From the Booking Desk:

Today, I have two mini-reviews to share with readers. These are two very different, but equally enjoyable historical mysteries – both part of well-established and on-going series. It is also worth noting that both series feature main characters who are independent women not afraid to speak their mind – regardless of what society may think about that. Why not give these books a try, along with any others in each series that you might have missed.

Malice At The Palace – Rhys Bowen

The backdrop for the latest in the “Royal Spyness” series is the real life wedding of Prince George to Princess Marina of Greece. Once again, Lady Georgiana is enlisted by the Queen to help out with delicate matters. In this case, Georgie is expected to watch over the Princess Marina and limit her exposure to the many rumors that circulate around Prince George – most of them involving his romantic liaisons. As always, Lady Georgiana stumbles upon murder and has to use her clever wit and investigative skills to deflect suspicion away from the Royal Family.

Rhys Bowen excels at these light-hearted romps through posh society and Malice at the Palace is no different. Readers have come to love Lady Georgiana and her crazy antics. After last year’s detour to America, it is nice to see the cast of characters back in their native country. As expected, all of reader’s favorite secondary characters make appearances. It wouldn’t be right to read about Georgie without a surprising appearance by her true love Darcy, so Rhys of course has him show up when least expected. A cliff-hanger ending involving their ever tumultuous relationship will likely frustrate loyal fans, but it won’t stop them from returning for the next book in this delightful series.

A Pattern Of Lies – Charles Todd

At the other end of the spectrum is the more serious writing of Charles Todd. In A Pattern of Lies, the mother and son writing team give us another adventure featuring WWI nurse Bess Crawford. As is often the case with a Charles Todd book, the novel focuses not on the harm done directly on the battlefields of war, but on those side casualties that are an accidental result of actions related to a country at war.

Here, Bess Crawford is temporarily stranded in Kent, where several years prior an explosion at the Ashton Gunpowder Mill killed over a hundred local men. As luck (or misfortune) would have it, Bess is there to witness the arrest of Phillip Ashton and as a friend of the family she feels she must help in any way she can. Turns out, the only witness to the explosion is off fighting the war in France and it falls to Bess to track down the unwilling eye witness.

Charles Todd has a knack for depicting the many ramifications of war. Fans have grown to love and care about Bess and as the war creeps closer to an end, it is fascinating to watch how Todd is developing her character. Thankfully, it looks and sounds as though the Bess Crawford series will continue even after the war has ended.


Disclaimer:  Print galleys of these titles were provided to BOLO Books by the publisher/author. No review was promised and the above are unbiased reviews of the novel.