Lady Victoria Georgiana. Her Royal Spyness starts with Georgie explaining her life as an aristocrat, 34th in line to the throne in fact, and how being penniless impeded her situation just a bit. She’s expected to marry well and get money that way. In the gloom-and-doom castle of her youth, however, she finds little to amuse her and little society with whom to converse.
The Queen (known throughout the book as HM, aka Her Majesty) wants to foist her off on a Romanian prince doomed to die at the hands of his countrymen. Her step-brother has cut off her allowance and she must fend for herself. Georgie runs off to London and tries her hand at a variety of professions before she finally starts a business that opens houses for the rich and noble so they don’t have to send servants down to do it ahead of time. She goes and cleans the houses herself *gasp* and earns a tidy profit. When she is reunited with her old school chum Belinda and meets dashing Darcy O’Mara, a penniless Irish nobleman, life doesn’t seem so bad.
Things take a turn for the worse when she finds a dead frenchman in her bathtub, indicating her and her brother, Binky.
I found this story adorable and full of fun. The mystery wasn’t too mysterious. I had it pegged from the start, but Georgie’s antics made it hilarious. I think my favorite bit of the story was how down to earth the heroine was. Georgie is practical, and although she’s faced with many unpleasant avenues for her life, she’s determined to forge her own path. She doesn’t want to marry the doomed prince, or be shipped off to her great-aunt’s for life. She wouldn’t say no if her cousin David, the Prince of Wales (HRH, His Royal Highness) proposed, but she has standards. She wants love. I’ll admit, when Darcy comes on to her after chapters of flirtation, I thought she’d succumb to his wiles. But she shows remarkable Jane Eyre-ish pluck and puts her foot down stating that she’s not just looking for fun. He respects that although doesn’t really stop trying to remain in her good graces.
The narrator, Katharine Kellgren, did a great job with the voices and accents. She did all right with the American (she needs to learn to flatten the vowels a bit more), but she excelled at Darcy’s irish brogue. Susan Ericksen is my favorite narrator of all time and does the voice of Irish billionaire Roarke in the much beloved In Death series by J. D. Robb. I consider Ericksen’s accent to be flawless and when Darcy spoke in this series, I was like, “It sounds just like Roarke!” So there you go. Also, having conversed with real Irish people, I think they are pretty close. I thought the narration was perfect.
I can’t wait to move on to book 2 and read/listen about one of my new favorite heroines.