God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen (Her Royal Spyness, #15)

God Rest Ye, Royal GentlemenGod Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen
by Rhys Bowen
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 9780440000082
Series: Royal Spyness #15
Publication Date: October 7, 2021
Pages: 304
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Mystery
Publisher: Berkley

 

What to say?  This is one of Bowen’s books that has layers.  On the one hand, it’s very Christmassy, so it ticks that box; on the other hand, I was ready to say that the mystery really wasn’t much of a mystery.

The first half of the book focuses on Christmas at Sandringham, with casual mentions of accidental deaths that took place the year before on Boxing day.  Another death occurs half-way through the book that smacks of accidental death, even though readers know it won’t be.  But it’s not until the final 25% that the story gets really interesting.  The author takes the story in a direction I wouldn’t have said most cozy writers had the courage to go, and ends it in much the same way.  I liked it, and it bumped my rating .5 star.

It might have been a higher rating but the book wraps up with cliched character development.  I suppose it’s part of the natural order of things for most people, but I’ve rarely read murder mysteries that make procreation work to the advantage of the series.   I say rarely, but I can’t think of one mystery series that brought babies into the mix that I can do more than tolerate.

The author, as usual, involves a note at the end, detailing the parts of the story that are historically accurate and the parts where she mixed the real people with fictional events – I always appreciate these clarifications, because sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.

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