Wednesday 30 November 2022

NetGalley November - Murder Most Royal

Ok, so my NetGalley November wasn't exactly as good as I would have liked, but I am trying to be a bit better in going "I'm not in the mood for this. Ok, will come back to that later and find something that I want to read and savour". And this was a surprise one as was going to save this for next month, in the run up for Christmas (plus, I did want to read a title that fit under indie publisher but ha-ho). 

Title and Author: Murder Most Royal by S.J. Bennett
Publisher: Zaffre
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof and Audiobook gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review/reaction
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December 2016. The Queen and Prince Philip arrive at Sandingham for their Christmas break, only to be told that a severed hand has been found, washed up on a beach near the estate. 

The Queen, who has a knack for solving crimes, vows not to get involved. It's Christmas and both she and Philip have terrible colds. But when she recognised the signet ring as old family friend, Edward St Cyr, the Queen realises that she might have to get involved after all. Plus, when she heard that a local woman has been a terrible victim of a hit and run, and a local man drowned while open water swimming, the Queen can't help but feel that these are all connected in some way...

Before I go further, I do want to say something very quickly. This book does follow Queen Elizabeth II in 2018 and this is published within a few months after her death. Even the author admits that she was doing her first rounds of editing during the Queen's Jubilee celebration and submit them to her publishers on the same day as Her Majesty's death, which makes this book more poignant for the author and many readers. 

I knew this when I went into this, and I did have a weird moment at the start, but this didn't affect my experience. I have really enjoyed the series so far and this instalment was no exception. In fact, I think I liked it a tad more than the rest. I mean, murder, Christmas and the Queen - what's not to like. 

I do admit that this is a cosy murder mystery so this might not work for some readers. But I think if you are a fan of the Thursday Murder Club, this should be right up your street. It was fun and entertaining (exactly what I look for in a cosy crime novel). I do think it helped that I listened to the audiobook, read by Samatha Bond, which was an added pleasure. I think I'll have go to my local library and get the audiobooks out so it might help me past the time till book 4, A Death in Diamonds, comes out in February 2024 (this story looks at an younger Queen Elizabeth solving a crime in 1957, which adds a nice layer to the series). 

I am going to admit that this series won't be everyone's cup of tea. I think I said this when I read the first and second in the series - The Windsor Knot and The Three Dog Problem. You have to enjoy the lightness of this sub-genre and, because I do, I had a lovely time. But if you like your crime a tad darker/gritter, this might not be the series for you. 

This might not be everyone's tea, but I am having fun with these characters and I do plan to revisit them in 2023... 

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