Plot: Georgie is sent to a gothic, Transylvanian castle to represent to the royal family at a Romanian marriage. But soon the wedding party is trapped by snow and an important Bulgarian general falls dead at dinner. It falls to Georgie and her companions to discover if the murder is revolutionary or vampiric and to catch the killer before others suffer the same fate.
This review is based on the audiobook narrated by Katherine Kellgren.
In this volume, Bowen given us all the mystery, misunderstandings and romance that made all her previous novels so fun with an added touch of Gothic horror. Georgie arrives in Romania, her head filled with stories of vampires. Thus when she sees men climbing castle walls, mysterious men in her room and disappearing portraits colour her reaction to the murders. And of course there are murders, 2 as is typical, that may be political, passionate or mystical… although no one takes Georgie seriously when she brings up vampires.
The ways in which the recurring cast – Georgie’s mother, her best friend Belinda, Prince Siegfried and the delicious Darcy O’Mara – find themselves thrown together are starting to strain belief. But they are all endlessly entertaining, so I’m still glad to see them all (though I could do without Belinda’s endless recommendations to do away with Georgie’s virginity). Georgie’s relationship with Darcy continues to develop, slowly and Rhys continues to hint at Darcy’s secret profession. The relationship with Siegfried also develops, to Georgie’s great horror. Rhys introduces a new character in Georgie’s bumbling, incompetent cockney maid; she’s useless at her job but proves brave and loyal and looks likely to return.
The mystery was a bit less twisty than some of the others but it was another entertaining book in a series I am growing to love.
Royal Blood is book four in the Royal Spyness series. Book five is Naughty in Nice.