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July 29, 2017

Perfect Cozy Mystery: On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen

by Donna Huber

If you have been reading my articles this summer, you know I've been craving cozy mysteries. On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen hit the spot. I loved it so much I gobbled it up in 2 days.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free ARC was provided for an honest review.

August 2017; Berkley; 978-0425283509
ebook, audio, print (304 pages); cozy mystery
On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service is book 11 in Her Royal Spyness series. It is also the first book I've read by Rhys Bowen. But like any perfect cozy mystery, it is okay if you haven't read the other books in the series. I didn't feel lost, though I feel that there might be more to Georgie's family relationships.

In addition to being a fun story, it has a feel of Downton Abbey to it. Actually, the novel is set only a few years after the end of the show. There is an appearance by David, the Prince of Wales (who I pictured the whole time as the actor who played him on the show), but he is with Wallis Simpson (who he would later abdicate the throne in order to marry).

Why is royalty showing up in the story? Georgia is in the royal line. She is, like, the 35th person in line for the throne. This fact is actually a sticking point for her marital happiness. She is engaged to Darcy O'Mara. I'm not sure why he isn't acceptable as a spouse for her, but she is willing to give up her seat in the royal line to marry him. But she needs the permission of Parliament and Queen Mary in order to do so.

Queen Mary is willing to make sure the request goes through without a hitch if Georgie will do a small favor for her. Georgie is, after all, heading to Italy to visit a "sick" friend (her friend is pregnant out of wedlock), so would it be so bad if she dropped into a house party that David is attending nearby?

However, there is a much more dangerous liaison going on at the house party than just the salacious affair between Wallis and David. Will Georgie's spying be discovered?

On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service was a light read with several fun moments, usually revolving around Georgie almost being found out.

I really liked her character. She is the perfect example of a 1930s lady, one that is balancing the changing world. Everyone is shocked that she is traveling abroad without a chaperone or maid, but Georgie feels confident she can manage. Of course, it isn't all smooth sailing (well it is done mostly by train, but you get the picture).

Bowen took care to be as historically accurate as possible, which I greatly appreciated as not all authors of cozy mysteries and romcoms are as careful. It added a layer of realism to the story. I looked up the event after I finished the book. It isn't often that a cozy mystery leads me to do more research.

Summer is winding down and, really, there isn't anything much better than a light, fun read to wrap up the season before the hecticness of fall sets in. Whether you have read one, none, or all the book in Her Royal Spyness series, this is a book you don't want to miss.

Buy On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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