Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Book Review: On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen (Royal Spyness #11)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: History, mystery, fun
Cons: Might start slowly for those new to the series
The Bottom Line:
Head to Italy
30’s politics, murder
Served with side of fun

Royal Favor in Italy

I always look forward to my yearly visit with Lady Georgiana, a minor royal in 1930’s England.  She seems to find herself in a new location for each book, and the opportunity to travel a historical Europe is wonderful.  Plus, the books are just so much fun!  On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service is no exception.

This book takes place in spring of 1935.  After several delightful months with Darcy, her fiancΓ©, at his family’s castle in Ireland, he’s set out on another mission.  Georgie finds herself growing restless, so when she gets two letters, she’s thrilled.  The first is from the Queen, asking for a meeting about the roadblock to Georgie and Darcy’s wedding – he’s Catholic, so Georgie would have to renounce her claim to the throne.  Since she is currently thirty-fifth in line, she is very willing to give it up to marry Darcy.  The second is from Georgie’s unmarried friend Belinda, who is hiding out in Italy so she can have a baby in secret.  Georgie decides to visit Belinda to keep her company after her meeting with the Queen.

When Queen Mary finds out about Georgie’s travel plans, she’s delighted.  It seems that the Prince of Wales and his friend Mrs. Simpson are going to be attending a house party in that area of Italy, and she wants Georgie to go find out if the two have married in secret.  The house party is being thrown by someone Georgie went to school with, but didn’t really get along with.  Still, how does one say no to Her Majesty?

After a quick visit with Belinda, Georgie arrives at the party only to find a strange assortment of guests, including her mother, who has a mission of her own for Georgie.  Can Georgie pull off what seems to be impossible?

As usual, this book gives us time to get updates on many of the people in Georgie’s life as she is traveling from one location to another.  I love these characters so much that I enjoy the updates.  There’s one development in this book that I’ve seen coming for a while now, but I’m very curious to see how it will play out in future books.  This part might not be as interesting if you are starting the series here, but if you’ve been reading these books since the beginning like I have, you won’t mind in the least.

Once Georgie arrives at her destination, we are quickly drawn into a story that has multiple threads.  I love how author Rhys Bowen gives us a glimpse of the politics of the time in a way that fits into the story.  While the coming events of history are starting to creep into the book, they don’t overshadow the overall tone of the book.  There is still some humor and a mystery to keep us entertained.

The mystery may start a little late, but when it does, it is strong.  I had a piece or two of it figured out, but there were quite a few pieces I had missed until Georgie put it all together.

All of these experiences are causing Georgie to really grow.  I love some of her early scenes in the book for that very reason.  Some of the other series regulars are continuing to develop as well, and the new characters we meet here are quite intriguing as suspects.

Fans of this series will enjoy Georgie’s latest adventure.  And if you have yet to start the Royal Spyness series, you need to start these wonderful trips back in time today.  You’ll be enjoying On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service before you know it.

These books are so much fun, you'll definitely want to read the rest of the Royal Spyness series.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.


Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will pick the winner next Tuesday, August 15th, so please leave your comment before 12:01AM Pacific Time on 8/15.  You will have until midnight on 8/20 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 8/21.


  1. I haven't read any in this series yet but have read many in the Molly Murphy series. I love historical mysteries and really enjoyed your review. joyhejl@gmail.com

  2. This series is new to me. Would love to win! marthajane1@hotmail.com

  3. I love historical mysteries and really enjoyed your review. This series is new to me and I would love to read them. So hoping it will be sooner. Rather than later. Della at deepotter (at) peoplepc (dot) com

  4. Thank you for your review. I haven't read this series yet, but this book looks interesting. mbradeen@yahoo.com

  5. Love to read ,oh yeajeanetteschardt@yahoo.com ❤πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘❤

  6. Just finished this book and am ready for the next, please!! They're quick, fun and always a good mystery.

  7. I've loved this series since the beginning. I didn't know the next book was out yet. smpopple@hotmail.com

  8. This is a new author to me. I really enjoy reading historical mysteries and this sounds like a great read.

  9. Thanks for the chance to win & start reading this series. As always, an entertaining review. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  10. Love these books!

  11. Love this series!! Would love to win. Omygato@comcast.net

  12. Italy sounds like a great trip back in time! Thanks for the chance to win!

  13. Have so enjoyed this series for the fun, the mystery and the personal view of history. Looking forward to this next book.

  14. I love this series! I wasn't aware there was a new one out. stclairck@gmail.com

  15. Love this series.