RogerBW's Blog

Masked Ball at Broxley Manor, Rhys Bowen 25 September 2021

2012 thriller novelette, prequel to the series Her Royal Spyness. "Georgie", cousin to the king but really of no importance, is coming to the end of her Season with no offers. She doesn't particularly fancy Prince Otto of Prussia, but going to a Halloween Ball (an American innovation) should be harmless enough…

This was actually published between books 5 and 6 of the series, but I think doesn't prefigure things too much: knowing one particular name would slightly damage the mystery of book 1, but it wasn't particularly mysterious anyway. Meanwhile there's a sense of fun even while events in the outside world are being rather hard work (and for that matter while there's no money to be had at home).

"Wasn't Otto the mad one?" Fig asked. "Didn't they have to lock him away?"

"He was all right when I met him," Binky said. "We played trains under the table and he wasn't foaming at the mouth or anything. Of course I was only about five at the time."

Wallis Simpson turns up, at this point still married so that's all right isn't it, and the whole business of the ball is rather more tawdry than Georgie expected (a certain amount of sneaking off, perhaps, but not wholesale). Most of the excitement happens out of her sight, and I suspect this is intended more as a reward for dedicated readers than as an introduction to the series, but it should work reasonably well as the latter too.

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Series: Her Royal Spyness | Next in series: Her Royal Spyness

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