Queen Elizabeth II is having a royal nightmare.
A referendum divides the nation, a tumultuous election grips the United States – and the body of a staff member is found dead beside Buckingham Palace swimming pool.
Is it a tragic accident, as the police think? Or is something more sinister going on?
As Her Majesty looks for answers, her trusted assistant, Rozie, is on the trail of a treasured painting that once hung outside the Queen’s bedroom.
But when Rozie receives a threatening anonymous letter, Elizabeth knows dark forces are at work – and far too close to home. After all, though the staff and public may not realise it, she is the keenest sleuth among them. Sometimes, it takes a Queen’s eye to see connections where no one else can . . .
Agatha Christie meets The Crown in A THREE DOG PROBLEM, the much-anticipated second book in the ‘Her Majesty The Queen Investigates’ mystery series by SJ Bennett – for fans of The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, Agatha Christie and M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin.
My thoughts: this is a very funny, wryly observed book with a gentle fondness for Her Majesty and a cast of highly entertaining characters. I love the idea of the Queen solving mysteries, as she says at one point, since she was a child, accompanied everywhere by her beloved dogs. My mum met her once (and the late Queen Mum) and says she was very pleasant, with beautiful violet eyes and a charming smile.
I liked Rozie, the Queen’s Assistant Private Secretary, and right hand woman to the longest reigning Monarch. She can go where Lilibet (HM’s childhood nickname) can’t and carry out investigations. She’s an Army Captain and doesn’t take kindly to any nonsense. I really enjoyed her.
The murders, poison pen letters, thefts and other schemes carrying on beneath the noses of the Royals, and their staff, and various small dogs, are pretty shocking. I hope it’s all fictional though I imagine that all the people working for The Estate can be tricky, too many adverse personalities, lots of nepotism and people who really aren’t qualified for their jobs. Some of them may even be crooks.
Set in 2016, during a very weird year (Brexit vote, lots of famous deaths, Harry started dating Meghan, a turd in a wig became US President), and before recent scandals and fallings out, Prince Philip features and the affectionate teasing between them is lovely, I love the idea that he calls his wife, the actual Queen, Cabbage. I imagine that they were very fond of one another and that his death this year was incredibly hard. I hope there’s more mysteries for the Queen to solve with Rozie and Inspector Strong aka Bogroll. I wonder if the real Queen has read this, I think she’d like it!
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.