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God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen

by Rhys Bowen

Series: Her Royal Spyness (15)

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856258,582 (3.68)6

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The latest installment in Bowen’s Royal Spyness series. Finds Georgie trying to host her first Christmas as a married woman (can it really be less than six months since she & Darcy tied the know?) But when Darcy receives a letter from his Aunt Ermintrude the house party moves en masse to Sandringham where Ermintrude lives in a grace and favor house on the Royal estate. And of course when two gentlemen of the Royal household turn up dead, Georgie and Darcy are on the case.

Lots of fun and the news at the end of the book means that the next installment should really be full of surprises. ( )
  etxgardener | Jan 5, 2022 |

This was a fun quiet, relatively peaceful Christmas cosy mystery that I enjoyed listening to over Christmas.

'God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen' doesn't have the body count of the last Christmas special, 'The Twelve Clues Of Christmas', nor the same lightness of spirit. There have been another eight books since then and the Georgie is a grown woman, newly married, self-confident and much more secure in her independence.

Georgie is planning her first Christmas in her own home as a married woman when she is invited by Darcy's eccentric, newly-widowed, artist aunt Ermintrude to spend Christmas at her grace and favour home at Sandringham. Ermintrude is a former lady-in-waiting to the Queen and Georgie is left with the impression that the request to be at Sandringham comes indirectly from the Queen, so attendance is mandatory.

The story that follows gives us a closeup and personal view of how the Royal Family held Christmas and New Year at Sandringham in 1935/36, just before King George V's death on 20th January.

Georgie gets involved in investigating some apparently accidental deaths of members of staff of the Royal Household which may indicate an attempt on the life of the heir to the throne. The house she and Darcy are staying at is stuffed with colourful characters, including the invariably unpleasant Mrs Simpson. Georgie gets to attend a royal shoot, go riding on the estate and spend time with Queen Mary and meet briefly with the Processes. All of which is described with the confident, understated intimacy of an insider.

The plot is quite twisty but not fast-moving. One of the killings is very ingenious.I couldn't work out how it had been done and I had to admire the solution. The suspect pool is not very big but it is very colourful and kept my suspicions dancing from one person to the next.

Most of the book is fairly low-key but there are a couple of action sequences where Georgie is at risk. There's also some interesting news at the end of the book that will shape what happens next.

Historically, what happens next is that David becomes King for a year, after which he abdicates to marry Mrs Simpson. I'm curious to see how Rhys Bowen will tackle that and what role, if any Georgie will play in it.
( )
  MikeFinnFiction | Jan 1, 2022 |
I love this series and even though the villain was in doubt, it was a fun read.
Newlywed Georgie is planning a Christmas house party when she gets an indirect summons from the Queen to join Darcy’s aunt at her home on the grounds of Sandringham. When her family arrives, she informs them that their moving the holiday celebrations to Lady Ermintrude’s residence. Once they arrive, there’s several accidents and two murders. The Queen believes that the intended target is her son, the Prince of Wales. ( )
  Kathy89 | Oct 24, 2021 |
Death at Sandringham!

Newly married Lady Georgina (Georgie) suddenly realised she had Christmas type responsibilities and started off planning a family Christmas. This evolved further into Georgie, her husband Darcy O’Mara (something to do with the Foreign Office) and their guests bounding off to Sandringham to stay with Darcy’s rather eccentric aunt Lady Ermintrude Aysgarth. She paints rather weird works. Turns out this sudden House Party is a cover for Georgie’s cousin, David the Prince of Wales, to park his friend Wallis Simpson nearby for the holiday season. Let’s just say Wallis is not impressed!
The sudden death of the the Prince of Wale’s equerry whilst hunting the last year had set tongues wagging. People keep muttering about “the curse!” Especially after an accident at Wymondham Hall. Apparently the curse came about when the property, which is near to Sandringham, was purchased during Queen Victoria’s time. “The royals drove out those who were living hereabouts and had their cottages pulled down… one of them was a witch, they say and she cursed them. And she said bad things would happen for a hundred years.”
Georgie is out riding in the mist with Captain Dickie Altrungham reputed to be a bit of a playboy. He’s on the Prince’s horse Sultan and has raced ahead. When Georgie next sees him he’s been downed and …Well! All very mysterious. Especially as Dickie is a top notch horseman. Queen Mary asks Georgie to help solve Altrungham’s death. The Queen is suspicious. The thing is who was the intended victim, Dickie or the prince?
On another front, I must say I raised an eyebrow and nodded in agreement at Georgie’s reflections about dust. “… feather dusters. All they seem to do is to make the dust fly off one surface to land on another nearby.” One that I heartily agree with. (I had just been considering the dust in my own house prior to this.)
BTW I ignored the dust and continued reading! 😊 A Royal cosy mystery with a Christmas twist, leavened with amusing mishaps, and binding historical aspects of the time (1935) into a puzzling, rather grim and testy tale. For the reader friendships are renewed. Bowen has a super ability to bring the times alive, adding to a, ‘curl up with a hot drink’ in front of the fire, diverting read.

A Berkley PenguinRandomHouse ARC via NetGalley
Please note: Quotes taken from an advanced reading copy maybe subject to change ( )
  eyes.2c | Oct 5, 2021 |
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