Love and Death Among the Cheetahs

Love and Death Among the Cheetahs

Book - 2019
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Georgie is excited when Darcy announces out of the blue that they are flying to Kenya for their extended honeymoon. It is only after they arrive that she suspects he has actually been sent there on an assignment. She tries not to be angry, because she is, after all, in a paradise! They are picked up in Nairobi and taken to a lovely house in Happy Valley--the center of upper-class English life there. Darcy finally confides that there have been some spectacular robberies in London and Paris, and it is suspected that the thief was a member of the aristocracy and may have fled to Kenya. Georgie is shocked at the completely decadent lifestyle that involves wild parties and rampant infidelity. One of the leading lights in the community, Lord Cheriton, makes a play for Georgie. She rebuffs him. Then he is found dead along a lonely stretch of road. At first it seems to be a lion attack. But why was he on that stretch of road, alone, late at night? It seems the Happy Valley community wants to close the case, but as Georgie and Darcy investigate, almost everyone has a motive to want Lord Cheriton dead.
Publisher: New York : Berkley Prime Crime, 2019
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780451492845
Branch Call Number: MYS BOW
Characteristics: 290 pages ; 24 cm

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The author markets her Royal Spyness series as a mystery series, but it is more of a romance story since the main character's and her now-husband's sleuthing is minimal (which is odd because he is supposedly a British intelligence agent) and the who dunnit is usually obvious early on. The author did select an African safari setting which gave a fresh setting for this series, but for those of us who enjoy British history - the author just used information from Wikipedia about some well-known historical figures in British-controlled Africa. In addition, as the author does in most all these novels of the series she included the affair between the then Prince of Wales and Mrs. Simpson - would be nice if author would add some touches of information not well-known. I have read all the series, but not sure if I will continue to read the next as I assume this series will keep running in an almost identical story line.

j
jeffreyochsner
Nov 17, 2019

This is the latest book in the Royal Spyness series. Lady Georgiana Rannoch is a member of the British royal family, but she is far from the throne and is penniless. In past books she has undertaken certain assignments on behalf of the queen. She is not nearly as competent as Molly Murphy, and I prefer that series (also by Rhys Bowen) to this one. But the books in this series are OK—light and fluffy, but mildly entertaining.

The series takes place in the 1930s. The King of England is in poor health. The Prince of Wales is involved with Wallis Simpson. There are a few disparaging comments about his brother Bertie, who stutters (remember the movie The King’s Speech?). We all know what is going to happen.

I can not tell you much about the plot of this book without spoiling the earlier books if you have not already read them. For me, the most interesting thing about this book was how much of it was based on fact! I was very surprised when I read the Author’s Note at the end of the book. This book includes a detailed description of what it was like to travel from London to Kenya via a series of flights. It took days, but was still faster than traveling by ship. Apparently, the description of this lengthy journey is based on actual letters and snapshots by the author's father (and the author shortened the trip a bit to keep things moving). And the stay in Kenya (in a place called Happy Valley) included descriptions of upper class English people preserving the English way of life in Kenya, including polo—and also including heavy drinking, drug use, and spouse-swapping. The author tells us this was true too! A couple of the characters are real people, and the fictional characters are based on real people. Who knew?

In the front of the book, Ms. Bowen apologizes for the way the English interlopers treat native Kenyans, but notes this is relatively accurate too. She is trying to be realistic to the time period, while recognizing that this is repugnant to modern thinking.

And of course, there are wild animals—and there is a murder to solve.

IndyPL_LoriO Oct 15, 2019

In the previous 12 books in the Her Royal Spyness series, Rhys Bowen perfected a formula that works. She created a lovable cast of quirky characters, and readers love to see what tangles they’ll get into next. While I admire an author who is willing to take risks and veer away from a formula, I think Bowen missed the mark here. I read these books because they are a fun escape, and this book was not fun to read. Most of the characters we’ve grown to love were missing from this installment in the series, and the few familiar characters we did encounter felt like cardboard cutouts of themselves. I have devoured all the previous books in this series, but this one was a slog. I hope Bowen continues to take risks with her popular series, but I think she also has to stay true to her characters and the light mood she so ably created in the previous books.

VaughanPLDonnalee Sep 17, 2019

This is the 13th book in the Her Royal Spyness series. I love this series. It is fun, frothy and delightful. This series is perfect for Downton Abbey fans. I love Lady Georgiana and I love how she has matured throughout the series. The series is full of many fun supporting characters. The 1930's setting is wonderful and the period details really enhance the books. In this book, Georgie has finally married her dream man Darcy and they are off to Kenya for a honeymoon. The Kenyan setting was fascinating and it was great seeing the beginning of their married life. I liked this book, but it was not one of my favourites from the series. It wasn't as funny and there were some awkward sections about various social issues. The mystery component wasn't that compelling in this one, but I never read this series for the mysteries. If you want good twisty, turning edge of your seat mysteries, this is not the series for you. I read it for the characters and the setting. Overall, it was definitely enjoyable and fans of the series won't want to miss it, but it wasn't quite as good as some of the other books in this series.

h
hadlock
Sep 09, 2019

Georgiana and Darcy are finally married. They have no money, which is not a surprise, so they spend the first few days of married life in a borrowed houseboat on a deserted stretch of the Thames. But finally Georgie wants to leave sex and champagne for cucumber sandwiches and a bath. None of their options are without drawbacks until Darcy announces they can continue the honeymoon in Kenya. Wanting him to herself, Georgie agrees and meets various of the characters who come under suspicion for jewel smuggling, working for Hitler, and murder. And Georgie is supposed to keep an eye on David, the heir to the throne, and of course, Mrs. Simpson.

The British expatriates are at their smug, class-conscious, snobbish, bed-hopping best. And the mystery surrounding the murder victim is complicated by timing and the large number who could be glad he’s dead. Keeping track of her cousin is almost a non-starter, but Georgie does figure out who did it after she and Darcy survive some interesting attempts on their lives.

Not the best of the series’ books, but glimpses of Africa and of course the fact they are finally married are good.

d
d3609361063
Aug 30, 2019

I enjoyed this book as much as I have enjoyed her previous novels!

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