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Her Royal Spyness

Written by: Rhys Bowen
Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
4 out of 5 stars (57 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Agatha Award-winning author Rhys Bowen’s charming combination of intrigue and romance blended with a touch of humor shines when performed by Audible Hall of Fame narrator Katherine Kellgren, whose deft range and impeccable accent work make it hard to believe this isn’t a multicast performance.

In this irresistible cozy set in 1930s London, Rhys Bowen introduces the lively Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie—or "Georgie" for short. Despite standing 34th in line for the throne and occasionally having tea with (…and spying for!) Her Majesty the Queen, Georgie is penniless and down-on-her-luck. And just when it seems things might be looking up, she finds a body in her bathtub.

Listeners are sure to be hooked on this royally enjoyable series—and luckily for them, the collaboration between author and narrator only gets richer over the course of 12 books. 

©2007 Janet Quin-Harkin (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

  • Audie Award Nominee - Best Mystery/Suspense Audiobook, 2011

"Rhys Bowen has crafted an insightful blend of old-fashioned whodunnit, clever satire, and drawing room comedy of errors -- and created a feisty new heroine to delight a legion of Anglophile readers." (Jacqueline Winspear, author of the Maisie Dobbs novels)

"Kellgren finds unique voices for quirky characters such as Georgie’s adorable grandfather and estranged mother, Wallis Simpson, and a sexy Irish lord. Kellgren will make listeners want to meet the kilt-clad ghosts who play bagpipes in Scotland’s castle corridors and tartan-wallpapered bathrooms." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Funny British Mystery

Loved this book. Was looking for something light and quirky, and it was perfect. The performance was wonderful with all the different voices.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My absolute favourite series

I love The characters in this entire series, and the narration by Katherine Kellegren is perfect!
If you’re looking for a fun and engaging cosy mystery series I recommend this one, and the Molly Murphy series as well. #Audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Georgie is my new heroine!

Totally delightful narration and characters. I will enjoy listening to this book again. Can't wait to experience the next adventure.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A great listen

Enjoyed this cute story. Great narrator! I will definitely look for more in the series.

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Great narration

Enjoyable plot once the story began to develop. Will probably check out this author again.

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Royal Spyness series Review

This series is easy to listen to. It’s very British. Lots of fun on long drives. Even my husband will listen. Thanks Audible1 for having it available. Once I finish one book can’t wait to listen to the next book to see how she gets in trouble.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Living Right
  • 2010-08-16

Happy addition to a difficult genre

I love a good mystery and am frequently disappointed. This one was very satisfying. The story is set during an interesting time in history, the early 1930s; the characters span a range of social classes due to the main character's position as a fiscally destitute minor royal whose mixed parentage includes a Cockney grandfather. She thinks out of the box which places her in situations that would be precluded by strict adherence to class code. The story contains enough plot twists to keep the reader guessing, but all the necessary clues are provided, so the conclusion is logical.
The narrator does a fantastic job with the voices and accents.

138 of 141 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Em
  • 2012-06-11

I’ve Been Charmed

I’m writing a review of the first book in this series, but that’s because you need to begin at the beginning and keep going. But you don’t want to miss any of the books in Bowen’s adorable and delightful Royal Spyness series. These books are total charmers. They tell the story of Lady Georgiana Rannoch, cousin to the Queen, in 1930s England. She’s a minor royal who's completely penniless, but expected to keep up with the Joneses. Uninterested in marrying for money, she’s trying to figure out how to make her own way in the world, with very few suitable options available to her. And then there’s the fact that keeps running into dead bodies (as tends to happen in these cozy mysteries). You may be rolling your eyes, but trust me: these books are absolutely wonderful little gems. And while I would never dare discourage reading, you really ought to listen to them. Katherine Kellgren is the real star here. She gives perfect voice to all of the characters Georgie encounters: her Cockney grandfather, a handsome Irish rogue, a crazy German princess who’s obsessed with American gangster movies, a stuffy butler, and even Wallis Simpson and Coco Chanel. I can’t wait for the next one!

130 of 133 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Coffee Lover
  • Huntsville, AL
  • 2011-01-17

Joy, Joy, Joy!

This is the first novel in Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness series and it is a jewel. Katherine Kellgren brings the characters to life and will have you laughing out loud. Not that there isn't suspense in plenty and some romantic interest as well. Audible has all of this series on the site now and if you haven't heard them, you are in for a major treat!

164 of 169 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dylan
  • United States
  • 2016-02-04

Such Fun

If you could sum up Her Royal Spyness in three words, what would they be?

Good mystery fun.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The plot was subtle to start but like all Royal Spyness books its setting a great story. Its fun and entertaining. Some good laughs and there are moments where you can't wait to hear what happens next because there are some great cliffhangers.

What about Katherine Kellgren’s performance did you like?

Its so hard to find a narrator that I like. One who is expressive and who can do so many characters. In each Royal Spyness book this is one of the main reasons I keep on coming back.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. I just didn't have the time.

Any additional comments?

Such a great series. I am almost finished it. Well worth the money!

25 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • marie
  • 2011-02-19

Not Bad

Since I have run the gamut of Agatha Christie's mysteries (some multiple times) I was starting to feel like a part of my life was missing, so I figured that I would give this author a shot, even on the outset, I thought these books would be overly hokey. They aren't. Also, I have to say that although the story lines are sometimes, but not wholly predictable, that this series is pretty darn enjoyable. They definitely fit the cozy genre to a "t" and I think the main character is great. Like Christie, Bowen treats English artistocracy with a tongue in cheek type of humor and manages to keep the reader interested enough in the plot to want to keep going without stopping. I don't necessarily think it is a bad thing to be able to predict some of the outcomes, as long as we aren't able to guess them all, and hey maybe this was the author's intent, anyway.
If you are looking for a happy, fun, cozy, enjoyable whodunit, this series is for you.

83 of 86 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Emily
  • Anchorage, AK, United States
  • 2011-01-24

Funny as all get out!

I am generally not a 1st person plot view fan, but I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The mystery was not the focus of the story, and I liked that. The whole "aristocrat struggling to get by" plot was what had me coming back to it, and I laughed out loud many a time.

The narrator was perfection as well, I believe she just might be Georgie and just never knew till now :)

55 of 57 people found this review helpful

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  • Chip Atkinson
  • Greensboro, NC, United States
  • 2013-05-22

Funny, Entertaining and a Wonderful Read

I actually purchased this to listen with my wife. What a pleasant surprise! Best of all I'm hooked on a series with plenty of novels to go.

The story is of a clever, beautiful, poor yet still royal woman having to disgrace her position by working. It leads to a myriad of humorous scenes, all of which overshadow the actual mystery.

Katherine Kellgren does a wonderful job reading a variety of characters.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike From Mesa
  • 2012-12-19

Delightful little mystery

I bought this book on a whim. The idea of a down-and-out royal trying to make a living in 1930s London was interesting enough to peak my curiosity, but mixing that with a murder mystery was enough to convince me to give it a try.

The book was a worthwhile read for me if only for the portrait it paints of the 1930s class-conscious society that existed of that time in the UK. The lives of those in the upper class as well as those not in that class (NOCD - not our class darling) is presented as is with no explicit excuses or embarrasment, just as the people who lived then must have thought of it. What are most interesting, besides the interactions of the two classes, are the unconscious restrictions placed on the upper class who still, sometimes, had to make a living.

The murder mystery added some additional interest to the book although the mystery was both much clearer and easier to piece for me than Agatha Chrisie's Miss Marple books. There were sufficient red herrings thrown in and our heroine does indeed make some stupid decisions, but it is all in fun and the true culprit did not become clear to me until the last hour or so of the book. All in all I can say that I had a good time reading it. I do not expect to read any other books in the series but I do not regret having purchased and read this one.

Ms Kellgren's narration of the book is first class - the British, Scots and American accents sound authentic (to my ears). She spoke clearly and seemed perfectly chosen for the tone and pace of the book. I feel I can recommend this book for some fun and light reading.

32 of 33 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Angela Heinrich
  • Seattle, WA USA
  • 2012-07-09

Mildly entertaining, but mostly silly

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

As you might suppose from the title of this book, it is light-hearted and a little silly. I was somewhat entertained but I won't be listening to the rest of the series.

What does Katherine Kellgren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Narrator was wonderful.

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • Union City, Tunisia
  • 2010-08-18

To The Manor Born Meets The Royals

I have been a fan of British everything for as long as I can remember. I am so glad that I found this great set of books. As I read/listen to this story I find myself imagining Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie being play by that great British actress Penelope Keith, from the BBC1 sitcom “To the Manor Born.” I can't wait to get into the next installment of this fantastic series. Bravo to Rhys Bowen for her wit, style and elegance in showing us that to whatever station we may find ourselves in we are all people at heart.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful