A royal wedding at risk, and ghosts in the palace?


Malice at the Palace - Rhys Bowen

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.  

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