Book Review: Rhys Bowen’s Royal Blood

Posted November 15, 2011 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 Royal Blood

Royal Blood


Rhys Bowen

historical mystery in Hardcover edition that was published by Berkley on September 7, 2010 and has 305 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

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, 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, Crowned and Dangerous, On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service

Fourth in the Her Royal Spyness suspense series based in London and revolving around the Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 34th in line to the throne and too poor to afford more than beans and toast.

In 2010, Royal Blood won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award (RT Award) for Best Historical Mystery.

My Take

This was pathetic. I may not have been particularly impressed with Georgie’s detective abilities but I can’t believe she is so stupid as to believe that vampires really exist. She has no evidence other than having read Stoker’s Dracula and listening to that idiot Deer-Harte.

Oh, please! Count Dragomir is a servant in the castle? Between Georgie’s vampires and a count acting as a butler, I am thoroughly disgusted with this one. Then there’s that slide-through on Vlad and Matty’s disenchantment. A little too simplistic.

The Story

Princess Maria Theresa of Romania has requested Lady Georgiana as an attendant at her wedding at Vlad’s castle in Romania and Queen Mary sends her with Lady Middlesex as a companion for the trip across Europe (Lady M has brought her own companion, Miss Deer-Harte, a woman who starts at everything and sees assassins behind every pillar! Well, okay, so she was sorta right). All Georgie has to do is come up with a maid. And god forbid that Fig should allow any funds to go towards that essential. Especially since she doesn’t get to go!

Then the field marshal gets poisoned at dinner. A major political disaster that must be averted. Georgie is convinced it’s vampires—and that the princess is one of them—while Patrascue can’t decide if it was Georgie or Darcy who murdered Pirin. Additional incidents up the toll and even Lady Georgiana may be at risk.

The Characters

Lady Georgiana has run from the castle in Scotland to avoid the nasty remarks from her sister-in-law, the duchess, Fig only to find that Fig and Binky, her brother, are coming to London. Binky needs to consult a doctor about the wound he incurred in Royal Flush, 3 while Fig is in an interesting condition. Queenie is Georgie’s temporary maid for this trip; an utter disaster. Darcy O’Mara rescues Georgie from spot after spot even turning up unexpectedly at Nicki’s party—schoolfriends, old chap. He also gets half of his dream come true when he gets Georgie into bed. Well, it is only half. Georgie’s mother and her lover, Max von Strohheim, are also there.

Belinda Warburton Stoke contrives an invitation to the wedding and takes up with Nicholas’ brother, Prince Anton, who seems to be a bit of a perv and right up Belinda’s alley. Georgie figures Belinda is more of her mother’s daughter than she is…sigh. Lady Middlesex is already scheduled to join her husband, the British attache in Baghdad, and gladly does her duty in escorting Lady Georgie. Of course, she’s also rigidly English when it comes to murder.Mustn’t forget her enemies-behind-every-bush companion, Miss Deer-Harte.

Princess Maria Theresa of Romania (“Mattie” and one of Georgie’s schoolfriends) is to marry Prince Nicholas of Bulgaria, the crown prince. There’s just this one problem. Prince Siegfried is the princess’ brother and even she doesn’t think he’s much of a catch although Georgie’s suspicions are confirmed.

Count Dragomir‘s ancestors used to rule this part of Romania. Now he is a servant in his family’s castle. Field Marshal Pirin is most unloved and most necessary. Even in death. Patrascue is the head of the Romanian secret police and an idiot and an asshole.

The Cover and Title

I do like the picot-edged ribbon that runs horizontally across all the covers and carries the title. In this case, it’s a beige ribbon with burgundy trim with the blonde Lady Georgiana descending a curved staircase wearing cream—opera-length gloves and a strapless, fitted dress carrying a matching clutch and a flute of champagne with a long, long double-strand of pearls and her tiara. Behind her, faceless, is a gentleman in a tux adjusting his cuffs. Both are descending to join a crowd mingling on the floor below them.

The title is a reference to the hazards and duties required of Royal Blood.