Malice at the Palace : Royal Spyness

  • by Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by Katherine Kellgren
  • Series: Royal Spyness
  • 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Mystery, 2016
From the New York Times best-selling author of Queen of Hearts comes another mystery for "fans of P. G. Wodehouse looking for laughs mingled with some amateur sleuthing" (Publishers Weekly).
Lady Georgiana Rannoch won't deny that being 35th in line for the British throne has its advantages. Unfortunately money isn't one of them. And sometimes making ends meet requires her to investigate a little royal wrongdoing.
While my beau, Darcy, is off on a mysterious mission, I am once again caught between my high birth and empty purse. I am therefore relieved to receive a new assignment from the queen - especially one that includes lodging. The king's youngest son, George, is to wed Princess Marina of Greece, and I shall be her companion at the supposedly haunted Kensington Palace. My duties are simple: help Marina acclimate to English life, show her the best of London, and, above all, dispel any rumors about George's libertine history. Perhaps that last bit isn't so simple. George is known for his many affairs with women as well as men - including the great songwriter Noel Coward. But things truly get complicated when I search the palace for a supposed ghost only to encounter an actual dead person: a society beauty said to have been one of Prince George's mistresses. Nothing spoils a royal wedding more than murder, and the queen wants the whole matter hushed. But as the investigation unfolds - and Darcy, as always, turns up in the most unlikely of places - the investigation brings us precariously close to the prince himself.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Is Darcy becoming another Daniel Sullivan?

Recently I have refrained from listening to the latest installments of the author's Molly Murphy series because of one simple reason: Daniel Sullivan. He's become an overbearing condecending pain in the lower back (which of course might be a reasonably way of portraying a guy from 1905) but it really ruins the series for me.

NOW a similar thing started happening to this series in Malice at the Palace. While the story in this book is nothing special, is nice and twisty enough to compare to previous ones of the Royal Spyness series. However I had far less fun with it and I thought long and hard why that is.
For once I find that the relationship between Georgie and Darcy seems to be only for effect and has become more or less irrelevant for the story itself. In addition Darcy, who used to be much more modern in his views than Daniel Sullivan, started showing the same attiudes in this book as his New York counterpart. Especially when it comes to chiding Georgie for getting envolved and sticking her neck in where it does not belong.
In previous books I got the impression that Dary does not really approve but understands that Georgie is someone who always is at the wrong place at the wrong time and then can't let go until she has the solution. He even showed an amused kind of admiration for her qualities. Something that seemed to draw him to her. That impression vanished completely this time.
I was hoping that the two might be working TOGETHER more in the future. Finding clues and putting everything together as a team instead of more or less bumping into each other by chance somewhere in the middle of the story, or Darcy coming to the rescue at the opportune moment. Also in my opinion the constant air of mystery the author tries to create around Darcy as well as Georgies permanent insecureties that he might dump or betray her are no longer working and are becoming quite tiresome
Please let the two find some more common ground. They are on the same side after all and both working for the Crown in some capacity, so why not join forces and become the dynamic duo they are destined to be anyway?

Oh and one more thing. Since Georgie's visit to the US her "maid" has been quite full of herself and at times treats Georgie as if the latter was the maid and seems to be getting worse in most respects. I think it's overdoing it a little. Even a walking disaster area as Queeny should be able to improve after such a long time. Well at least she's gotten over her fear of travel but the rest is really trying my sense of believability....
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- Archer

Queenie Must Die!

I have read or listened to all of the other titles in this series, and looked forward to this one, but somehow this one just didn't work for me. I think it is the over-the-top narration on this one. Every accent, every reaction, every word is a caricature. The posh accents were too snooty, even for royalty, and Queenie made me grit my teeth. I watch more BBC than American television, so I know British accents, and these are just too, too much.

I listened to some of the previous novel again before writing this, and the narration here is very similar, but in this book, it just irritates me. I think the story is less engaging for one thing. I felt like this was just the same characters doing exactly the same things. I'm tired of Georgie being poor and settling for whatever comes her way, putting up with selfish relatives and friends, stumbling into a mystery, and waiting around for Darcy. There, that's the whole book.

Most of all, I'm sick to death of Queenie. I know Georgie can't afford a top-notch maid, but the only murder I'm interested in reading about right now is Queenie's. No sane person would put up with her. Georgie should fire her or kill her and get Darcy to help her hide the body. Kellgren's voicing of Queenie is loud, harsh, and grating, more so than in previous books.

Maybe it's also just me getting tired of Belinda's selfishness, too, but I wanted to at least have the satisfaction of Georgie telling her off.

Take my advice, pass on this one!
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- Tracey Rains "I love the BBC and British mysteries, but my tastes are very eclectic. I live with my husband and menagerie of rescued cats and dogs."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-04-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios