The Proof of the Pudding by Rhys Bowen (Royal Spyness Mystery #17)

The Proof of the Pudding by Rhys Bowen cover imageSummary: A very pregnant Georgie hosts her first dinner party with her new chef and that leads to a new mystery. 

I enjoy reading long series as long as I do not get too bored with the characters. The Royal Spyness series is in the 17th book, similar to the Inspector Gamache series. They are very different types of mysteries. The Royal Spyness series is very much a light cozy mystery series. There is almost always a murder, but Bowen leans into cozy feel of the series. The series took a long time to get from Georgie having a romantic interest to marriage and now her first baby. I am enjoying a more confident Georgie.

Rhys Bowen has referenced classic mysteries before, there are several references to Dorothy Sayers books. And this one both references Agatha Christie’s books and has Agatha Christie as a dinner party guest who helps to solve the mystery. That could feel gimmicky, but it is handled well here, and I thought it helped move Georgie to a more healthy, maturing adult. She is not in her early 20s anymore. She is married and will have a baby by the end of this book (that is really not a spoiler).

I appriciate that Darcy (her husband who works as an off the books spy for the British Foreign Office) does not try to protect her and keep her away from murder here, but instead encourages her to solve the crime. There is a balance between realism of a woman in the 1930s and the reality of a modern reader who expects women to be able to act without supervision at all times.

This is definately a light series. I am not reading it for great intellectual depth. But it is a good light book that I enjoy. I mostly am listening to the series and I enjoy the narration. I think the narration highlights that there is a lot of repetition in the book. The books could be cut a bit without any loss. The books are told as if she were writing in a diary, and that method doesn’t always work. “I don’t really have time to write, I am having a baby” or “Still June 20th….” isn’t really necessary and it feels like it fluffs up the book more than necessary. But on the whole I enjoy the series and I think that the post wedding books have found a new equilibrium that I am enjoying.

The Proof of the Pudding by Rhys Bowen (Royal Spyness Mystery #17) Purchase Links: Paperback, Kindle Edition, Audiobook

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