Rhys Bowen’s Her Royal Spyness Series in Order

Following many investigations in the company of a famous author with the Jane Austen Mysteries series, we continue our cozy sleuthing with more mysteries set in England with Rhys Bowen’s Her Royal Spyness Series.

Described as “a delight” by author Charlaine Harris, Her Royal Spyness is set in the 1930s and follows Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, daughter of the Duke of Atholt and Rannoch, and cousin of England’s King George V. She’s also a penniless aristocrat trying to survive on her own. She finds herself spying for the Queen, solving mysteries and carrying out espionage-related missions.

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Reading Her Royal Spyness, the adventures of Lady Georgiana

All volumes in the Royal Spyness Series deliver standalone stories, but as you read through them, you’ll also get to know Lady Georgiana a bit better with each one.

Her Royal Spyness (2007)
A Royal Pain (2008)
Royal Flush (2009)
Royal Blood (2010)
Naughty in Nice (2011)
Masked Ball at Broxley Manor (2012, prequel short story)
The Twelve Clues of Christmas (2012)
Heirs and Graces (2013)
Queen of Hearts (2014)
Malice at the Palace (2015)
Crowned and Dangerous (2016)
On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service (2017)
Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding (2018)
Love and Death Among the Cheetahs (2019)
The Last Mrs. Summers (2020)
God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen (2021)
Peril in Paris (2022)
The Proof of the Pudding (2023)
We Three Queens (2024)

A little bit more about Masked Ball at Broxley Manor, Lady Georgiana short shorty

At the moment of writing, Masked Ball at Broxley Manor is the only short shorty featuring Lady Georgiana Rannoch—thirty forth in line to the throne, and England’s poorest heiress—and recounting her first meeting with Darcy.

It’s a prequel short story, so you can choose to read it before starting the series. However, we favor the publication order — at least the first time. The story was released in 2012, before the publication of the sixth novel, The Twelve Clues of Christmas, available November 2012.

Her Royal Spyness, A Royal Pain, Royal Flush, the first three books in the Royal Spyness Mystery series

Rhys Bowen about Her Royal Spyness

Author Jacqueline Winspear (of the Maisie Dobbs series) said of Her Royal Spyness that it is “An insightful blend of old-fashioned whodunnit, clever satire and drawing room comedy of errors.” This description certainly makes you want to read the books!

But how do you arrive to create such stories? What was Rhys Bowen’s inspiration for Her Royal Spyness and her heroine Lady Georgie? Bowen revealed in an interview with NFReads.com that the inspiration for the series comes from her marriage into an aristocratic family and her own childhood memories.

However, the creation of Lady Georgie as a protagonist happened almost unexpectedly. During another interview with LitHub, Bowen recounted how her publisher initially asked her to write a “big, dark, stand-alone novel.” Asking herself if she really wanted to pass six months delving into grim themes such as “child molesters, serial killers, terrorists poisoning the water supply”, she decided to go in the opposite direction:

“What would be the most unlikely sleuth I could come up with? How about if she was royal? Wouldn’t that be fun? And she’s penniless, and it’s the 1930s—such a wonderful time to write about, poised between two world wars but a time of great contrasts of haves and have-nots, of communism, fascism, the Prince of Wales, Noel Coward, all these wonderful people waiting to be written about.

So I started writing in the first person, and I wrote that first chapter, exactly as it is in the first book, Her Royal Spyness. I showed it to my agent, who loved it, and we showed it to my editor, who went “No, no, no! That wasn’t what we wanted at all!” So it was put out to bids at other publishers, and it was taken, and it’s done really well.

Rhys Bowen has some personal knowledge of the world that Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie inhabits. “I married into a frightfully upper class British family. I had a father-in-law who was reputed to have said, when a cousin wanted to marry a man who owned a shop, “Stop the bans. No trade in the family.” I use family sayings and interactions all the time. I suppose I notice them more because we don’t live in that world. Lots of funny nicknames in the family.” she said in another interview with Fresh Fiction.

Is there an adaptation of the Royal Spyness Mysteries series?

Not all books are destined to become a TV show or a Movie. For the moment, no Royal Spyness Mysteries have been adapted.

For more mysteries like Royal Spyness, why not visit the 1920s with Sara Rosett’s High Society Lady Detective series?