Crowned and Dangerous

Written by Rhys Bowen
Review by Elise Cooper

Crowned and Dangerous by Rhys Bowen is a “cozy” mystery. If you are looking for sex scenes or curse words with a lot of action, this is not the book. However, if you’d like your mind engaged with emphasis on a mysterious plot and well-developed characters, you should read this novel. The added bonus is that readers will learn about events and the culture of the time period, the mid-1930s in England.

This tenth Royal Spyness Mystery opens with Lady Georgiana Rannoch and the Honorable Darcy O’ Mara trying to elope in Scotland even though she is 35th in line for the British crown and he is Catholic. En route he learns that his father is accused of killing a wealthy American who bought the O’Mara estate.  To save Georgie from scandal, Darcy ends his engagement to her and returns home to County Kildare, Ireland. Yet Georgie refuses to listen and travels to Ireland. With access to the crime scene she and Darcy take readers on a journey with them as they figure out “who done it.”

Intertwined within the mystery are fascinating historical facts about the era.  Enriching the plot are the larger-than-life characters, such as Queen Mary, the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VIII), Mrs. Wallis Simpson, the Duke of York (the future George VI), and many American gangsters. Readers will learn that Mrs. Simpson was a nauseating personality who made fun of the Duke of York’s stuttering; the 1930s was a huge contrast between the haves and have nots; how the aristocratic class lived; that the gangster pieces were based on the 1932 real heist in America; and how many like Georgie were left high and dry because the inheritance only went to the sons, mostly the first born.

This novel has a captivating mystery with plenty of real-life facts to please historical fans.