Guest Post with Giveaway ~ Malice At The Palace by Rhys Bowen


Playing with History

When I set my novels in a historical time and place I am very aware of the real history that was taking place at that date. Was a war going on somewhere? Had someone just been assassinated in another country? Was there a blizzard?  Of course, I am writing fiction and I could choose to overlook these things. But I want my reader to feel they have been transported back in time. I want them to feel that Lady Georgiana and her adventures really happened in the scenario of nineteen thirties England.

                So I’m always thrilled when real history actually plays into one of my stories. My timeline for Georgie had reached late nineteen thirty four and I checked to see what the real royal family were doing. And of course it was the wedding of the Duke of Kent to Princess Marina of Greece. What a gift for my story! Prince George, the Duke of Kent, had led a playboy existence. He had been, in fact, a very naughty boy. He had had affairs with both men and women, including, if the rumors were right, with Noel Coward and Barbara Cartland! It was also reputed that he had fathered a child with party girl Kiki Preston , known as the “girl with the silver syringe” because of her cocaine habit. How thankful the king and queen must have been when a marriage was arranged with a sweet and respectable princess like Marina. Now maybe he would reform and behave as a prince should!  By all accounts it was a love match. Who could not fall for the charming prince? And Marina herself was a stylish beauty with impeccable English, thanks to a British nanny. The royals just hoped that one of his past sins did not rear its ugly head and come back to haunt them.

                So this was where my storyteller’s brain sprang into action: what if one of his former mistresses was found murdered on his fiancee’s doorstep? It would certainly stop the marriage and disgrace the royal family. If he were proved to have committed the murder, it might even bring down the monarchy. So the whole thing had to be hushed up and luckily Georgie is on the spot and asked to use her insider knowledge to solve the crime while keeping it from the press.

                When I tamper with real history I try to keep it as true to reality as possible. Members of the royal family only express opinions I know they held. So I had a fine line to tread not to make Prince George a murderer and thus disgrace his memory but to make all the suspicion fall upon him.

                The fun part about writing this book was setting it at Kensington Palace. I spent several happy days wandering around the palace, taking pictures, talking to the guards and monitors about the various royal ghosts that are reputed to haunt it. I asked one man if he had ever seen any of the ghosts. He said he hadn’t but there had been times when a room became inexplicably cold. And he told me of a ghostly encounter at another royal residence. So the ghosts also have a part to play in the recreation of Kensington Palace.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Will and Kate, have an apartment there now. I wonder if Prince George has encountered any of his royal ancestors?

                As for the Duke of Kent. His death was also cloaked in controversy. During World War II a plane he was flying in crashed, under suspicious circumstances, into a mountain in Scotland. I should perhaps add that his children have gone on to lead exemplary lives, each of them a credit to the royal family.

Guest post provided by the publisher.

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maliceSeries: A Royal Spyness Mystery (Book 9)
Publisher: Berkley (August 4, 2015)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
ISBN-10: 0425260380
ISBN-13: 978-0425260388
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


Lady Georgiana Rannoch won’t deny that being thirty-fifth in line for the British throne has its advantages. Unfortunately, money isn’t one of them. And sometimes making ends meet requires her to investigate a little royal wrongdoing.

While my beau Darcy is off on a mysterious mission, I am once again caught between my high birth and empty purse. I am therefore relieved to receive a new assignment from the Queen—especially one that includes lodging. The King’s youngest son, George, is to wed Princess Marina of Greece, and I shall be her companion at the supposedly haunted Kensington Palace.

My duties are simple: help Marina acclimate to English life, show her the best of London and, above all, dispel any rumors about George’s libertine history. Perhaps that last bit isn’t so simple.

George is known for his many affairs with women as well as men—including the great songwriter Noel Coward. But things truly get complicated when I search the Palace for a supposed ghost only to encounter an actual dead person: a society beauty said to have been one of Prince George’s mistresses.

Nothing spoils a royal wedding more than murder, and the Queen wants the whole matter hushed. But as the investigation unfolds—and Darcy, as always, turns up in the most unlikely of places—the investigation brings us precariously close to the prince himself.

post-divider leftThanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of Malice at the Palace to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on September 11th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will have 48 hours, from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.

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Rhys Bowen is a  mystery author and winner of both Agatha and Anthony awards for my Molly Murphy mysteries, set in 1902 New York City.

She also write the bestselling Royal Spyness series, about the British royal family in the 1930s. It's lighter, sexier, funnier, wicked satire. It was voted by readers as best mystery series this year.  She is  also known for her Constable Evans books, set in North Wales, and for her award-winning short stories. 

She was born and raised in England but currently divides her time between California and Arizona where she goes to escape from the harsh California winters.

Website * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter  * Blog * Jungle Red Writers

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  1. This sounds intriguing. What with ghosts haunting the palace and murders just before a wedding. I'd love to read it.

    Carol L

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