Regular price: £23.49

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
OR
In Basket

Editor reviews

Editors Select, August 2014 - Usually when I choose a book as my Editors Select pick, I read it in advance of the audio being completed so that I am confident in my recommendation. Not so with this month’s book. Rhys Bowen and Katherine Kellgren team up again for the next installment of my all-time favorite series, and – truly – audio is the best way to experience it. I have no doubt that this book will be as wonderful as its predecessors. I’ll say it again: if you haven’t listened to the Her Royal Spyness series, do so immediately. Utterly charming and totally un-put-down-able, you’ll join me in counting down the days to each book’s new release. —Emily, Audible Editor

Summary

Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 35th in line for the British throne, knows how to play the part of an almost royal - but now she's off to Hollywood, where she must reprise her role as sleuth or risk starring in an all-too-convincing death scene...

My mother, the glamorous and much-married actress, is hearing wedding bells once again - which is why she must hop across the pond for a quickie divorce in Reno. To offer my moral support, and since all expenses are paid by her new hubby-to-be, Max, I agree to make the voyage with her.

Crossing the Atlantic, with adventure in the air and wealthy men aboard, Mother all but forgets about Max and matrimony - especially when movie mogul Cy Goldman insists on casting her in his next picture.

Meanwhile, I find myself caught up in the secret investigation of a suspected jewel thief. Lucky for me, the lead investigator happens to be my dashing beau, Darcy!

Mother's movie and Darcy's larceny lead everyone to Cy's Hollywood home, where the likes of Charlie Chaplin are hanging about and there’s enough romantic intrigue to fill a double feature. But we hardly get a chance to work out the sleeping arrangements before Cy turns up dead - as if there wasn’t enough drama already.

©2014 Janet Quin-Harkin (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    34
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    36
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    29
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favourite

Would you try another book written by Rhys Bowen or narrated by Katherine Kellgren?

I will probably try other Rhys Bowen books, but I really am not impressed with Katherine Kellgren anymore.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The ending was a little flat, but that is something I have noticed in the last three or four books. It is almost as though a required number of words have to be written, so there is quite a lot of padding out.

What didn’t you like about Katherine Kellgren’s performance?

The hysterical nature of the reading is getting worse by the book. I doubt the great grandmother of our heroine would be very impressed as she is no longer acting as a lady should. Even Belinda has been screeching, which is very unlike her, though perhaps three accents that sound similar was probably asking too much.

Although I haven't been that keen on Darcy having an Irish accent, I have never heard a member of the Irish aristocracy have an Irish accent, but in this book it seemed to be all over the place.

Could you see Queen of Hearts being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

No.

Any additional comments?

Please get rid of that maid Queenie. She is becoming a real pain.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Dragging on a bit.

Some dramatic change in fortune, with Darcy & Georgiana working on a more serious case...perhaps Germany, Max & the looming war playing a part? This novel was too predictable, and the characters shallow & stereotyped. Nevertheless a pleasant holiday read.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Wendy
  • 24-08-14

So disappointing!

This book is my least favorite of the series. It takes an inordinate amount of time to get to the actual plot line and the cross country train trip is just boring.
The narration is driving me around the bend. Was there no producer to notice that the sheriff sounds like he's from a Wild West show? He's in Southern California! I realize I'm in the minority with my criticism of Katherine Kellgren ...while I do get a kick out of her voicing of Queenie, her "posh" characterizations have always seemed overdone to me. But the sheriff and the Mexicans? I'm not sure I can finish listening....it's that annoying.

I know I sound like an old curmudgeon and it's hard to tell that I am actually a Rhys Bowen fan and have been since her Evan Evans series (my favorite). This book, and especially the reading, just didn't do it for me.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Calliope
  • 24-08-14

Good but not her best

I think this story pushes the envelope a little too far when it ventures to Hollywood.....had most of the story stayed on the ocean liner crossing the Atlantic, I think it would have been much better. I like the central cast of characters (all except for Queenie - she should have stayed with her new boss), but things reached ridiculous with the wild animals and movie plans. It was a fun romp up to and including New York, and I hope the next installment will stick a little closer to home for the 34th in line to the throne and her Irish beau.

And I hope Queenie gets a job elsewhere and exits from the series!

Katherine Kellgren's narration is always great, but even she was stretched a little too far, especially with the Spanish and Mexican accents. She managed a range of American accents fine, though she was a little over the top with the Western twang too. I'm hoping for a more Euro-centered story next time. Maybe even within the UK. A trip to Darcy's old home, maybe?

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • V. Dickson
  • 22-08-14

Queenie is the Jar-Jar Binks of the Spyness series

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

When Queenie was introduced as a character I never found her likable. Georgie was clumsy and funny enough to carry the comedy on the series.

And the romance should move forward. I think she snookered herself in a writing corner with the "won't sleep with you until you are married" bit.

What about Katherine Kellgren’s performance did you like?

Perfect as always.

Any additional comments?

I was re-listening to the first book and I realized another thing that drew me to the series. Georgie's independence. She has been losing that streak as the series move along.

I'm hoping Rhys finds her muse again on the next book.

29 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amanda
  • 08-09-14

Unbearable

I've read all the other Royal Spyness mysteries, and have enjoyed every one of them. They are my cotton-candy books; meant just for fun fluff, but very good for that purpose. I've looked forward to this book ever since the last one came out, but I could not have been more disappointed. Katherine Kellgren, who I usually enjoy, went so far overboard with the dramatically effusive performance it was painful to listen to. The plot was so bad, and the character's actions so bizarre, that it was insulting to the reader. I'm sorry to say that while I tried to hang on, and listened to quite a bit of it hoping it would get better, I couldn't finish the book. It was just too terrible. I'm going to look into returning it now that I've written the review. If you get it, I really hope you enjoy it; but I could not.

40 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • AudioAddict
  • 16-02-18

Queen of Cozy Mysteries!

STORY (mystery) - In this story, Georgie and the gang take a cruise ship to America, and there is a robbery/murder for them to solve. It always surprises me the quality of the mysteries created in this light-hearted series. I can never guess whodunnit, although this time I got it half right!

PERFORMANCE - Awesome! I can't believe Katherine Kellgren died. Such a loss! In this book she not only tackles male/female voices with multiple accents - Spanish, Irish, English, Cockney, American -- but she does a convincing Spanish male with a lisp! As a narrator, she is irreplaceable.

OVERALL - I love this series, and I can always count on it to be a fun mood picker-upper. This book delivers, as have all the previous ones. Each book stands alone, but best to listen to them in order so you don't miss any character development. No cursing or sex, so it's a good "clean" listen for the whole family. Recommended especially for females due to the girly humor, but I think men might enjoy it as well.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amy S
  • 19-08-14

Same Ol', Same Ol'

What made the experience of listening to Queen of Hearts the most enjoyable?

Katherine Kellgren did a fantastic job as always. I appreciated how creative she got while juggling all the accents in this story. It had hints of radio drama at some of the more exciting moments. Her accents very much fit the Californians of the early '30s (more "Western" for natives) and I especially appreciated how she captured Stella's accent- English, but not as pronounced after years in America.

Any additional comments?

This series has been fun but we are too far in for the characters to have advanced so little. I really felt like the first four chapters had been cut and pasted from previous books. I know there has to be a little backstory for anyone who might enter the series out of order, but for such short books, far too much time is spent explaining Georgie's family, her mother, and even Queenie!

SPOILERS BELOW...


This is not a young adult series and Bowen needs to move things along with Georgie and Darcy. If she wants them married, fine, marry them. She could still keep Georgie independent by sending Darcy off on assignment like she does now. Bowen needs to think more Tommy and Tuppence and less Nancy Drew. At this point their relationship, which has kept me reading the last couple despite mediocre mystery plots, is not even written well enough to keep me going much longer. I will give her one more next year, but if I find spoilers that nothing changes at that point, not even Kellgren's fantastic narration will get me to spend any more time with these characters.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Simone
  • 12-08-14

I WANTED to love it but….

I’m not in love with this instalment. The humour is still great, I love the writing, I adore the characters… the plot just felt a little recycled.

Doesn’t matter, I am still a huge Rhys Bowen and Georgie Rannoch fan. This blip in my interest won’t dim my enthusiasm for the series in any way, in fact I am willing to just call it a mood-thing.

23 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • 13-01-18

Remembering narrater Katherine Kellgren

Katherine Kellgren died of cancer on January 10, 2017.

As I have written in my reviews of her books in Rhys Bowen's Royal Spyness series and Maryrose Wood's The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, I consider Katherine Kellgren the best narrator/performer of audio books. With her voice range and her perfection of regional accents of the US and the UK, she was without peer. With Kellgren each character gets his/her own unique voice. She leaves behind approximately 200 audio book performances of which only 10% are in my Audible library.

Both the Royal Spyness and Incorrigible Children series are ongoing, so she must be and will be replaced; it will be difficult.

There are many outstanding audio book narrators, but none with the unique combination of talents of Katherine Kellgren.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Linda Lou
  • 16-08-14

MY LEAST FAVORITE IN THIS SERIES

I absolutely LOVED all of the previous books in this series! When I saw that a new one was available, I didn't bother with the reviews - I just purchased it. The characters are still well-developed and narrator Katherine Kellgren continues in her masterful vien. But the story falls flat here. First, I like British novels because.....well, they take place in the UK! This one has our familiar crew in the U.S. with not so believeable "American" characters. I don't like my posh aristocrats mixed in with "cowboys" and one-dimensional "Hollywood" players. Even "Charlie Chaplin" was lame in his cameo appearance. How can an author fail to replicate a famous legendary person like Chaplin with as much documentation upon which to draw, to say nothing of his huge body of work on FILM? Lead character, Lady Georgiana "Georgie" Rannoch, and the love of her life, the handsome, sexy, Irish nobleman Darcy O'Mara, are still leaving readers with the now-stale cliffhanger on whether they WILL or whether they WON'T! I'm over it! Everyone else in these "Royal Spyness" novels are overtly having big-time sex in the early 19th century, especially Georgie's BFF, Belinda, who would be considered a "golddigging hood rat" even by modern standards. Even Georgie's mother acts "ratchet" when it comes to sex and she's (usually) married! Both Georgie and Darcy are past legal age, in love, and wickedly attracted to one another. It defies imagination that they continue to spend the night together sharing nothing more than a kiss! I could have dealt with the poor plot line if Georgie and Darcy had done the "nasty"' this time! OR I could go along with the chastity angle, if this book was targeted for the Young Adult market and ALL of the "sex-capades" among the other characters wasn't so rampant and blatant. Come on, Rhys Bowen, two broke aristocrats abstaining until they have money is no longer credible!

31 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • green ice cream garden
  • 29-07-16

Things need to happen already.

I'm giving this a 3 star because I have enjoyed the series but I was disappointed by this one for several reasons. Mainly though it's that the personal stories aren't progressing. When will find out what Darcy does, and how is it that he gets these crazy dangerous jobs with not enough pay to even buy food? I'll continue reading but I do hope that more happens in the personal aspects.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful