgie’s secret self-employment makes it impossible to explain where she was when the body of an odious Frenchman (thankfully, fully clothed) appears in her bathtub whilst she was out dusting and vacuuming. Complicating matters is that she has met this odious person—who has or rather had designs on what remains of the family estate. Georgie--and, indeed, the visiting Binky--are prime suspects

Her Royal Spyness is the first in a series by Rhys Bowen that blends a bit of the daft humor of P.G. Wodehouse with a touch of romance as a darkly handsome and rather unsuitable nobleman shows a keen interest in our heroine. This is a light but intriguing series, not dissimilar to the Flavia de Luce mysteries. Rhys Bowen also writes the Molly Murphy mysteries, featuring an Irish immigrant who starts a detective agency in New York City at the turn of the century.