The Windsor Knot
By S J Bennett
What it’s about?
The first book in a highly original and delightfully clever crime series in which Queen Elizabeth II secretly solves crimes while carrying out her royal duties.
It is the early spring of 2016 and Queen Elizabeth is at Windsor Castle in advance of her 90th birthday celebrations. But the preparations are interrupted when a guest is found dead in one of the Castle bedrooms. The scene suggests the young Russian pianist strangled himself, but a badly tied knot leads MI5 to suspect foul play was involved. The Queen leaves the investigation to the professionals—until their suspicions point them in the wrong direction.
Unhappy at the mishandling of the case and concerned for her staff’s morale, the monarch decides to discreetly take matters into her own hands. With help from her Assistant Private Secretary, Rozie Oshodi, a British Nigerian and recent officer in the Royal Horse Artillery, the Queen secretly begins making inquiries. As she carries out her royal duties with her usual aplomb, no one in the Royal Household, the government, or the public knows that the resolute Elizabeth will use her keen eye, quick mind, and steady nerve to bring a murderer to justice.
SJ Bennett captures Queen Elizabeth’s voice with skill, nuance, wit, and genuine charm in this imaginative and engaging mystery that portrays Her Majesty as she’s rarely seen: kind yet worldly, decisive, shrewd, and most importantly a great judge of character.
What I think:
Thoroughly enjoyed this book! It is such fun read.
Queen Elizabeth is clever and witty and very observant. The skills she has developed during her reign – particularly her diplomacy and patience are perfect for crime solving.
While she obviously can not interview suspects herself, she is able to steer the direction of the investigation and discreetly share the information she finds with her Assistant Private Secretary Rozie.
Rozie is a great character. She is fiercely loyal to the Queen, clever and determined.
The mystery is clever and twisty and really enjoyable.
The character of the Queen and her relationship with Prince Philip is wonderful as she is both a real persona and an icon. The corgis are fabulous and there are lots of snippets of real life memories and references to historical events that the Queen has witnessed. Bennett clearly enjoys writing and researching this series and it shines through in the writing.
I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the series.