In my cozy addicted world, Rhys Bowen is what I'd call a major "supplier". She writes three series - all of which I read and have gotten my mother, my Aunt Martha and my Aunt Lila, hooked on at least one - in some cases - two of these series. If this was a substance addiction case, Ms. Bowen would be a kingpin in the cozy world supplying those in need with the "super good stuff". Which brings us to her latest title, Malice at the Palace, in her most recent series, A Royal Spyness Mystery.
My association with Ms. Bowen began with her wonderful, wonderful, Molly Murphy Mystery series. I discovered them and chewed them up like so much candy, smacking my lips and living for the next installment. So entranced was I that I passed this hunger on to my mother, my Aunt Martha and my Aunt Lila. All three devoured them with the same intense relish and wanting more. So when I discovered that she wrote a series called A Royal Spyness Mystery that old ambivalence about succumbing to another series reared its ugly head. I baulked at the thought of getting emotionally involved with characters and adding yet another series to my Excel spreadsheet entitled, "Cozies". I tried walking away. I tried looking away. I even tried dismissiveness: "Thirty-fourth in line to throne, indeed! Honestly, who'd swallow that?" Now the phrase, "choked on his own words" comes quickly to my mind. Because that is precisely what happened; my pro and con moment in the bookstore lasted all of 30 seconds, I bought the titles available, devoured them and "choked on my own words."
Firstly, I am a mystery addict from childhood 'nough said. Secondly, I am an Anglo-phile and have been since my earliest memory. Thirdly, I, like Queen Mary, love and adore jewelry, although nothing I have could even qualify for a clasp on her rattiest piece. No matter. All of these things add up to my love for Georgiana and for Darcy. For those who have been patient or crazy enough to follow this blog, it's a well-established fact by now that I am a broken record when it comes to one thing in these cozies: get the main character and their love interest hooked up! Do not drag it out. I certainly hope that the ending of Malice at the Palace is not something that will backfire in the next title. I fully expect to have satisfaction on this matter in the first chapter of that next title. I beg that this issue of their getting together not be dragged out. I so want to see Georgiana finally have a place to call her own.
This was probably one of the very best mysteries in the series and the aspect of the historical figures was perfectly painted. The little twists that involved the other characters in the series was an element that gave the series even more dimension and I look forward to more of that.
I am curious to see how the series will evolve. King George V hasn't many more years to live in the timeline of the series. If Ms. Bowen continues advancing the timeline beginning with George V's death, to Edward VIII's abdication to the ascension of George V and Elizabeth becoming heir apparent (or is that heiress?), that would add the most delicious of dimensions to the series. Only time will tell.
In addition to the Royal Spyness and Molly Murhphy Mystery Series, Ms. Bowen also pens the Contable Evans Mystery Series. Queen of Hearts, the previous title in A Royal Spyness Mystery, was this year's winner of the Agatha Award. Heartiest of congratulations to Ms. Bowen! Ms. Bowen has a wonderful website, so please check it out.:
As always, I love hearing from my fellow cozy mystery addicts. And should you wish to learn more about me, please visit my website:
Cozies coming in September. And I have to confess ... yes ... I have succumbed to another series. I won't write about it until I've read all six and then I will make a full confession. Why, oh, why oh, why?