When I think of some of the greatest detectives of all time – Poirot, Miss Marple, Sherlock Holmes and even Agatha Raisin spring to mind… but HM The Queen?! Well, new novel The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett tries to prove that Elizabeth II deserves her place amongst these crime solving greats. Thank you to Netgalley, Bonnier Books UK/Zaffre and S.J. Bennett for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Book: The Windsor Knot: A Novel by S.J. Bennett
Genre: Mystery / Fiction
Publication Date: October 29th 2020
Publisher: Bonnier Books UK / Zaffre
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
The first book in a highly original and delightfully clever crime series in which Queen Elizabeth II secretly solves crimes while carrying out her royal duties.
The morning after a dinner party at Windsor Castle, eighty-nine-year-old Queen Elizabeth is shocked to discover that one of her guests has been found murdered in his room, with a rope around his neck.
When the police begin to suspect her loyal servants, Her Majesty knows they are looking in the wrong place. For the Queen has been living an extraordinary double life ever since her coronation. Away from the public eye, she has a brilliant knack for solving crimes.
With her household’s happiness on the line, her secret must not get out. Can the Queen and her trusted secretary Rozie catch the killer, without getting caught themselves?
The Windsor Knot is the first 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.
Born and raised in England, I’m slightly addicted to the Royals – the pomp and pageantry of Trooping the Colour, the tradition of counting the 3-second pauses between the Queen’s Speech at Christmas, the Cambridges…! It’s no wonder that a book featuring the Queen as a crime-solving detective would find its way into my book pile.
S.J. Bennett has got, what I imagine to be, the Queen’s personality right down to a T. Her character came across so whimsically that I was definitely picturing and hearing our real Queen’s image and voice whilst reading. I could totally visualise her rattling around Windsor with her corgis and riding her horse through the castle grounds, magnifying glass in hand trying to solve the latest crime to grace her historically decorated threshold. S.J. Bennett has done such a brilliant job of capturing and creating this realistic, yet fun portrayal of Elizabeth that I was immediately gripped into the whole world of the novel.
Rozie, HM’s Watson sidekick for this novel really intrigued me and brought a vibrancy to the story. For anything that Queenie couldn’t investigate or carry out, Rozie was there to fill in the gaps. I liked the references to her heritage and that she was a young, confidant woman against a backdrop of patriarchal figures and other characters. She also gave us an additional insight into what it may be like to work behind the scenes alongside The Firm. I have always been fascinated by this and here it brought an interesting kind of narrative to complement the overall storyline.
The plot in itself was quite cleverly done. Amidst all of the little clues and hints, I still hadn’t fully put together exactly ‘whodunnit’ until right near the end. The breadcrumb trail and character motives are descriptively and gently teased out to keep you guessing throughout the whole multi-layered plot.
Overall, this series starter was such a moreishly addictive read – it’s like the book version of The Crown mixed with a little of The Windsors and topped off with a bit of Poirot. I read it from cover to cover in just one weekend. I’m really keen to see this original series develop and my mind is already boggling at what adventures and crime-capers Rozie and HM The Queen are going to solve next!
Why Should I Read This?
For the fun-factor of imagining our reigning monarch solving a fairly risqué crime… by Windsor Castle standards!
For the exciting new crime-solving duo of The Queen and Rozie!
For a glimpse behind the scenes at what might really go on behind palace doors!
If you’re a Royals fan, or you just love those good old-fashioned ‘whodunnits’ from the golden age of crime fiction, then you’re bound to find something to enjoy in The Windsor Knot!