Royal Blood is the 4th in Rhys Bowen’s Her Royal Spyness series, a string of historical cozy mysteries set between World War I and World War II that don’t take themselves too seriously. I guess cozy mysteries usually don’t, at least not anymore. I’m still a bit confused as to why Agatha Christie is so often classed as a cozy mystery author, as I definitely get chill bumps from more than a few of her books! Anyway. These are typically well researched regarding historical accuracy, which is a large part of their charm.
I like the time period of these little novels, and the fact that they’re set in England. Georgie is an amusing, endearing heroine and the rest of the cast of characters surrounding her is original and quirky enough to keep me reading. I like that the family storyline moves along just a little in each book so far, not hitting you with it all of once. It continues the line of being very tame with lots of dropped hints and some innuendo, but nothing your 13 year old couldn’t read. It’s definitely written for adults, it’s just very mild and nothing at all racy even though there are repeated allusions to people’s sexual activity or preferences. I felt like Georgia’s relationship with Darcy progressed a little in this book, and more than just the heart-fluttering romance of it – I feel like they are getting closer as people, not just as a crush or an obsession.
This one moved slower than the other 3 that I’ve read. The actual crime event didn’t take place until page 142 (out of 305). The mystery part was, I thought, very far-fetched. The ending was rushed and contrived, just way too convenient. I did some serious eye-rolling. I did like the way all the creepy, “Transylvania” vibes everyone was so jumpy about, were explained logically. Given the setting, I was a little afraid that this one was going to descend into the paranormal. Nothing wrong with paranormal, but in a historical mystery…please spare me. So yay, that was good.
Overall, 3/5 stars. It needed more mystery, less build-up. Also a more satisfactory ending rather than just a sudden explanation, which was what it felt like. I’m definitely going to continue on with the series, but that’s because of how much I enjoyed the previous books, not this one.