Book Review: Rhys Bowen’s Crowned and Dangerous

Posted August 26, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Rhys Bowen’s Crowned and Dangerous

Crowned and Dangerous


by

Rhys Bowen


This historical mystery is a hardcover edition that was published by Berkley on August 2, 2016 and has 304 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
four-stars

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Evans Above, Evan Help Us, Evanly Choirs, Bless the Bride, The Last Illusion, Evan and Elle, Naughty in Nice, Evan Can Wait, Evans to Betsy, Evan Only Knows, Her Royal Spyness, A Royal Pain, Royal Flush, Evan's Gate, Royal Blood, Evan Blessed, Evanly Bodies, Rhys Bowen, Hush Now, Don't You Cry, The Twelve Clues of Christmas, The Family Way, Heirs and Graces, Queen of Hearts, Malice at the Palace, On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service

Tenth in the Her Royal Spyness historical mystery series and revolving around the Lady Georgiana Rannoch…who is poorer than a church mouse. It’s November 1934, and we’re off to Ireland.

My Take

Bowen took up right where she left off in Malice at the Palace, 9, as Darcy is driving off with Georgie right after the wedding — you do want to read Malice at the Palace before this one, as Crowned and Dangerous refers to events in Malice again and again.

It’s a bit depressing, as Darcy gets a touch more into how his father lives these days. I can understand why Darcy doesn’t want to go home what with his father’s attitude. Jesus. It will pay off, though…and now I am dying, again, to read the next in the series!

That Fig. What a nasty, bitch. I don’t see why Georgie can’t stay on at the London house. As for the servants going back to Scotland, I don’t know why they can’t stay on in London. They’ll have to be paid wherever they are. I don’t know why Georgie doesn’t simply ignore the woman and talk to her brother. Georgie makes her own life harder by kowtowing to the old biddy. Especially when nobody is helping her out, so they have no right to dictate how or where she lives or who she marries.

“‘One does have the honor of the family to uphold,’ she snapped.

‘The family gives me no money to uphold their honor,’ I pointed out.”

Talk about attitude. Between Wallis Simpson and the old “Trout”…ugh… I can certainly see why the major is “closing up” the palace, lol.

I don’t think much of Callahan being content with taking the easy answer, especially with all we keep learning about Roach. And when you consider that no one in the village thinks his lordship did it, and how much they respect the family…well… And you will adore Uncle Dooley and Aunt Oona. You will, you won’t be able to help it, lol.

Sigh, I don’t know why Darcy doesn’t give in to the truth and simply let the women in his life run it…*laughing*…

The Story

From eloping with Georgie to breaking off their engagement, Darcy has Lady Georgiana’s head spinning.

Now everything has changed…unless Georgie can prove Lord Kilhenny’s innocence.

The Characters

Lady Georgiana “Georgie” Rannoch is sister to the current Duke of Rannoch and thirty-fifth in line for the throne (Queen Victoria was her great-grandmama). Queenie is Georgie’s nightmare of a klutzy maid, who finally finds a better calling. Binky is her brother and married to the frightful Fig. Podge is the heir; Adelaide is the baby daughter who much prefers Georgie to her mother. Smart girl. Mrs. McPherson is the cook. Hamilton is the butler. Ducky is Fig’s even cheaper sister, and Foggy is her predatory husband. Maude is their nasty daughter. Granddad (on Georgie’s mother’s side) is a retired Cockney policeman living in Essex. Mrs. Huggins, Queenie’s great-aunt, is the neighbor with designs on Granddad. Sir Herbert Anstruther had been one of Georgie’s stepfathers, and she’s his heir.

The Honorable (and Roman Catholic) Darcy O’Mara is heir to a barony, which doesn’t really mean much. He’s been surviving by sleeping on couches, housesitting, and spy missions. His somewhat naive father, Thaddeus Alexander O’Mara, the 16th Baron Kilhenny, lost everything and had to sell the family estate. He now works as manager and trainer of the stables he used to own. Blackie is the only dog Thaddy still has. Leach and Leach are the family solicitors.

Princess Alexandra “Zou Zou” Zamanska is a widow whom Darcy knows too well. Clotilde is her maid. Fritzi is her German chauffeur. Pierre is the butler, I think. Her dinner guests include the Count and Countess Rostoff, Dicky Altringham, Bubbles Cantrell-Smythe, Sir James and his wife, the handsy Le Marquis de Chambourie (Jean-Claude), and Prince Edward with Wallis Simpson. Zou Zou’s Great-uncle Zygmund thinks he’s Napoleon. Sir Roderick Altringham is a friend and QC. Sir Grenville Hobbes is the best barrister in Dublin.

Kilhenny – Castle and Village
Timothy Roach is the American millionaire with an interest in books and horses who bought Kilhenny Castle. Mrs. McNalley is the only servant kept on, and she does the cooking and cleaning. She also makes sure his lordship has something to eat. Mickey Riley is Roach’s valet. Ted Benson is the new stable manager who doesn’t know anything about jumpers. Sultan is a big brute no one else can ride. Ol’ Harry Paine was fired…under suspicious circumstances. Gladiator was the horse who died from the doping.

Paddy Murphy was one of Darcy’s best friends in his childhood. Paddy’s wife, Maureen, is pregnant with their third child. Mrs. Murphy (his mother) runs the O’Mara Arms. Barney is the local taxi driver. Connie Wright is one of the reporters. Father Flannery is over 70. Father Brendan was unsuccessful at the castle. Pamela is doing her PhD thesis on burial chambers. Alex Harmon is a professor of archeology at Trinity College. Carol is another of the students. Professor Peabody is with the University of Southern Nebraska.

Inspector Callahan is the Garda detective handling the murder case. Constables Kevin Burne (he used to poach rabbits) and Harris are part of the team.

Mr. Lennox is on the down-low at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin.

The Lake Shore Gang is…
…based in Chicago. Bugsy Barker was the gangleader imprisoned on Alcatraz. His girlfriend, Lola Martinez, thought up the deal. The gang included “Weasel” McHenry, Lofty Schultz, Skeets Kelly, and Dr. Meyer.

Mountjoy is…
…the estate belonging to Darcy’s great-uncle and -aunt, Sir Dooley and Oona, Lady Whyte. (She’s Thaddy’s aunt.) The two sides haven’t spoken in years. And talk about eccentric…lol… Mr. Gladstone is the Whytes’ cat. Treadwell used to be the castle butler, but Sir Dooley and Lady Whyte took him in when Roach fired him. He does make great cheese straws! Branson is one of the farmworkers still at Mountjoy.

The Duke of Kent and the Princess Marina have married (Malice at the Palace). The horrendous Countess Irmtraut von Dinkelfingen-Hackensack, Marina’s cousin, is trying to hang on at Kensington Palace. Major Halliburton, Grenadier Guards, is in charge at Kensington Palace, a.k.a., the Aunt Heap, and fighting a rearguard action. King George is Georgie’s cousin; his wife is Queen Mary. Prince “Fishface” Siegfried is the man Fig thinks would be quite suitable as a husband for Georgie. The gay prince.

A few of the other ladies who have appeared in past stories are mentioned — the Dowager Duchess of Eynsford (Heirs and Graces, 7) and Lady Hawse-Gorzley (The Twelve Clues of Christmas, 6) — including the pregnant Belinda who has some good news at least.

The Cover and Title

The cover is foggily light-hearted in its colors. The background is a huge plain of green with Kilhenny Castle a pale gray on the horizon, a gray and drizzly sort of sky, with five horses and their jockeys taking a fence. I’m thinking it’s Darcy in his mustard-colored overcoat and fedora, facing away from Georgie. Up front is Georgie with her blond bob, chandelier earrings, her long, red double-breasted coat and clutching an Art Deco-style purse. The script used for the title is in a colonial blue that matches the picot trim on the edges of the pale blue ribbon that spans the bottom of the cover. The series information is just below it.

The title is Crowned and Dangerous, and I’m thinking of Queenie and her life-saving actions at the end, lol.

four-stars

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