Friday, February 26, 2021

The Windsor Knot - SJ Bennett

I admit it - I am a Royal Watcher! I was intrigued by the announcement of  SJ Bennett's new series - Her Majesty the Queen Investigates. The first book is The Windsor Knot.

2016. Windsor Castle. A young Russian pianist who performed at a castle event is found dead the next morning - in the castle. MI5 suspects espionage and blames the Russians. As that avenue is pursued (by a self indulgent, aggrandizing agent) the Queen has her own suspicions and decides to steer the investigators onto a different line of inquiry. Without them knowing of course.

My first concern was how would the Queen be portrayed? Wonderfully is the answer! She is kind, gracious, wise, highly intelligent, well-spoken, observant, but imposing as well. Her inner dialogue is a treat to read and her sense of humor was spot on. Dry observations about her Royal family are a treat. The relationship between the Queen And Prince Phillip is lovely and loving. Indeed, there are many factual bits woven into Bennett's novel.

Okay, the logistics - how is the Queen going to be able to investigate? Rozie is the Queen's new Assistant Private Secretary. Don't let the high heels fool you - she has an admirable set of skills. The Queen sends Rozie out on errands and visits to those who might have an answer or insight to the Queen's questions and she reports back.

The mystery is well plotted and I really enjoyed following along. (And it's not so easy as the butler did it) I liked the setting as well - who doesn't want to know what the inside and daily life of the castle is like? But, bottom line, it's the great characters that drive this series. 

This was such a fun, clever and thoroughly enjoyable listen for me. The reader was Jane Copland. Her voice was perfect - with a rich, cultured tone that's quite pleasant to listen to and an accent that immediately brought the Queen to mind. The pace of the reading is just right as well -  never rushed. Keep calm and carry on! The subtle changes in intonation and emphasis are perfect for the Queen's manner. The unwitting (that MI5 agent) won't pick up on it, but the listener will. Different voices are provided for other characters and suit as well - a Russian national, Phillip and more - all believable. Her speaking flows very naturally. Hear for yourself - listen to an excerpt of The Windsor Knot. 

I'm looking forward to the next in this series! (And a wee bit of me wonders if the Queen would ever pick up this book for a wee peek?)


Mystica said...

I've requested for this one from Netgalley but am doubtful whether it will be sent over! this sounds such a good read. Thanks for the review.

Luanne said...

Oh drats Mystica. :0(

holdenj said...

Intrigued! I am looking forward to reading this.

Luanne said...

I hope you enjoy it as well holdenj!

Ethan said...

I also have a fascination with the royal family, so I was hesitant to read this one. I'm so glad it gets your approval!

Luanne said...

No, it doesn't mock or belittle Ethan - instead you'll be amazed at the Queen's sleuthing skills!