Book Review

On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service – Rhys Bowen

Book Title: On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service

Series: Her Royal Spyness #11

Author: Rhys Bowen

Goodreads Link: Click here


on her

Star Rating: gold stargold starempty starempty starempty star– It was ok.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley in return for an un-biased review.

When royal sleuth Georgie Rannoch receives a letter from her dearest friend Belinda, who’s in an Italian villa awaiting the birth of her illegitimate baby, she yearns to run to her side. If only she could find a way to get there! But then opportunity presents itself in a most unexpected way—her cousin the queen asks her to attend a house party in the Italian Lake Country. The Prince of Wales AND the dreadful Mrs. Simpson have been invited, and Her Majesty is anxious to thwart a possible secret wedding.

What luck! A chance to see Belinda, even if it is under the guise of stopping unwanted nuptials. Only that’s as far as Georgie’s fortune takes her. She soon discovers that she attended finishing school with the hostess of the party—and the hatred they had for each other then has barely dimmed. Plus, she needs to hide Belinda’s delicate condition from the other guests. And her dashing beau, Darcy is (naturally) working undercover on a dangerous mission. Then her actress mother shows up, with a not-so-little task to perform. With all this subterfuge, it seems something is bound to go horribly wrong—and Georgie will no doubt be left to pick up the pieces when it does.

Let me start out by saying this book was just not my speed. I was hoping for a light read, with a little bit of mystery. I’m also a huge Downton Abbey fan, so I was hoping for a book filled with royals having tea in fabulous gowns, doing fabulous things, with fabulously handsome men. This book sorta delivered. It had fabulously handsome men, tea was served, and I think there were some gowns involved. Ultimately however, it reminded me a little of a meringue. Stick with me here, I’ll explain myself.

Think of a pretty meringue cookie, scrumptious to look at, fragrant and a little shimmery. So lovely to contemplate. You bite into the crunch outer shell but there’s not much inside but air. Sugary air. I know a lot of people who really like meringues… but they’re not for me.


I found it predictable. I also had some issues with the heroine. She, more than anything else in the book, was lacking in substance. An exceedingly passive young woman. She was not an independent or clever girl at all. I honestly don’t know how she got this reputation as a pseudo-sleuth. Clues simply fell into her lap. I was also bothered by the fact that the murder in the book was taken so lightly. A man dies, and immediately afterward, she is contemplating “vamping” another man so she can get some answers as to who the culprit is. Not just contemplating, but giggling to herself about her inability to vamp. I would find that charming normally, since I’m so bad at vamping myself (ha), but it is a completely inappropriate reaction to the situation. She just struck me oddly. She also talked about her marriage in a very old-fashioned manner, unwilling to do anything other than defer to her fiancee. I can assume that was intentional considering the setting of 1930’s England and Italy. It did not to endear her to me.

If you’re looking for a very simple mystery. A quick read. If you feel like a plateful of meringue. Then this is the book for you. I think if I’d been in a different frame of mind then it would have been much more enjoyable. The books must be very successful, after all this is #11 in the series! I’m sure that it fits it’s intended genre very well. It’s a good book for it’s intended reader.

Song for this book: It Is You – Natalie Prass



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