A Royal Pain – Rhys Bowen

This is the second book by Rhys Bowen featuring Lady “Georgie” Georgiana, who apart from being a single woman, feisty in her outlook and trying to make her way in the world is also thirty-fourth in line to the British Throne. With that comes some promises, Queen Mary is still trying to separate her first born son, David and that dreadful American woman Wallis Simpson. Georgie becomes involved again with another plot to distract David’s attention.

A Bavarian Princess is coming to London after being in a convent, a young girl Queen Mary feels it would be better for her to stay with Georgie, so she can learn something about the social niceties, English society and make sure she turns up at the same functions as David. Georgie cannot say no despite not having any staff and living in a couple of rooms in Rannoch House and eating boiled eggs! So Georgie embarks on something that resembles a farce trying to entertain a young girl who seemingly has one thing in mind – men!  Then trouble starts when a at a party someone falls to their death, a chance encounter with someone in Speakers Corner leads to a visit to a bookshop in a rather dodgy part of London, where the Princess stumbles across another body. Georgie does not know whether she is coming or going, and the Queen still insists that she put this princess in the way of David.

A rather fun book, building on the first in the series. Characters are back such as the care free, free loving Belinda, Darcy O’Mara who always turns up at the right time for Georgie as well as more of a feature of Georgie’s mother and her steadfast down to earth granddad who ends up becoming her butler as well as a detective.

This book made me chuckle in many places, especially the exploits of the Princess and her fascination of American gangster movies and calling everyone old broad, a fear that Georgie tries to expel from her just in case she says it to the Queen and at times I forgot I was even reading a book that was essentially a crime mystery. The romance is still there between Darcy O’Mara the Wild Irishman, who Georgie has, eyes for but cannot bring herself to succumb to his ways.  In the end all the little threads and plots are woven together into a climatic ending, where lives are put at risk, but who suffers?

I know some reviewers have baulked at the historical inaccuracies. There is no Lady Georgiana as 34th in line to throne, that honour at the point of this post is a Cassius Taylor, 15 year old grandchild of the Duke and Duchess of Kent. Although he will move further down the line if the impending nuptials present us with an issue!

David became Edward VIII for a short time and of course there was a Mrs Wallis Simpson and I would probably imagine that the Queen did try and do something regarding their forging relationship. 

There is a short reference towards the end of this book regarding the 6 year old Princess Elizabeth (The Queen) writing to Queen Mary, more than likely in some degree that happened. This is picked up more I believe in the next novel in the series Royal Flush.

History gives these books a sense of place and time, to be honest I can forgive slight inaccuracies because they are really only the background to what is a throughly good read! 

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