The series premise is that Georgie, now 35th in line to the throne, is too poor to really survive on her own without working. But it too royal to take a real job. So she pieces together things here and there, often staying with friends or family.
The ‘Royal Spyness’ from the series name has mostly been an accidental detective. Georgie is somewhere and someone is murdered and she figures out who it is. And while there has been several books with explicit directions from the Queen, it has not been spy or detective work as much as problem solving.
On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service is one of the clearest attempts to actually carry through with the premise. The Queen sends out Georgie to check up on the Crown Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson. The Queen is afraid that they are going to quietly get married.
Because this is a historical fiction cozy mystery, there really is some history that these are loosely based on. Prince Edward was having an affair with Mrs Simpson. There was concern about his getting married to her (she was twice divorced and could not legally get married to him if he was going to be King.)
At the end of the last book, it appeared that Georgie and Darcy are going to get married, if the marriage can be approved by the King and Parliament (because Darcy is Catholic, Georgie has to officially remove herself from the line of succession to marry Darcy.)
One of my common complaints about series fiction is that the broader story of the series often does not move much during each individual book. This is the 11th book and Georgie and Darcy have had a romance going on since the beginning. It has been slow, but I do think the series is making progress, not just in the relationship, but historically.
This book has the looming, but not yet declared World War II as a real background. Hitler and Mussolini are not in the books as characters, but their presence in the world is frequently commented on and German military and the Nazi party is a significant part of the thread mystery of this book.
The mystery was not very mysterious. I am not particularly good at solving mysteries early, but even I knew pretty early on who the killer was. I enjoy the series because I have enjoyed the characters and the humor. The series has dragged the last several books. But On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service is better than the last several. Although there was not much in the book that was Frightful.