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Rhys Bowen

Author of Her Royal Spyness

178+ Works 23,538 Members 1,166 Reviews 34 Favorited

About the Author

Rhys Bowen was born Janet Quin-Harkin in 1941 in Bath, England. She earned her bachelors degree from the University of London. Soon after graduation she worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation as a studio manager and writer. She then took a job working for a textbook company developing show more reading texts before writing her own books. Her first picture book - Peter Penny's Dance - was published in 1976 and changed her career to children's book author. The book earned praise and won numerous awards. In 1981 she wrote a teen novel entitled California Girl which became the first installment in Bantam's Sweet Dreams series. This series grew to include novels such as Love Match, Daydreamer, and Ten-Boy Summer. These Sweet Dreams books started a major trend in young adult publishing. they were praised as an encouragement to reading. Janet Quin-Harkin also authored non-series fiction for adolescents such as award winning novel Wanted: Date for Saturday Night and Summer Heat. She also wrote the young adult historical novels Madam Sarah and Fool's Gold. She then moved on to writng mystery novels whcih included her Constable Evans series. Her book Royal Blood made the New York Times Bestseller list. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Disambiguation Notice:

Janet Quin-Harkin writes books for teens. She uses the pen name Rhys Bowen for her mystery novels for adults.

Image credit: Taken by Lesa Holstine, 2/10/08, Glendale, AZ


Works by Rhys Bowen

Her Royal Spyness (2007) 1,928 copies
A Royal Pain (2008) 1,061 copies
Murphy's Law (2001) 968 copies
In Farleigh Field (2017) 831 copies
Royal Flush (2009) 820 copies
Royal Blood (2010) 797 copies
Naughty in Nice (2011) 686 copies
The Tuscan Child (2018) 674 copies
Death of Riley (2002) 587 copies
Heirs and Graces (2013) 566 copies
For the Love of Mike (2003) 543 copies
Evans Above (1997) 540 copies
Queen of Hearts (2014) 457 copies
The Victory Garden (2019) 446 copies
Tell Me, Pretty Maiden (2008) 424 copies
Malice at the Palace (2015) 423 copies
Crowned and Dangerous (2016) 422 copies
In Like Flynn (2004) 421 copies
Oh Danny Boy (2006) 416 copies
In a Gilded Cage (2009) 393 copies
In Dublin's Fair City (2007) 389 copies
The Last Illusion (2010) 354 copies
The Venice Sketchbook (2021) 338 copies
Evan Help Us (1998) 334 copies
Evan and Elle (2000) 331 copies
Evanly Choirs (1999) 297 copies
Evan's Gate (2004) 278 copies
Evan Blessed (2005) 276 copies
Evan Can Wait (2001) 270 copies
Bless the Bride (2011) 265 copies
Evanly Bodies (2006) 260 copies
The Last Mrs. Summers (2020) 259 copies
Above the Bay of Angels (2020) 252 copies
Evans to Betsy (2002) 240 copies
The Amersham Rubies (2011) 238 copies
Masked Ball at Broxley Manor (2012) 237 copies
Hush Now, Don't You Cry (2012) 233 copies
Evan Only Knows (2003) 223 copies
God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen (2021) 223 copies
The Family Way (2012) 201 copies
City of Darkness and Light (2014) 200 copies
The Edge of Dreams (2015) 172 copies
Where the Sky Begins (2022) 170 copies
Time of Fog and Fire (2016) 166 copies
Peril in Paris (2022) 154 copies
The Ghost of Christmas Past (2017) 154 copies
Away in a Manger (2015) 153 copies
Magic Growing Powder (1980) 98 copies
Wild Irish Rose (2022) 87 copies
The Proof of the Pudding (2023) 85 copies
What Child is This (2018) 82 copies
The Paris Assignment (2023) 69 copies
A Royal Threesome (2014) 55 copies
The Face in the Mirror (2013) 54 copies
All That Is Hidden (2023) 53 copies
Through the Window (2014) 46 copies
Benjamin's Balloon (1978) 36 copies
The Boy Next Door (1995) 33 copies
California Girl (1981) 31 copies
Ten-Boy Summer (1982) 30 copies
The Two of Us (1984) 27 copies
Love Match (1982) 24 copies
Peter Penny's Dance (1976) 23 copies
Daydreamer (1983) 23 copies
Who Do You Love? (1996) 21 copies
Dreamwalker (2014) 20 copies
Ginger's First Kiss (1994) 20 copies
Roni's Dream Boy (1994) 20 copies
No Experience Required (1989) 19 copies
101 Ways to Meet Mr. Right (1985) 19 copies
Lovebirds (1984) 18 copies
Exchange of Hearts (1984) 17 copies
Flamingo Revenge (1997) 16 copies
Catch of the Day (1989) 15 copies
Ghost of a Chance (1984) 15 copies
Roni's Two-Boy Trouble (1994) 14 copies
Fun, Sun, and Flamingoes (1997) 14 copies
Karen's Perfect Match (1994) 14 copies
Write Every Day (1986) 13 copies
Queen Justine (1994) 12 copies
Just Desserts (1990) 11 copies
Ginger's New Crush (1994) 11 copies
The Boyfriend Wars (1995) 11 copies
Best Friends Forever (1986) 11 copies
Old Friends, New Friends (1986) 11 copies
My Best Enemy (1987) 11 copies
No More Boys (1995) 11 copies
The Main Attraction (1989) 11 copies
The Trouble with Toni (1986) 10 copies
Nothing in Common (1987) 10 copies
The Graduates (1986) 10 copies
The Great Boy Chase (1985) 10 copies
Growing Pains (1986) 10 copies
Love to Go (1990) 10 copies
At Your Service (1990) 9 copies
Roni's Sweet Fifteen (1995) 9 copies
My Secret Love (1986) 9 copies
Never Say Goodbye (1987) 7 copies
Follow That Boy (1985) 7 copies
My Phantom Love (1992) 6 copies
In Sunshine or in Shadow (2024) 6 copies
Helpful Hattie (1983) 6 copies
Trade Winds (1993) 5 copies
Sleepover Madness (1995) 5 copies
Dear Cousin (1987) 5 copies
Torn Apart (1999) 5 copies
Cool in School (1996) 5 copies
Trading Places (1987) 5 copies
Two Girls, One Boy (1987) 4 copies
Madame Sarah (1989) 4 copies
Love Potion (1999) 4 copies
Flip Side (1987) 4 copies
All Rapped Up (1997) 4 copies
Karen's Lessons in Love (1995) 4 copies
Surf's Up! (1987) 4 copies
One Step Too Far (1989) 4 copies
You Read My Mind (1996) 4 copies
Big Sister (1988) 4 copies
On My Own (1986) 3 copies
Fool's Gold (1991) 3 copies
Summer Daze (1997) 3 copies
Road Trip (1989) 3 copies
Heartbreak Café (1989) 3 copies
Last Dance (1987) 3 copies
Tug of War (1987) 3 copies
Double Take (1987) 3 copies
Out in the Cold (1988) 3 copies
Blind Date (1988) 3 copies
Forever Friday (1995) 2 copies
Secrets of Lake Success (1993) 2 copies
Make Me a Star (1987) 2 copies
Having a Ball (1989) 2 copies
Voodoo 2 copies
Home Sweet Home (1988) 2 copies
Night of the Prom (1992) 2 copies
Dream Come True (1988) 2 copies
Amazing Grace (1993) 2 copies
Star Quality (1997) 2 copies
Friday Night Fright (1995) 1 copy
It's My Turn (1988) 1 copy
Winner Take All (1984) 1 copy
The Sutcliffe Diamonds (1994) 1 copy
Sherlocked 1 copy
Evan and Me 1 copy
Starring Tess and Ali (1991) 1 copy
Tommy Loves Tina (1984) 1 copy
The Wall 1 copy
Doppelganger 1 copy
Dear Karen (1998) 1 copy

Associated Works

An Apple for the Creature (2012) — Contributor — 377 copies
Sherlock Holmes: The Hidden Years (2004) — Contributor — 105 copies
Death Dines In (2004) — Contributor — 88 copies
Sherlock Holmes: The American Years (2010) — Contributor — 56 copies
Blood on Their Hands (2003) — Contributor — 46 copies
A Merry Band of Murderers (2006) — Contributor — 21 copies
Malice Domestic 11: Murder Most Conventional (2016) — Contributor — 10 copies
Mysterious Writers: The Many Facets of Mystery Writing (2010) — Contributor — 9 copies
Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays (2014) — Introduction — 8 copies
Shattering Glass: A Nasty Woman Press Anthology (2020) — Contributor — 8 copies
Crimespree Magazine #50 — Contributor — 1 copy


1900s (94) 1930s (455) 2013 (92) 20th century (138) amateur detective (101) audible (192) audio (152) audiobook (234) British (188) Constable Evans (114) cozy (274) cozy mystery (433) ebook (295) England (548) fiction (1,466) historical (394) historical fiction (945) historical mystery (802) humor (100) Kindle (353) Lady Georgiana Rannoch (117) library (116) London (118) Molly Murphy (277) murder (160) mysteries (106) mystery (3,849) mystery fiction (102) New York (168) New York City (194) read (210) Rhys Bowen (96) romance (172) Royal Spyness (209) royalty (140) series (479) short stories (92) to-read (1,666) Wales (271) WWII (185)

Common Knowledge

Legal name
Quin-Harkin, Janet
Bath, Somerset, England, UK
Places of residence
California, USA
Arizona, USA
University of London
mystery writer
BBC announcer
drama studio manager
Mystery Writers of America
Awards and honors
Anthony Award (Short Story, 2004) for "Doppleganger" in the anthology Blood on Their Hands
Meg Ruley
Disambiguation notice
Janet Quin-Harkin writes books for teens. She uses the pen name Rhys Bowen for her mystery novels for adults.




Back from America and after a short pause at Belinda’s, Georgie is once again summoned before the Queen with a new task: help Prince George’s fiancée acclimate to London during the weeks leading up to the wedding. Almost immediately and when coming back from dinner with the King and Queen no less, Georgie finds a body in the courtyard of the palace she’s staying at. Where moments ago Georgie’s biggest fears were how to entertain (with no money) a princess or where to safely take her, she now has to worry about how to keep the murder out of the press and why no one is bothering to solve it.

This book keeps Georgie hopping, mostly around London. She’s temporarily got an unlimited budget (when she’s with the Princess at least) and is finally getting a peek at the life her rank should allow her to live all the time—that is, if Daddy hadn’t nearly bankrupted the family. She’s got a roof over her head, food to eat, a reason to lock her annoying maid (WHY does she still have Queenie?!? I’m so tired of her) in her bedroom, and four elderly aunts that she finds herself quite liking. She begins to wonder if just maybe the Queen’s threats to make her a companion wouldn’t be so bad?

This book was great and constantly moving. Georgie gets to reflect on some of her insecurities and really starts to grow into a strong independent woman. She’s not there yet, but it’s coming. She stays firmly underfoot of a conceited DCI and makes a bigger impression on Sir Jeremy. Maybe someday he’ll find her a job that won’t embarrass the family and she can stop worrying about room and board? Darcy’s back in town, Belinda’s hiding something, the palace is haunted, Fig is bent out of shape, and Granddad is enjoying dodging “her from next door”. Great fun!

I love this conversation Darcy and Georgie have when he’s exasperated with her desire to solve the case:

Darcy shook his head. “Why can’t you ever leave well enough alone and behave like a normal young lady? Take up the pianoforte or embroidery, for God’s sake. Don’t always go looking for trouble. I can’t spend my life worrying about you every time you’re out of my sight.”

“There’s an answer to that,” I said. “Don’t let me out of your sight so often. And you’d be bored with me in five minutes if I took up embroidery.”

He took my face in his hands, looked down at me and smiled. “God, Georgie. I do love you.”

“I love you too,” I said.

And for the next few minutes neither of us spoke at all.
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killarowan | 26 other reviews | Mar 1, 2024 |
Georgie and Darcy are getting married and everyone has ideas about how and where the wedding should be, including the Queen. While looking for a place to make their own, Georgie’s godfather asks them to move to his country estate, Eynsleigh, as he is so infrequently home. Thrilled to have a place that isn’t a dingy basement with a single tiny window or a very high-rise with no elevator and only one room, Georgie and Darcy decide to go check it out and avoid all the “helpful”wedding advice for a few days. Unfortunately, Darcy gets called to work, destination unknown. Georgie is determined to prove she is mistress of the house and capable of getting everything in order, despite not knowing what she’s doing, and travels to Eynsleigh alone. Once there, she finds the place in shambles and a small staff that makes Queenie look good. If someone wasn’t trying to kill her, she’s sure she could put everything in proper order. Will she make it to her wedding? Will Darcy even be back in time?

Life is finally working out for Georgie and Darcy. Yay! I kept wondering how much longer [a: Rhys Bowen|202867|Rhys Bowen|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1283051168p2/202867.jpg] was going to keep torturing these poor characters. After years of being penniless and homeless, they finally have a plan that doesn’t include couch surfing or party crashing and Queenie is safely tucked away in Ireland, mostly not burning anything. And it seems like everyone is suddenly getting married: Georgie, Mummy, and even Granddad. It’s going to be a very busy next couple months and Darcy isn’t even there to help. Did he accept the job to get out of some of the planning, or is it really because they’re poor? Hmmm... haha! I’m sure he never would have left if he had known what was happening at Eynsleigh! Sir Hubert was right to be suspicious.

I felt that Georgie wasn’t as smart as she usually is. There was so much going on wrong around her, and she walked smack into the middle of it all, but in her efforts to prove she’s an adult, soon to be married, and mistress of the estate, she seems to have completely tuned out common sense and basic human nature and doesn’t question enough, thus missing a lot. It all works out right in the end, but it’s a close call. Granted, she was in a lot of danger and playing dumb outwardly, intentional or not, did keep her alive. And yes, she and Darcy both made it to their wedding on time, despite Queenie’s help.
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killarowan | 21 other reviews | Mar 1, 2024 |
A blizzard and a newspaper headline bungle Darcy’s plans. Back to London for Georgie and off to Ireland for Darcy! But wait! Georgie is now off to Ireland to give Darcy a piece of her mind! Darcy’s father is accused of killing the American that bought the family home in a fit of anger, but he doesn’t remember doing so. Everything looks cut and dry and the local Chief Inspector doesn’t see any reason to look further; he intends to hang Lord Kilhenny. Darcy and his dad are without hope, but Georgie and Darcy’s friend Zou Zou have every intention of bringing hope back to the O’Mara family whether anyone else wants it or not.

This was a fun romp! Georgie takes another step towards being a strong independent woman. She is getting tired of everyone telling her what she should and shouldn’t do and with the support of Granddad and Zou Zou, she refuses to accept what she’s told and heads to Ireland to prove it. And she leaves Queenie behind as well! Yay! Sadly Queenie does show up, but Aunt Oona and Uncle Dooley appear to know how to handle her, and she listens to them! Gasp!

Lord Kilhenny is a proud man and he’s been pushing his family and friends away since his wife died during the Spanish Flu. As much as he hated it happening, it was good to see his relationship with his family begin to heal. He’s been lonely a long time; mostly his own doing, because he has three living children, grandchildren, an aunt and uncle, and really the whole village of Kilhenny on his side. Funny how it takes Zou Zou, a displaced and spirited princess, to shake him up though! He was so depressed, waiting for the world to finish him off too, that he never thought for once that something was off in the evidence.

What can I say that won’t spoil the story? Hmm... There is a lot of waiting for the characters as there really isn’t much they can do. Darcy is too close to the case, his father refuses to help, the Garda don’t want any help, the family is broke which makes it difficult to mount a defense, the victim is American and news isn’t instantaneous between countries, but none of that seems to stop Georgie or Zou Zou from dragging Darcy across the county asking questions. And just enough of the right ones to open some eyes. Darcy and Georgie might even get to start planning a wedding someday!
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killarowan | 20 other reviews | Mar 1, 2024 |
After several happy months together at Darcy’s family estate in Ireland, Darcy is summoned to another mysterious task and Georgie is summoned before the Queen. After congratulating Georgie on her engagement, the Queen wonders if Georgie wouldn’t mind doing a small favor for her: attend a house party in Italy and keep an eye on the crown prince and “that dreadful Mrs. Simpson”. Since Georgie was planning on heading to the same area to visit Belinda while Darcy is off doing whatever it is he does, she’s more than happy to let the Queen foot the bill (and hopefully gain permission to marry Darcy to boot). What wasn’t in the plan was running into an old school friend, her mother, several high ranking Nazis, and dealing with blackmail and murder. This was supposed to be a relaxing vacation.

This is a fast paced book; the bulk of it happens in a handful of days. Quite fun! Nearly the moment she arrives in Italy, poor Georgie is pressed into being a sneak thief by her mother. Of course Georgie says she’ll help, not just because she’s a nice girl, but Mummy is offering to pay for the wedding. How could she say no to that? While in the process of snooping she stumbles across a secret meeting that spells bad news for the Prince if his parents find out. Yikes! Lucky for Georgie, Darcy’s mysterious task is to snoop at the very same house party! She passes on what she learns to him to report to whoever he works for and no longer feels compelled to divulge every detail of the party to Her Majesty. Whew.

Just down the road, Belinda could pop at any moment, is desperate for some company, and still has no idea what to do next. Thanks to the creepy guy in the room next door to Georgie being murdered and an annoying local detective with high aspirations and little common sense putting the entire party on house arrest, Georgie is stuck at the house party. Can’t even pop out for a few minutes. And of course, somehow Georgie is supposed to solve her mother’s, Belinda’s, and her own problems all in the same breath. By the end of the book Georgie not only solves the murder but also her mother’s and Belinda’s problems. Even a step closer on her own!

I’m glad Queenie chooses to stay in Ireland this go round. There were enough characters to keep track of and at the pace of the story, Queenie would have made a mess of the reading and not just Georgie’s clothes.
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killarowan | 25 other reviews | Mar 1, 2024 |



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