Title and Author: Murder Most Royal by S.J. Bennett
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 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...