On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service (Royal Spyness Series #11)

On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service (Royal Spyness Series #11)

by Rhys Bowen

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Overview

Lady Georgiana Rannoch juggles secret missions from the Queen, her beau, and her mother in this mystery in the Royal Spyness series.

When royal sleuth Georgie Rannoch receives a letter from her dearest friend Belinda, who's in an Italian villa awaiting the birth of her illegitimate baby, she yearns to run to her side. If only she could find a way to get there! But then opportunity presents itself in a most unexpected way—her cousin the queen asks her to attend a house party in the Italian Lake Country. The Prince of Wales and the dreadful Mrs. Simpson have been invited, and Her Majesty is anxious to thwart a possible secret wedding.

What luck! A chance to see Belinda, even if it is under the guise of stopping unwanted nuptials. Only that's as far as Georgie's fortune takes her. She soon discovers that she attended finishing school with the hostess of the party—and the hatred they had for each other then has barely dimmed. Plus, she needs to hide Belinda's delicate condition from the other guests. And her dashing beau, Darcy's (naturally) working undercover on a dangerous mission. Then her actress mother shows up, with a not-so-little task to perform. With all this subterfuge, it seems something is bound to go horribly wrong—and Georgie will no doubt be left to pick up the pieces when it does.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425283516
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/26/2018
Series: Royal Spyness Series , #11
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 77,627
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Rhys Bowen, a New York Times bestselling author, has been nominated for every major award in mystery writing, including the Edgar®, and has won many, including both the Agatha and Anthony awards. She is the author of the Royal Spyness Mysteries, set in 1930s London, the Molly Murphy Mysteries, set in turn-of-the-century New York, and the Constable Evans Mysteries, set in Wales. She was born in England and now divides her time between Northern California and Arizona.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Monday, April 8, 1935

Kilhenny Castle, Ireland

Darcy has gone. Not sure what to do next.

I should have known it was too good to last.

I had spent the last two months at Kilhenny Castle, Darcy's ancestral home. I had experienced the merriest Christmas I had ever known, with Darcy, his eccentric family and the Polish princess Zou Zou Zamanska. We had fought hard to prove Lord Kilhenny's innocence when he was wrongly accused of a crime and had managed to gain back his castle. The next month was spent making it habitable again. It had been a wonderful, almost miraculous time to be close to the man I loved, to actually be planning our wedding in the summer. Darcy had also been helping his father to restore the racing stable, now owned by the princess, to its former glory and they had succeeded in winning the gold cup at the Punchestown races.

But all good things must come to an end. Darcy had never been the sort to stay in one place for long. Neither had the princess. She had flitted between Ireland and London in her little aeroplane as casually as if she was going down to the corner shop for a loaf of bread. Then one day in March she announced that she was leaving to enter a round-the-world air race. Darcy's father, usually never one to let his feelings show, had stomped around miserably for days after she had gone. They were clearly fond of each other, but as far as I knew he hadn't declared his love for her. Perhaps his stupid pride made him think that he didn't have enough to offer her, either in rank or in fortune. Not that she would have cared. Zou Zou, as she liked her friends to call her, was one of the most open and generous people I have ever met. And I think she had definitely fallen for the roguish Lord Kilhenny. Who wouldn't? He had the same rugged good looks and wicked twinkle in his eye as his son!

Then shortly after Zou Zou flew off in her tiny plane, Darcy came to me and said he'd have to leave for a while. He had an assignment that he couldn't refuse. Even though we were engaged to be married he had never revealed to me for whom he was actually working, although he had dropped hints that it was the British secret service.

"How long will you be gone, do you think?" I asked, trying to look light and cheerful.

"I have no idea," he said.

"And I suppose you can't tell me where you'll be going or what you'll be doing?"

He grinned then. "You know I can't. And actually I don't know myself yet."

I stood there, looking at him, thinking how incredibly handsome he was with those wild dark curls and alarming blue eyes. I took his hands. "Darcy, will it be like this when we're married?" I asked and heard a little catch in my voice. "Will you always be going off somewhere and leaving me at home to worry about you?"

"You don't need to worry about me," he said. "I'm a big boy. I can take good care of myself. But as to what I do when we're married, we'll just have to play it by ear. Maybe we'll move back here to the castle and raise our children the way I was raised. But I want to make enough money to provide for you. You know that."

"Yes, I know," I said, fighting back an embarrassing tear, "but I'll miss you."

"I'll miss you too, you silly old thing." He stroked back a curl from my cheek. "I'll be in London first," he added. "I'll make an appointment to see the king's private secretary and see how things are progressing."

He was talking about our wedding, of course. In case you don't know, I am the daughter of the Duke of Rannoch, great-granddaughter to Queen Victoria and second cousin to the king. As such I am part of the line of succession-currently thirty-fifth in line to the throne. And members of the royal family are not allowed by law to marry Catholics. Darcy was a Catholic so the only way to be allowed to marry him was to renounce my claim to the throne. This was all rather silly as there was little likelihood that I'd find myself crowned Queen of England (not unless there was a plague or flood of biblical proportions). But the whole thing had to be done properly. Darcy had presented a petition on my behalf. Then it had to be approved by Parliament. The petition had been presented, but we had heard nothing. So the wedding date was in limbo and it was most unsettling. I rather wished we had managed to reach Gretna Green, as Darcy had once tried to do, and been married in secret.

But left alone in the Irish countryside, now doubts crept into my mind. What if Parliament refused to let me renounce my claim? Could we defy them and marry? We'd have to leave England and live abroad if necessary because I was going to marry Darcy. Nothing was going to stop me. But it was an unsettling time, suddenly finding myself alone at Kilhenny Castle with Darcy's father. He had never been the most genial of men. Now he was clearly worried about Zou Zou so he went around with a scowl on his face and became annoyed by the smallest of things-much the way he had been when I first arrived there in December.

I, in turn, was worried about Darcy, about the future of our marriage and to what dangerous part of the globe he might be sent. More than anything I wondered what I should be doing next. I sensed that Lord Kilhenny welcomed my company and would sink into deeper gloom if I left. And yet I felt lonely, unsettled and out of place in Ireland. I enjoyed visits to Darcy's eccentric great-aunt and great-uncle, who lived in a rambling old house nearby, as well as walks through the countryside, where roadside hedges were now blooming with spring flowers and the air smelled of spring. But I wanted to be gone.

My thoughts often turned to my friend Belinda who had fled to Italy to have a baby that no one should know about. Was she feeling equally lonely? She had suggested when I last saw her that I come and stay with her in Italy, but I had heard nothing since and had no address in Italy to write to. I hoped she was all right. I also worried about my grandfather in London. I had written to him several times, but had heard nothing in return since Christmas, when I had received a rather lurid card and a box of Quality Street chocolates. I knew he wasn't much of a writer, but I was concerned about his health. He had a weak chest and the London fogs were often brutal in winter. I would have gone to London to visit him, but I had nowhere to stay. My brother, the current duke, owned our family home, Rannoch House on Belgrave Square, but he and my dreaded sister-in-law, Fig, had gone to the south of France for the winter and Fig had made it clear to me that I was not to use their house while they were gone.

Zou Zou had also said that I was always welcome to stay with her when I was in London, but she was on a round-the-world race, which might take months. So I stayed on in Ireland, rushing to the post every morning in the hope of news from somebody. And then one morning I went out for an early walk. It was a perfect spring day. Daffodils were blooming all over the castle grounds. Birds were singing madly in the trees, which now sported new buds. The air smelled fresh and fragrant. It was the sort of day to go for a long ride, but the only horses at Kilhenny these days were at the racing stable and I didn't think Darcy's father would trust me with one of his prized mounts.

I was halfway down the path to the front gate when I met the postman, coming toward me on his bicycle.

"Top of the morning, my lady," he said, coming to a halt beside me. "'Tis a grand day, is it not? And a letter for yourself from London, no less."

He handed it to me. A fat envelope. I looked for Darcy's black, impatient scrawl, but instead I saw my brother's handwriting. So they were home in England again.

"I see there's a crest on the back of that envelope," the postman said, eyeing it curiously. "So it's from some lord or lady, is it? I expect it's important, then."

He was hovering, waiting for me to open it. Although I was dying to know why my brother might be writing to me after such a long silence, I certainly wasn't going to open it with the postman peering over my shoulder, ready to spread the news to the rest of the village.

"Thank you very much," I said. "I'd better go indoors and read it, hadn't I?"

I saw him watching me with disappointment as I went back up the path to the castle. Once inside I went into the dining room and poured myself a cup of coffee. There was no sign of Darcy's father. He went to the stables at the crack of dawn most mornings and I had become used to eating breakfast alone. I had just sat down when the housekeeper, Mrs. McCarthy, came into the room bringing a dish of smoked haddock.

She started when she saw me. "Oh, your ladyship, I didn't know you were already up, and me with no breakfast ready for you."

"Please don't worry, Mrs. McCarthy," I said. "I was going out for a walk and then I met the postman and he had a letter for me, so I wanted to come inside and read it right away."

"Oh, how lovely. A letter for you." She beamed with pleasure. "It's not from Mr. Darcy himself, is it?"

"Unfortunately, no," I said.

"My, but that's a grand crest on the envelope," she said, hovering behind me with the dish of haddock still in her hands.

"It's from my brother, the Duke of Rannoch," I said.

"Oh, your brother. Well, isn't that grand." She showed no sign of moving away. I was beginning to think that curiosity was a local trait. "No doubt he's got some news for you. That looks like it could be a long letter."

"Well, he's just come back from the south of France," I said. "I expect he's giving me a full report on his time there."

"Oh, the Riviera. Now, isn't that grand? I expect they had a lovely time there. All those yachts and things."

It was quite clear she didn't plan to move.

"Don't you think you should put the dish of haddock onto the warming tray or it will get cold?" I said.

She chuckled. "Would you look at me. I'd quite forgotten I'd got the thing in my hands."

As she headed for the sideboard with the various breakfast dishes on it I opened the envelope. Two more letters fell out as well as one page of writing paper with the Rannoch crest on it. I read that first.

My dear Georgiana,

I hope this finds you in good health. We were not sure where to send the enclosed, but I'm mailing them to O'Mara's address in Ireland in the hope that you might still be there. We did read in the English newspapers about the amazing turn of events concerning Lord Kilhenny and I must say I am very glad for you that he was cleared of any wrongdoing.

We arrived back from Nice to find the enclosed letters waiting on the hall table. It appears they had been posted some time ago, but the house had been shut up with no servants until we returned home. I see one of the letters comes from Buckingham Palace. I do hope it was nothing urgent. I took the liberty of dropping a line to Their Majesties' private secretary to say we had all been out of the country and I was forwarding the letter to you.

We all had a splendid time at Foggy and Ducky's villa-well, not exactly splendid. It was a trifle crowded. The term "villa" is actually somewhat of an overstatement. It's an ordinary small house on a backstreet in Nice, but is within walking distance of the sea. The water was too cold for bathing, but we took some nice walks. Podge was disgusted that the beach was not sandy, but he's a good little chap and amused himself well.

We'll be in London for a couple of weeks before we head back to Scotland and look forward to hearing from you.

Your affectionate brother,

Binky

I looked up. Mrs. McCarthy had now deposited the haddock on its warming tray and had returned to hover behind me.

"All is well, I trust, your ladyship?" she asked.

I folded the letter. "Thank you, Mrs. McCarthy. All is indeed well. And I think I'll leave the other letters until I've enjoyed your delicious smoked haddock."

I think I heard her sigh as she admitted defeat and went back to the kitchen.

When I had finished my breakfast I retreated to my bedroom and opened the other letters. The royal one first, naturally. It was from the queen, not dictated to a secretary but written with her own hand.

My dear Georgiana,

I trust you are well. I understand from the king's secretary that your young man has indicated that you wish to marry him and, given his Catholic faith, have expressed yourself willing to abandon your place in the line of succession.

This is indeed a big step, Georgiana, and one not to be undertaken without a great deal of thought. I would expect to hear from your lips that this is indeed your intention and that you are quite sure of the ramifications. To that end I hope you will come to the palace and we can discuss your situation over tea. Please let my secretary know when might be a convenient date for you.

His Majesty sends you his warmest wishes, as do I,

Mary R.

(You'll notice that even in an informal letter to a cousin she was still Mary Regina. One never stops being a queen.)

I stared at the letter for a long time while my stomach twisted itself into knots. Did this mean that they might not approve the marriage, nor give me permission to abandon my claim to the throne? It all seemed so silly. They had four healthy sons and already two granddaughters, with the promise of many more grandchildren to come. I should go to London immediately and sort things out with her. Let her know that I intended to marry Darcy no matter what. I felt my stomach give an extra little twist when that thought popped into my mind. Queen Mary was a rather terrifying person. I had never crossed her in my life before. I don't believe many people have dared to do so. The only exception being her son and heir, the Prince of Wales. She had let him know quite clearly that she did not approve of his friendship with the American woman Mrs. Simpson. Not only was that lady currently married to someone else, but she had already been divorced once. The Church of England, of which the king is the head, does not countenance divorce. I don't think the queen ever believed that her son would contemplate marriage to such a person. She trusted that he would do the right thing when the time came and make a suitable match, like his younger brother George, whose wedding to the Greek princess Marina I had just attended.

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On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rhys bowen brings all the humor and amateur sleuthing I love in this series. Georgie finds herself surrounded by Nazis, Mrs . Simpson , a day an imperious lady's maid. She must solve t. Dhe murder before her friend Belinda goes into labor . Definitely one of Bowens best.
Delphimo 6 months ago
On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service does not do justice to the series. First, we have the Queen using Georgie as a spy on the life of David, Prince of Wales, and Wallis Simpson. And second is the pregnancy of Belinda. Emotion should run rampant, but all emotion hides under English manners. Another big problem is Hitler and what will happen. Georgie has gone to Italy to see Belinda and to attend a special meeting where the Prince of Wales will be in attendance. Georgie’s mother and her current man, Max, are also at this meeting. As usual, a guest is murdered and of course, Georgie’s mother is the number one suspect. Me, I do not like Claire, Georgie’s mother. What a whimsical and self-centered woman. Georgie needs to learn to diffuse her mother. The series strikes home on the attitudes of the elite society. Finally, the deed is done. In order to know the deed, one must read the whole book
Anonymous 8 months ago
Cute story, endearing characters, somewhat predictable plot without being totally obvious half-way through. Definitely one of my favorite "cozy mystery" series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of the titles in the series. No doubt about it, this one was My favotite.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would so watch this if it became a show on TV! I love this series! Can’t wait to read the latest book!
chefdt More than 1 year ago
On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service is the eleventh book in the A Royal Spyness Mystery series. I love this lighthearted series set in 1930’s England and a wonderful cast of characters. Lady Georgianna Rannoch, or Georgie as most of her friends are prone to call her, has no pretensions with her title is a salt of the earth young lady. Darcy O’Mara has had his share of girlfriends but has decided that there is no one else but Georgianna. But there are two hurdles facing them, one Lady Georgianna is 35th in line to be Queen and Darcy is Catholic. But Georgianna is realistic and knows that the chances of becoming Queen are slim and none and probably closer to none. Figs Rannoch is back to be a thorn in Georgie’s side. The one character that I did miss is Queenie, Georgianna’s personal maid. Queenie is now working in the kitchen at Darcy’s Uncle Dooley. Fortunately, she hasn’t destroyed anything lately and wishes to stay where she is. Georgie has received a letter from her friend Belinda saying she is in Italy and will be, soon, going to a clinic to have her baby and asks Georgie to come and be with her for the birth. First, Georgie needs to visit her cousin, the Queen, to inform her that she wants to give up her slot in succession. She’s willing to do this for Georgie, but like Georgie to visit an Italian villa where a former schoolmate, Camilla, and now married to an Italian Count. It seems that Wallis Simpson and the Prince of Wales will also be visiting the villa. The Queen wants Georgie to make sure that the Prince and Simpson don’t sneak off and get married. Also attending the party at the villa are high-ranking officials representing Italy and Germany. Also, Darcy is undercover disguised as a gardener. The party turns deadly when Count Rudolf von Rosskopf is killed. Darcy soon advises that something that may come out from this party might affect world peace. So in addition to finding clues in on who killed the Count, but also has to keep her ears open for any clues on what country might want to go to war. As always, Rhys Bowen provides the reader with a well-plotted and told story with very enjoyable characters. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this very enjoyable series to see what Georgie and Darcy are up to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
Lady Georgianna Rannoch can find herself in the middle of a mess in the simplest of situations. But in this latest installment in this long-running series (this volume makes an even dozen), she finds herself in the middle of pre-World War II intrigue, two murders, several potential scandals, and an unassisted childbirth. And all because she visited Queen Mary in an effort to obtain permission to marry her long-time lover, Darcy O’Mara. While with the Queen, Georgie lets it be known that she planned to go to Italy to visit and take care of a sick friend (Belinda is about to have a baby). The Queen then asks Georgie to attend a house party nearby which her son, the Prince of Wales (and future Duke of Windsor) planned to attend with his lady friend, Wallace Simpson, to determine whether they have married or are about to tie the knot. Further complicating Georgie’s life, her mother also is present, but with a problem. It seems revealing photos of a past indiscretion are on the premises with the presence of the person with whom she committed the act, who is blackmailing her, and Georgie is asked to locate the incriminating pictures before her present fiancé, Max, sees them. And on and on . . . So, among the dilemmas to be solved: Will Georgie be granted permission to resign her 35th place in the line of succession so she can marry Darcy, a Catholic; will she find the photos; are the Prince and Simpson married; and who is the murderer, among other questions. All the Royal Spyness mysteries are a fun read and delightfully written, and this story is no different. Given the plot, it is certain that another volume will be forthcoming. Since this one took place in 1935, I wonder whether the series will continue to reflect the events that led up to the war, and the conflict itself. Recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Only wish she could write faster. Just kidding. Love the characters and descriptions of the England just before WWll. Love to hate Fig, but would miss her. This was a great time in history to build the stories around.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As usual for Rhys Bowen, she spins a fascinating tale that could have taken place during the build-up to WW2. The characters are truly convincing and the intrigue is believable. I can't wait to see what is next for Lady Georgianna Rannoch and her beau!
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
I have only recently discovered Rhys Bowen. I knew of her as an author, but I had not read any of her books. This was my second book by her, but the first in this series. I loved the whole conceptual idea of this series. Fictional characters placed and set in real life events with real life people. A great cozy mystery set in the early set during the Hitler/Mussolini pre-war era with a little romance, scandal and lots of royalty. As I said this was my first book in this series and I am so sad that I haven't been following it all along. Guess I have some additional reading to do! Look out tumbling TBR pile! Thanks to Berkley Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will look forward to reading more in this series...loved the main characters and found the plot well developed and enfagibg.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kilkenny Castle, Ireland - 1935 Georgiana Rannoch and Darcy O’Mara have spent Christmas at his ancestral home and are busy planning their wedding in the summer. Now, Darcy is off on assignment with his work for the Crown. Georgiana Rannoch is the daughter of the Duke of Rannoch and 35th in line to the throne. But she is not a wealthy young woman and has always had to rely on the generosity of family to sustain her. As Darcy is Catholic, Georgiana must renounce her right to the throne when she marries him. Now, she has been summoned to London to meet with Queen Mary to discuss this. At their meeting, the Queen assigns her a little duty. Georgiana’s good friend, Belinda, is in Italy and begs her to come visit. As Belinda’s request and the Queen’s request are in the same area of Italy, she decides to travel there. The Queen has asked Georgiana to attend a house party at the home of her old school friend. The other guests include some German men, the Prince of Wales and Mrs. Wallis Simpson, Georgiana’s mother and her German finance. The Queen has specifically asked her to keep an eye on her cousin the Prince and Wallis. While at the party, a murder occurs which puts all of them under suspicion until the local police can investigate it. Georgiana is also worried about her friend, Belinda, because she is in seclusion because she is unmarried and awaiting the birth of a baby. As always, Georgiana gets involved in the mystery and ends up putting herself in great danger. But never fear, she manages to be rescued just in time. This is another of Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness Mysteries that I always enjoy. I highly recommend all of them. In this particular book, I especially enjoyed the humor created by the local Assistant Police Chief Stratiacelli whose actions reminded me of the famous Inspector Clouseau.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Royal Favor in Italy I always look forward to my yearly visit with Lady Georgiana, a minor royal in 1930’s England. She seems to find herself in a new location for each book, and the opportunity to travel a historical Europe is wonderful. Plus, the books are just so much fun! On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service is no exception. This book takes place in spring of 1935. After several delightful months with Darcy, her fiancé, at his family’s castle in Ireland, he’s set out on another mission. Georgie finds herself growing restless, so when she gets two letters, she’s thrilled. The first is from the Queen, asking for a meeting about the roadblock to Georgie and Darcy’s wedding – he’s Catholic, so Georgie would have to renounce her claim to the throne. Since she is currently thirty-fifth in line, she is very willing to give it up to marry Darcy. The second is from Georgie’s unmarried friend Belinda, who is hiding out in Italy so she can have a baby in secret. Georgie decides to visit Belinda to keep her company after her meeting with the Queen. When Queen Mary finds out about Georgie’s travel plans, she’s delighted. It seems that the Prince of Wales and his friend Mrs. Simpson are going to be attending a house party in that area of Italy, and she wants Georgie to go find out if the two have married in secret. The house party is being thrown by someone Georgie went to school with, but didn’t really get along with. Still, how does one say no to Her Majesty? After a quick visit with Belinda, Georgie arrives at the party only to find a strange assortment of guests, including her mother, who has a mission of her own for Georgie. Can Georgie pull off what seems to be impossible? As usual, this book gives us time to get updates on many of the people in Georgie’s life as she is traveling from one location to another. I love these characters so much that I enjoy the updates. There’s one development in this book that I’ve seen coming for a while now, but I’m very curious to see how it will play out in future books. This part might not be as interesting if you are starting the series here, but if you’ve been reading these books since the beginning like I have, you won’t mind in the least. Once Georgie arrives at her destination, we are quickly drawn into a story that has multiple threads. I love how author Rhys Bowen gives us a glimpse of the politics of the time in a way that fits into the story. While the coming events of history are starting to creep into the book, they don’t overshadow the overall tone of the book. There is still some humor and a mystery to keep us entertained. The mystery may start a little late, but when it does, it is strong. I had a piece or two of it figured out, but there were quite a few pieces I had missed until Georgie put it all together. All of these experiences are causing Georgie to really grow. I love some of her early scenes in the book for that very reason. Some of the other series regulars are continuing to develop as well, and the new characters we meet here are quite intriguing as suspects. Fans of this series will enjoy Georgie’s latest adventure. And if you have yet to start the Royal Spyness series, you need to start these wonderful trips back in time today. You’ll be enjoying On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service before you know it. NOTE: I received a copy of this book.
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
A royal entry into the Royal Spyness Mysteries! Author Rhys Bowen continues to overwhelm me with her knowledge of not only the 1930’s, but the royalty and aristocracy of the time. It’s as though she has traveled there and witnessed these things herself. Lady Georgiana Rannoch, is thirty-fifth in line for the British crown. However, Georgiana is more interested in withdrawing from the line of succession so she can wed her love, Darcy O’Mara. I can’t say I blame her one bit! However, in, ON HER MAJESTY’S FRIGHTFULLY SECRET SERVICE, thoughts of marriage have to go on hold when Darcy is off on another secret mission, and Georgie has been asked by her cousin the queen to go to Italy and do some spying for her. And so begins another delightful rump with our unique heroine. This book was simply astounding. On the same level with any Agatha Christie novel (Honestly, I think it’s better), ON HER MAJESTY’S FRIGHTFULLY SECRET SERVICE was an adventurous ride full of mystery and excitement. From one chapter to the next I didn’t know what to expect. Truly an all-round brilliant read that I didn’t want to end. I would love to see the Royal Spyness mysteries made into movies, but they would have to stay 100% true to the way author Bowen has written them.
Jani8 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the latest romp with Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 35th in line for the British Crown. She needs the permission of the Queen to marry her fiancé, the gorgeous Darcy O’Mara. He is Catholic and that is a no-no for a person in line for the throne. Queen Mary will probably be fine with that and sends her on a mission to discover if the Prince of Wales isn’t planning a secret wedding to “that American woman” at a house party in Italy. Georgie is fine with that because she was already going to the same location to be with her friend, Belinda. What ensues is a hilarious chain of events. I really like this series. The people are engaging and the plot was intricate. I highly recommend the book.
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
Rhys Bowen in a marvelous writer. This series has a light touch, filled with humor, but grounded in solid history. This particular story seems a bit darker than the previous ones. This is not a bad thing, mind you. The story line is engaging. The characters, both old and new, are an interesting mix and well developed. I flew through the book, eager to see what would come next.
CherryPie0420 More than 1 year ago
On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service is hands down my favorite read so far this summer. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect when I first sat down to read it but after the first few pages I was hooked. Georgiana Rannoch is ready to be married to the love of her life but there is one little snafu. Georgie is thirty-fifth in line to the British throne and the only way she can marry her love is to renounce her claim to the throne. The Queen has one little mission for Georgie before she can continue with her wedding plans, and before long she is at a house party in a beautiful villa in Italy. Georgie is supposed to be keeping an eye on her cousin Prince David and his lady friend Wallis Simpson but soon everyone's attention goes to solving a murder that has happened inside the house. As the story unfolds everyone becomes a suspect and every time you think you know who could be the murderer there is another twist in the story. There are parts of the story that are a little predictable but all in all it was such a fun read. If you've never read any of the other Royal Spyness books, like myself, that is not a problem. The author did a wonderful job of filling in the gaps so I never once felt lost. This is the first book that I've read by Rhys Bowen and I can honestly say that I am in love with both the author's writing style as well as her attention to detail. The imagery is amazing and even though On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service is set in the 1930's, and in Europe, you can see the characters, the villa, and the beautiful Italian countryside. I would highly recommend On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service to anyone who likes a good mystery. You fall in love with the characters and genuinely want to know what's going to happen to them. I plan on reading the other books in the Royal Spyness series and cannot wait to see where the next book takes Georgie Rannoch. *I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Darcy and Georgie put England over romance again and help save the Empire. A good entry in a good series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I feel your thinly veiled attempt at comparing the current president to Hitler on page 123 has ruined this series for me, shame on you for ruining your wonderful series this way