This is the 9th book of 'A Royal Spyness Mystery' series.
Lady Georgiana Rannoch is thirty-fifth in line for the British throne unfortunately money doesn't come with the royalty or a place to live. Luckily the Queen "asked" Georgie to be a companion to Princess Marina of Greece who is to wed George, the King's youngest son and stay at the haunted Kensington Palace until the wedding.
Her duties are simple: help Marina acclimate to English life, show her the best of London and, above all, dispel any rumors about George’s past affairs with women & men. Nothing spoils a royal wedding more than murder, and the whole matter must be hushed. As always, Georgie is right in the middle of the investigation trying to find the answer to each clue.
This a fun mystery for the royal watcher in all of us!
Lady Georgiana has been asked by her cousin, the Queen, to move into Kensington Palace for a few months to be a companion to the future bride of the Queen's youngest, a deposed Grecian princess. George sowed his oats without discrimination before agreeing to marry, so half of Lady Georgiana's job is making sure the stories of his illicit affairs do not reach the ears of the bride to be. This task is made harder by Lady Georgiana's discovery the first night of the dead body of one of George's ex-lovers.
I love this series; I love Lady Georgiana and Darcy. Malice at the Palace was no exception, although I'll admit it dragged a bit until Darcy was back on the scene. Rhys Bowen knows how to weave a plot and send readers' imaginations off on wild goose chases (geese chase?). While the series is the very epitome of cozy, the author doesn't shy away from the less cozy issues of the time: homosexuality, drug use/abuse, out of wedlock pregnancy, extra-marital affairs - they're all woven into the fabric of the series, giving it gravitas without the gritty atmosphere.
The light dawned on the perpetrator somewhat early for me, but I enjoyed every word nonetheless. The ending was fanciful but hugely fun and the last page of the book, that last line of text, has me positively in suspense for the next one (please Ms. Bowen: don't let it be a red-herring!!!).
War and Peace - my review here
Demelza - I enjoyed this just as much as Poldark, the first book in the series which I reviewed here. Almost all the best lines of the BBC adaption, all those wonderful Lizzie Bennet-like comebacks, are taken from the books.
Malice at the Palace - my review here
The Feline Affair - my review here
Voices in the Ocean - my review here
That's Not English - my review here
Lafayette in the Somewhat United States - my review here
Hannah Arendt: A Life in Dark Times - my review here
Ivory Vikings - my review here
Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante: A Maggie Hope Mystery - Set during WWII, this is book 5 in the series and I loved it, but since I read it as a NetGalley ARC I'll post its review closer to the publication date. I will say that while not avoiding serious issues it's much less dark than book 3--Maggie's in the US this time and one of the characters meets Walt Disney!
It’s always a pleasure spending a few days with Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, one of Queen Victoria's many great-grandchildren and currently (that is in 1934) thirty-somethingth in line to the throne. Georgie is expected to act Royal, but she doesn’t exactly have the funds to pay for such a lifestyle, which in itself leads her into all sorts of scrapes and awkward situations, but she also seems to be a favorite of Queen Mary, who’s always giving her assignments--like checking out what that Mrs. Simpson woman is up to for instance--which involves Georgie in all kinds of investigations and adventures.
In this book Queen Mary has asked Georgie to act as a companion for Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, who’s the bride-to-be of the Queen’s youngest son Prince George. George is something of a wild child whose escapades include intemperate partying, possible drug use, and amorous exploits that make his brother, the future Edward VIII, look like a parent-pleasing Puritan, so the Queen wants to ensure that nothing untoward happens to disrupt the scheduled wedding. But the first night Georgie and Marina spend at Kensington Palace, Georgie spots a body in the courtyard. As it’s someone who’s rumored to be an ex-lover of Prince George the whole thing has to be kept hushed up as much as possible--the princess must not know!--so Georgie and her discreet investigative skills are again put to use.
After the last episode in Hollywood it was wonderful to have Georgie back in England, since in this series I prefer class to crass. Georgie’s charming Irish fiancé--the elusive penniless Lord Darcy--is in the midst of a police operation that brings him into the story too (hooray!), but there may be changes in their relationship. Georgie’s savvy best friend Brenda has troubles of her own this time, Georgie’s Cockney, non-royal, ex-police officer grandfather is on hand to give advice, and Georgie’s incompetent but loyal maid Queenie is seeing ghosts. . .
There’s some interesting history in the story this time, and an author’s note at the back of the book fills in more of the real life details. Georgie’s part of the story ends with an exciting cliffhanger--I can’t wait to see what she gets into next.