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Queen of Hearts (review 2)
A Royal Spyness Mystery #8
Rhys Bowen

Berkley Prime Crime
August 4, 2015 / ISBN 978-0425260647
Mystery //Historical - 1934, Europe & Hollywood

Reviewed by Linda Morelli


Lady Georgiana Rannoch, whose great-great grandmother was Queen Victoria, is penniless and staying with friends when her actress mother, Clare Daniels, scoops in and whisks Georgie off to the Continent. They travel on the SS Berengaria, along with movie impresario Cy Goldman, his star Stella Brightwell whom Clare knows, and Juan, a young Spaniard whom Cy wants to cast in his upcoming movie. One evening, Georgie sees something fall overboard. Though no one is missing, a precious ruby and diamond ring are. Georgie's beau, Scotland Yard detective Darcy O'Mara, is on board following a jewel thief, but his attempts to find the thief and the stolen items are unsuccessful.

After arriving in New York, Georgie and her mother head to Reno, where Clare hopes to divorce her current husband so she can marry a rich German. Cy convinces Clare to star in his next movie and they head for Hollywood, then to Cy's retreat castle with the cast for a break. After Cy meets Darcy, he asks the young detective to take over Juan's role. Then Cy is found, slain by one of a pair of precious bejeweled Sterling silver candlesticks.

This is my first excursion into the world of Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness mysteries, and the Queen of Hearts was for me a lighthearted romp into Hollywood history. Georgie reminded me of Australian Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series, which I adore, as well as P.G. Wodehouse and other English authors who have a knack for writing charming mysteries that can keep me entranced for hours. The novel had sparks of humor, spattered with keen observations and references to people we recognize, such as Mrs. Simpson, William Randolph Hearst and a devilish Charlie Chaplin. Queen of Hearts is an enchanting and entertaining mystery, and a thoroughly delightful read.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Her Royal Spyness #1  [review]
A Royal Pain #
2    [review]
Naughty in Nice
#5   [review]
The Twelve Clues of Christmas #6  [review]
Heirs and Graces #7  [review]
Queen of Hearts #8 [review 1] [review 2]
Malice in the Palace #9 [review]
Crowned and Dangerous #10
[review 1] [review 2]

Reviewed 2015