Monday, February 29, 2016


Publisher:     Berkley
Published:     July 7, 2015
ISBN:       978-0425266625
Genre:      Mystery
Format:    Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


It has been several months since Georgia Fenchurch and the Archivist’s Society concluded their last investigation.  It has also been the same amount of time since she has seen the Duke of Blackford—the man she has come to love but can never have.  Theirs is a relationship that can never be because he is a Duke and she is a tradeswoman.  No matter how successful Fenchurch’s Books might be, she will never be in the Duke’s class.  Still, that does not stop her from answering his call for help when he turns to her regarding a plot to kill a Russian princess, Princess Kira.  At first Georgia is not quite ready to help, at least not right away.  She is still trying to locate the man who killed her parents some 17 years before and the society is already in the middle of a robbery that left one man dead and a house in shambles.  Blackford, however, prevails and Georgia soon finds herself working as the secretary for the Duchess of Hereford where the Princess Kira is staying while she plans her wedding. It isn’t long before Georgia is drawn into a web of secrets and family intrigues that go beyond a mere royal wedding.  When a guard turns up dead and strange comings and goings begin to happen at Hereford house Georgia finds herself and the Archivists drawn more deeply into the investigation.  Walking a fine line between royal protocol and her need to conduct her investigation her way Georgia finds herself deeper and deeper into the intrigue that plagues the Russian court.  When Princess Kira disappears Georgia needs to find a way across those royal constraints to save not only the Princess but Georgia’s friends and family.

When I read book 1 of Kate Parker’s Victorian Bookshop Mysteries, the VANISHING THIEF, I wasn’t very impressed.  I felt like I’d been dropped in the middle of a story with multiple threads and felt like the author couldn’t decide which way she wanted to go.  It was like she had all these elements she wanted to include in the story and tossed them in without reason.  Portions of the backstory of how Georgia, Emma and the other Archivist Society members came together was sprinkled throughout to the point I wondered if I was really reading book 1.

Since I’d already picked up book 2, the COUNTERFEIT LADY, I went ahead and began to read it—and quickly found I just couldn’t put it down.  Parker really hit her stride in the COUNTFEIT LADY and told a fabulous story.  The writing was much tighter, the characters better formed and the mystery outstanding.  I couldn’t wait to begin book 3, THE ROYAL ASSASSIN.  Parker did not disappoint.

I started THE ROYAL ASSASSIN on a Friday night and pretty much read through to the end in just about one sitting.  I put it down only when I had to because the story is just so good.   There is a natural development to the characters and their personalities.  You can see the progression of their relationships and friendships.  The mystery in this one is multi-faceted and draws the reader more deeply into the story.  I really enjoyed the historical aspects of the story and how marriages were negotiated among certain classes in Victorian England.  Most particularly I like Georgia Fenchurch.  She’s smart and doesn’t let class or moirés keep her from achieving her goals. 

This is one do not miss series.  I cannot wait for the next book to appear on the shelves.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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