The first book in the series, Her Royal Spyness seemed to play clear homage to Dorothy Sayer’s Peter Wimsey series of mysteries. So I thought about reading the next Peter Wimsey book before reading this second book. But I changed my mind, because I needed another audiobook. I have listened to both of these books on audio and I think the excellent narrator (Katherine Kellgren) has really made these books shine.
As I have said before, I listen to audiobooks while I am processing data for my work or doing housework or caring for my daughter. Audiobooks keep me entertained while working and make the time pass quickly. But a good narrator really makes or breaks the audiobook.
In this case, Katherine Kellgren has done a great job with the light humor that sets this these two books (and presumably the whole series) apart from a lot of other cozy mysteries.
This second books feels less like Dorothy Sayers. Georgie, the 34th in line for the throne, has established herself in London. She is living out from under the influence of her brother and his wife, but also without any financial support. So in spite of her title and position, she is broke. In the last book she started a house cleaning service to make money while trying to discover her place in London society (she grew up in a Scottish Castle) and keep her work a secret from the Queen.
But Georgie has caught the eye of the Queen for another reason. After Georgie solved a murder and got her brother released from jail, the Queen is interested in Georgie’s other uses and so asks Georgie to host an 18 year old Bavarian Princess and introduce her to London Society. (Of course, Georgie is broke and can’t afford to do that, but you don’t say no to the Queen.)
Eventually dead bodies start piling up and there is a concern that someone may be trying to kill the princess or maybe blame the princess for a murder in order to create international hostility.
In this book, Georgie is much more clearly using detective skills and reasoning and putting clues together than in the last book (which was presented as more accidental discovery.) But the series resists the Sherlock Holmes style random small clues and instead is more of a modern detective novel with interviews, clues and more police-style beat work. (Georgie’s grandfather is a retired beat cop that she turns to a lot in this book.)
The series continues to be quite enjoyable and I will keep reading, probably picking up the next one on kindle as a change of pace.