In Ms. Bowen’s Malice
at the Palace, Lady Georgiana Rannoch returns to London
from California near penniless, only to learn that her planned
lodgings with her friend, Belinda, have fallen through. Fortune
shines on Georgiana when the Queen asks her to move into Kensington
Palace and be a companion to Princess Marina of Greece, who
is to marry the king’s youngest son, George. Prince
George is a known womanizer, and his exploits aren’t
limited to women. It falls upon Georgiana to shelter Marina
from his past dalliances.
When one of Prince George’s ex-mistresses shows up dead
beneath a palace archway, Georgiana calls upon Major Beauchamp-Chough,
in residence at Kensington palace, to handle the discovery.
He recognizes the dead woman as Bobo Carrington, who was linked
romantically to Prince George and who, Georgiana later learns,
disappeared from London to have a child. While DCI Pelham
handles the case, Georgiana conducts her own investigation
while trying to insure that Marina doesn’t learn about
Prince George’s past connection to Bobo.
This wonderful novel kept me enthralled in the mystery –
and the history – of the period. Ms. Bowen did an excellent
job in mingling true facts about Prince George and his escapades
into the plot, as well as the real possibility that he sired
an illegitimate child. I love history and was so enthralled
by this novel that I did some research online to learn more
about Prince George and Marina, and their marriage.
I especially enjoyed learning about British royalty, their
manners and morals, which we as Americans seldom see or fully
understand. I have to say, I enjoyed the return of Georgiana’s
delightful if accident-prone maid, Queenie, and Marina’s
travel companion, the stiffly correct Countess Irmtraut and
her comic misunderstandings of the English language. And then
there’s Darcy O’Mara, Georgiana’s love interest,
who adds an added dimension and unexpected twist to the plot.
All in all, Malice at the Palace is a solid and captivating
mystery that ranks among the best reads of this year.
Reviews of other titles in this series
Her Royal Spyness #1 [review]
A Royal Pain #2 [review]
Naughty in Nice
The Twelve Clues of Christmas #6 [review]
Heirs and Graces #7 [review]
Queen of Hearts #8 [review
Malice in the Palace #9 [review]
Crowned and Dangerous #10 [review
On Her Majesty’s
Frightfully Secret Service [review]
Notes: Rhys Bowen is a New York Times bestselling
author whose Royal Spyness Mystery, Queen of Hearts, won the
Agatha award for best historical mystery. She has also won
the Anthony award and has been nominated for many others.
Her series include the Molly Murphy Mysteries, set in turn-of-the-century
New York, and the Constable Evans Mysteries, set in Wales.
Born in England, she now divides her time between Northern
California and Arizona.