“Amateur detective Queen Elizabeth II is back in this hugely entertaining follow-up to The Windsor Knot, in which Her Majesty must determine how a missing painting is connected to the shocking death of a staff member inside Buckingham Palace.
At Buckingham Palace, the autumn of 2016 presages uncertain times. The queen must deal with the fallout from the Brexit referendum, a new female prime minister, and a tumultuous election in the United States – yet these prove to be the least of her worries when a staff member is found dead beside the palace swimming pool. Is it truly the result of a tragic accident, as the police think, or is something more sinister going on?
Meanwhile, her assistant private secretary, Rozie Oshodi, is on the trail of a favorite painting that once hung outside the queen’s bedroom and appears to have been misappropriated by the Royal Navy. And a series of disturbing anonymous letters have begun circulating in the palace. The Queen’s courtiers think they have it all “under control”, but Her Majesty is not so sure. After all, though the staff and public may not be aware, she is the keenest sleuth among them. Sometimes, it takes a Queen’s eye to see connections where no one else can.”
I absolutely adored The Windsor Knot (Her Majesty the Queen Investigates #1) by S.J. Bennett. I mean, Queen Elizabeth as a Miss Marple-like sleuth? What’s not to like? That’s why I couldn’t wait for All the Queen’s Men (Amazon), the second volume in this mystery series. The book was released earlier this month and I quickly burned an Audible credit to get my hands on it.
The queen notices one of her favorite paintings on display at an exhibition of maritime art in Portsmouth. The painting is of the Britannia yacht, and it is revealed that it once hung outside the queen’s bedroom. She wonders when the painting was borrowed and why it has not been returned. What seems like a simple request for Rozie is anything but, especially when the body of an unpopular older housekeeper is found dead by the palace swimming pool, her priorities shift. Was it a murder or simply an unfortunate death? There are plenty of rumors amongst the household staff, and Rozie finds out that there was a poison pen letter campaign against the dead woman.
This book’s mysteries are a lot more multi-faceted than The Windsor Knot, and at times a little confusing to me as I listened on audio. I’m sure if I’d been reading the book it wouldn’t have been as muddled. But I soon got back on track and enjoyed the interactions between The Queen and Rozie, as well as Rozie’s ability to ferret out information from unsuspecting people. The only thing I found missing was more light moments between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. So some of the charm from the original is missing from this volume because of that, but it’s still a great cozy mystery, set at Buckingham Palace, no less. What more could I ask for? Even though I guessed the ending, I still enjoyed this book.
For more reviews, visit www.bargain-sleuth.com
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