On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service
Being related to royalty isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially when you’re being roped into favors on behalf of the Queen. And unfortunately for Georgie, aka Lady Georgiana Rannoch, she is soon dispatched to an Italian villa to report on the possible secret marriage of David, The Prince of Wales, to Mrs. Wallis Simpson. Factor in an ill friend, her troublesome estranged mother, and the unwanted attention of a German rogue, and Georgie may find herself in much deeper trouble than she ever expected.
On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service is the latest entry in the long-running Her Royal Spyness series, and it manages to be a mystery, a social comedy, and a low-energy spy novel all at once. Despite numerous previous installments, the reader never feels lost in the narrative. Bowen is careful to provide just enough info to keep the story going, something that can be tough to do once you’re ten novels in.
And Georgie is a delight as a character. Immensely capable, yet still vulnerable, she plays charmingly befuddled to a tee. Although all the usual tip-top Britishness adorning the novel gets a bit tedious, the mix of real and fictional characters keeps things interesting.