Popsugar Reading Challenge 2023 Prompt #1

There are probably dozens for books I wanted to read in 2022. One of the books published at the end of the year that was on my wishlist was Murder Most Royal by S. J. Bennett. This is third book in the Her Majesty Investigates series.

What it’s about?

December 2016 – A severed hand is found washed up on a beach next to the Queen’s estate at Sandringham. Elizabeth has become quite accustomed to solving even the most complex of murders. And though she quickly identifies the 70-year-old victim, Edward St Cyr, from his signet ring, the search for his killer is not so straightforward. St Cyr led an unconventional, often controversial life, making many enemies along the way in the quiet, rural world of North Norfolk, where everyone knows each other’s business.

But when a second man is found dead, and a prominent local woman is nearly killed in a hit-and-run, the mystery takes an even darker turn. With the Christmas break coming to an end, the Queen and her trusted assistant Rozie must race to discover how the pieces of the puzzle fit together. Or the next victim may be found even closer to home.

What I think:

This is such an enjoyable series.

The third book is based upon a traditional Royal Christmas at Sandringham in Norfolk.

Landowners and farmers all know each other and the Royal Family. The Queen’s children have grown up playing with the children of local families, So when Sandringham neighbour, Edward St Cyr goes missing and his severed hand turns up on the beach near the Royal Estate.

With relationships and local knowledge, the Queen starts one of her subtle inquiries. Desperate to avoid the Royal Family being dragged into a murder scandal, Rozie is by her side, asking the questions and making the visits that the Queen just can not do.

Bennett does a wonderful job of creating a fictional version of the Royal Family in which they maintain full and satisfying private lives filled with normal family dynamics and banter. The grandchildren and great-children fill a Sandringham Christmas with live and laughter to cheer the Queen and Prince Philip, who are both suffering with colds.

The mystery itself is intriguing and complex. There’s a lot of elements to what is happening as mysteries collide and characters overlap.

It’s great to see Rozie’s character development. She is becoming more confident in her role and her relationships with the family and staff at Buckingham Palace.

This series really is a lovely tribute to the Queen. Warm and witty, with twisty mysteries and lots to keep you guessing. If you like your mysteries on the cosier side, then do check out this series.

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