THE ROYAL SPYNESS SERIES IN ORDER
Listen to Rhys “interview” her characters from the Royal Spyness series (with the help of audiobook narrator Katherine Kellgren)!
Her Royal Spyness (2007)
Her ridiculously long name is Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, daughter to the Duke of Atholt and Rannoch. And she is flat broke. As the thirty-fourth in line for the throne, she has been taught only a few things, among them, the perfect curtsey. But when her brother cuts off her allowance, she leaves Scotland, and her fiancé Fish-Face, for London, where she has:
a) worked behind a cosmetics counter—and gotten sacked after five hours
b) started to fall for a quite unsuitable minor royal
c) made some money housekeeping (incognita, of course), and
d) been summoned by the Queen to spy on her playboy son
Then an arrogant Frenchman, who wants her family’s 800-year-old estate for himself, winds up dead in her bathtub. Now her most important job is to clear her very long family name.
A Royal Pain (2008)
The Queen of England has concocted a plan in which Georgie is to entertain a Bavarian princess—and conveniently place her in the playboy Prince’s path, in the hopes that he might finally marry.
But queens never take money into account. Georgie has very little, which is why she moonlights as a maid-in-disguise. She must draw up plans: clean house to make it look like a palace; have Granddad and her neighbor pretend to be the domestic staff; un-teach Princess Hanni the English she’s culled from American gangster movies; cure said Princess of her embarrassing shoplifting habit; and keep an eye on her at parties. Then there’s the worrying matter of the body in the bookshop and Hanni’s unwitting involvement with the Communist Party. It’s enough to drive a girl crazy…
Royal Flush (2009)
With its posh clientele in the country for the summer, Georgie’s housecleaning business has fizzled. So she tries hiring herself out as a dinner and theatre companion. But her first client has quite the wrong idea. To avoid further scandal, Georgie’s shipped home to Castle Rannoch, where her summer plans include honoring a promise to Her Majesty to keep Castle Rannoch’s divorcée houseguest from seducing the Prince of Wales. She’s also been coerced into helping Scotland Yard with a top-secret mission—namely keeping an eye on the shooting party at Balmoral and preventing someone from shooting the Prince. And Georgie must manage all this without strangling her odious sister-in-law Fig or spineless brother Binky.
Royal Blood (2010)
Penniless and thirty-fourth in line to the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch finds herself in a truly draining state of affairs. To escape her hateful brother, Georgie accepts an invitation from the Queen to represent the royals at a wedding in Transylvania. But at the macabre-looking castle, Georgie finds the bride with blood running down her chin, and a wedding guest is poisoned.
Now it’s up to Georgie to save the nuptial festivities before the couple’s vows become “to love and to cherish, till ‘undeath’ do them part…”
Naughty in Nice (2011)
In 1933, Georgie, the mystery world’s favorite penniless heiress, escapes to the French Riviera after Her Majesty the Queen sends her there on a mission to recover her stolen snuff box.
Lady Georgie is honored to be trusted by the Queen—and even more honored when she meets Coco Chanel and is asked to model her latest clothing line. But when a necklace belonging to the Queen is stolen on the catwalk, Georgie not only has to find two priceless items—she also has an unsolved murder on her hands and has to keep an eye on her love interest, Darcy O’Mara, who has been acting awfully suspicious throughout Georgie’s ordeal.
The Twelve Clues of Christmas (2012)
Scotland, 1933. While her true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending his feliz navidad tramping around South America and her mother is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with droll playwright Noel Coward, Georgie is quite literally stuck at Castle Rannoch thanks to a snowstorm.It seems like a Christmas miracle when she manages to land a position as hostess to a posh holiday party in Tiddleton. The village should be like something out of A Christmas Carol, but as soon as she arrives things take a deadly turn when a neighborhood nuisance falls out of a tree. On her second day, another so-called accident results in a death—and there’s yet another on her third, making Georgie wonder if there’s something wicked happening in this winter wonderland…
Heirs and Graces (2013)
London, 1934. Entrusted by Her Majesty the Queen with grooming Jack Altringham—the Duke of Eynsford’s newly discovered heir fresh from the Outback of Australia—for high society, Georgie now has the luxurious opportunity to live in one of England’s most gorgeous stately homes. But upon her arrival at Kingsdowne Place, Georgie finds herself in a manor full of miscreants, none of whom are pleased with the discovery of her new ward.Then the duke announces he wants to choose his own heir and causes quite the hubbub. Somewhere along the way Jack’s hunting knife ends up in the duke’s back. Eyes fall, backs turn, and fingers point to the young heir. As if the rascal weren’t enough of a handful, now he’s suspected of murder. But while Jack may be wild, Georgie would bet the crown jewels it wasn’t he who killed the duke…
Queen of Hearts (2014)
England, 1934. Georgie’s mother, the glamorous and much-married actress, is hearing wedding bells once again—which is why she must hop across the pond for a quickie divorce in Reno. To offer her moral support, Georgie agrees to go along on the all expenses paid voyage across the Atlantic. While her mother meets movie mogul Cy Goldman—who insists on casting her in his next picture—Georgie finds herself caught up in the secret investigation of a suspected jewel thief. Lucky for her, the lead investigator happens to be her dashing beau, Darcy! Her mother’s movie and Darcy’s larceny lead everyone to Cy’s Hollywood home, where the likes of Charlie Chaplin are hanging about and there’s enough romantic intrigue to fill a double feature. But they hardly get a chance to work out the sleeping arrangements before Cy turns up dead. As if there wasn’t enough drama already…
Malice at the Palace (2015)
Caught between her high birth and empty purse, Georgie is relieved to receive a new assignment from the Queen. The King’s youngest son, George, is to wed Princess Marina of Greece, and the Queen wants Georgie to be her companion: showing her the best of London—and dispelling any rumors about George’s libertine history. The prince is known for his many affairs with women as well as men—including the great songwriter Noel Coward. But things truly get complicated when one of his supposed mistresses is murdered. The Queen wants the whole matter hushed. But as the case unfolds—and Georgie’s beau Darcy, as always, turns up in the most unlikely of places—their investigation brings them precariously close to the prince himself.
Crowned and Dangerous (2016)
As Lady Georgiana’s beloved Darcy drives her out of London, she soon discovers that he isn’t planning to introduce her to the pleasures of sinning in secret—as she had hoped—but to make her his wife! Of course, she’ll need special permission from the king to marry a Roman Catholic. Though he will inherit a title, Darcy is as broke as Georgie. Even his family’s Irish castle has been sold to a rich American who now employs his father. Nothing will deter them from their mission—except perhaps the news that Georgie’s future father-in-law has just been arrested for murdering the rich American. With the elopement postponed, they head for Ireland, where the suspect insists he’s innocent, and it’s up to them to prove it—for better or worse.
On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service (2017)
When royal sleuth Georgie Rannoch receives a letter from her dearest friend Belinda, who’s in an Italian villa awaiting the birth of her illegitimate baby, she yearns to run to her side. If only she could find a way to get there! But then opportunity presents itself in a most unexpected way—her cousin the queen asks her to attend a house party in the Italian Lake Country. The Prince of Wales and the dreadful Mrs. Simpson have been invited, and Her Majesty is anxious to thwart a possible secret wedding. What luck! A chance to see Belinda, even if it is under the guise of stopping unwanted nuptials. Only that’s as far as Georgie’s fortune takes her. She soon discovers that she attended finishing school with the hostess of the party—and the hatred they had for each other then has barely dimmed. Plus, she needs to hide Belinda’s delicate condition from the other guests. And her dashing beau Darcy’s (naturally) working undercover on a dangerous mission. Then her actress mother shows up, with a not-so-little task to perform. With all this subterfuge, it seems something is bound to go horribly wrong—and Georgie will no doubt be left to pick up the pieces when it does.
Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding (2018)
If only Darcy and I had eloped! What I thought would be a simple wedding has been transformed into a grand affair, thanks to the attendance of the queen, who has offered up the princesses as bridesmaids. Silly me! I thought that withdrawing from the royal line of succession would simplify my life. But before Darcy and I tie the knot in front of queen and country, we have to find a place to live as man and wife…
House hunting turns out to be a pretty grim affair. Just as we start to lose hope, my globetrotting godfather offers us his fully staffed country estate. Mistress of Eynsleigh I shall be! With Darcy off in parts unknown, I head to Eynsleigh alone, only to have my hopes dashed. The grounds are in disarray and the small staff is suspiciously incompetent. Not to mention the gas tap leak in my bedroom, which I can only imagine was an attempt on my life. Something rotten is afoot—and bringing the place up to snuff may put me six feet under before I even get a chance to walk down the aisle…
Love and Death Among the Cheetahs (2019)
I was so excited when Darcy announced out of the blue that we were flying to Kenya for our extended honeymoon. Now that we are here, I suspect he has actually been sent to fulfill another secret mission. I am trying very hard not to pick a fight about it, because after all, we are in paradise! Darcy finally confides that there have been robberies in London and Paris. It seems the thief was a member of the aristocracy and may have fled to Kenya. Since we are staying in the Happy Valley—the center of upper-class English life—we are well positioned to hunt for clues and ferret out possible suspects.
Now that I am a sophisticated married woman, I am doing my best to sound like one. But crikey! These aristocrats are a thoroughly loathsome sort enjoying a completely decadent lifestyle filled with wild parties and rampant infidelity. And one of the leading lights in the community, Lord Cheriton, has the nerve to make a play for me. While I am on my honeymoon! Of course, I put an end to that right off.
When he is found bloodied and lifeless along a lonely stretch of road, it appears he fell victim to a lion. But it seems that the Happy Valley community wants to close the case a bit too quickly. Darcy and I soon discover that there is much more than a simple robbery and an animal attack to contend with here in Kenya. Nearly everyone has a motive to want Lord Cheriton dead and some will go to great lengths to silence anyone who asks too many questions. The hunt is on! I just hope I can survive my honeymoon long enough to catch a killer…
The Last Mrs. Summers (2020)
I am a bit at loose ends at the moment. My cook, Queenie, is making my new role as mistress of Eynsleigh something akin to constant torture as Darcy is off on another one of his top secret jaunts. And Grandad is busy helping wayward youths avoid lives of crime. So when my dearest friend, Belinda, inherits an old cottage in Cornwall and begs me to go with her to inspect the property, I jump at the chance.
After a heart-stopping journey in Belinda’s beast of a motorcar, we arrive at the creaky old cottage called White Sails and quickly realize that it is completely uninhabitable. Just when I’m starting to wonder if I would have been better off trying to get Queenie to cook a roast that hasn’t been burnt beyond all recognition, we meet Rose Summers, a woman Belinda knew as a child when she spent time in Cornwall. Rose invites us to stay at Trewoma Hall, the lovely estate now owned by her husband, Tony.
Belinda confesses that she never liked Rose and had a fling with Tony years ago, so staying with them is far from ideal but beggars can’t be choosers as they say. Trewoma is not the idyllic house Belinda remembers. There’s something claustrophobic and foreboding about the place. Matters aren’t helped by the oppressively efficient housekeeper Mrs. Mannering or by the fact that Tony seems to want to rekindle whatever he and Belinda once had right under his wife’s nose.
Our increasingly awkward visit soon turns deadly when a member of the household is found murdered and all clues point to Belinda as the prime suspect. I soon learn that some long buried secrets have come back to haunt those in residence at Trewoma Hall and I’ll need to sift through the ruins of their past so Belinda doesn’t lose her chance at freedom in the present…
God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen (2021)
Georgie is excited for her first Christmas as a married woman in her lovely new home. She suggests to her dashing husband, Darcy, that they have a little house party, but when Darcy receives a letter from his aunt Ermintrude, there is an abrupt change in plans. She has moved to a house on the edge of the Sandringham estate, near the royal family, and wants to invite Darcy and his new bride for Christmas. Aunt Ermintrude hints that the queen would like Georgie nearby. Georgie had not known that Aunt Ermintrude was a former lady-in-waiting and close confidante of her royal highness. The letter is therefore almost a royal request, so Georgie, Darcy, and their Christmas guests: Mummy, Grandad, Fig, and Binky all head to Sandringham.
Georgie soon learns that the notorious Mrs. Simpson, mistress to the Prince of Wales, will also be in attendance. It is now crystal clear to Georgie that the Queen expects her to do a bit of spying. There is tension in the air from the get-go, and when Georgie pays a visit to the queen, she learns that there is more to her request than just some simple eavesdropping. There have been a couple of strange accidents at the estate recently. Two gentlemen of the royal household have died in mysterious circumstances and another has been shot by mistake during a hunt. Georgie begins to suspect that a member of the royal family is the real target but her investigation will put her new husband and love of her life, Darcy, in the crosshairs of a killer.