In the time between WWI and WWII, when everything about society is changing, Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 35th in line to the English throne, is a charming throwback to Victorian aristocracy - no matter how hard she tries to be otherwise. She is the sister of a Duke, frequently has tea with the Queen, and her mother is a famous stage actress infamous for her ability to rip through very rich men around the world, but Georgie is penniless and trying desperately to make her own way in the world. She's in love with a penniless son of the aristocracy and despite her willingness to throw her values to the wind, she just can't catch a break.
In Queen of Hearts, Georgie's mother declares that she has finally agreed to marry her current beau, bazillionaire German industrialist, Max. But first she must divorce her current husband, American bazillionaire oil magnate, Homer. But he's always refused a divorce, citing religious beliefs, so it's off to Reno to acquire a quickie divorce and she pulls Georgie along with her for company, introducing Georgie to her first Atlantic cruise, New York City, and ultimately Hollywood (via Reno). Along the way, a very clever jewel thief and eventually a dead body has Georgie scrambling for solutions while soaking up all that 1930's America has to offer.
This series and this book are a joy to read. The author writes wonderful characters and puts them in vivid, descriptive settings and sets them upon very well plotted, clever mysteries. At any given moment in this book the author had me absolutely convinced that character A, then character B, - no, no, character C MUST be the culprit. Georgie "investigates" without ever interrogating, making TSTL decisions or EVER thinking she is better than the authorities - even if she sometimes is.
I was initially reluctant to try this series - "Her Royal Spyness" just sounded too, too silly. I had visions of an empty aristocrat going on undercover missions. But Georgiana charmed me from the beginning with her sincere, practical, common sense outlook on the life she was given and her openness to the adventures and mysteries thrown in her path. And Darcy...ahhh Darcy.
#9 soon please, Ms. Bowen.