#Friday56 – The Windsor Knot

Happy FriYAY Bibliofriends!

This week’s Friday 56 comes from The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett. This novel is the first in a brand new series where HM The Queen dons her deerstalker hat and magnifying glass and turns detective to investigate the latest crime-capers rocking Windsor Castle.

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, the Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.


As a little girl, when asked who she would like to be when she grew up, Princess Elizabeth had said, “A lady in the country, with animals.” For the past few weeks she had been just that, but for the next few days it was time to be Queen.

The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett

This book is a must-read if you’re a fan of the old-style, British crime-fictions stories or you just love to read a fun mystery with Queen Elizabeth II as one of the main protagonists. A big thank you to Netgalley, Zaffre and S.J. Bennett for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. You can check out my full, spoiler-free review here.


Drop me a comment below or connect with me here:

Twitter | Goodreads | Book Sloth: @thebiblioshelf |Email: thebiblioshelf@gmail.com

Biblioshelf Musings – The Windsor Knot

Hello Bibliofriends!

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
Pages:
Rating: 📚📚📚.5

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.

My Musings

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!

Find out more about this book here:

Amazon | Waterstones | Goodreads |

Connect with me here:

Twitter | Goodreads | Book Sloth: @thebiblioshelf |Email: thebiblioshelf@gmail.com

Biblioshelf Musings – Upcoming October Reviews

Hi Bibliofriends, 

Normally, I’d be posting a review this week of one of my most recent reads however my reading in September has been all over the place, which is kinda what I was expecting since the start of a new term at school is always hectic and stressful. I’ve also been hooked on a series called Money Heist which I’ve been watching on Netflix and have managed to get my entire household glued to it! We’ve finally worked our way through all of the available episodes and are impatiently awaiting the final season!

So this week, instead of a new review, I thought I’d let you know about some upcoming reads and reviews that will be making their way to you over the next month. Two of them are 5-star reads and are definitely going to feature in my favourite books of the year for 2020.


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V.E. Schwab

The first week and a half of September was spent in an absolute book hangover after finishing an e-arc from Netgalley of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. I had to reread the request acceptance email over and over again as I just couldn’t believe that Titan Books had approved it. It’s my first time reading anything by Schwab and it definitely won’t be the last. I feel like I keep going on and on about this book but it is seriously one of the best books I’ve read for a long, long time – I LOVE IT. It’s such an emotional story and the way art and history are interwoven into the plot grabbed right onto my lil bookish heart. I’ve already pre-ordered my signed copy from Waterstones and I can’t wait until it gets here so I can read it again!
Review coming up on: 7th October
Publication Date: 6th October

Synopsis from Goodreads:
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever-and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. 
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. 
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore, and he remembers her name.
In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After LifeThe Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s #1 New York Times Bestselling Author genre-defying tour de force. 

The Once and Future Witches – Alix E. Harrow

Another 5-star read which I’m definitely recommending to all of my witchy/fantasy loving friend is The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow (thank you Netgalley – again!). The start of this book was like a vortex that just sucked me into the story. Sometimes when I read books, it feels like the authors writing style has an atmosphere which just permeates through the book and jumps off the pages – The Once and Future Witches was exactly like this! The story is so sinister and gripping whilst also featuring a little romance, sisterly bonding and female empowerment. There’s so, so much I could say about how much I enjoyed reading this but I’ll save some of it for the proper review – if you’re looking for the perfect Halloween read, this would definitely be top of my list!
Review coming up on: 14th October
Publication Date: 15th October

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.
But when the Eastwood sisters–James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna–join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.
There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.

Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold

My current read (thanks Netgalley again again!) is an anthology of forgotten folktales from around the UK and Ireland called Hag. Originally a podcast series, Professor Carolyne Larrington conjured up a writing experiment which tasked 8-10 inspiring British and Irish women authors to write a contemporary retelling of a forgotten folktale with a modern, feminist twist. The first few stories are particularly eerie and dark – so far this collection reminds me of a fresh uplift on the gothic horror genre (think Angela Carter meets Henry James’ Turn of the Screw with a pinch of Scarlett Curtis thrown in too). I can’t wait to make my way around all of the tales, particularly the one based around the region I live in. Another book perfect for the upcoming spooky season!
Publication Date: 8th October

Synopsis from Goodreads:
DARK, POTENT AND UNCANNY, HAG BURSTS WITH THE UNTOLD STORIES OF OUR ISLES, CAPTURED IN VOICES AS VARIED AS THEY ARE VIVID.
Here are sisters fighting for the love of the same woman, a pregnant archaeologist unearthing impossible bones and lost children following you home. A panther runs through the forests of England and pixies prey upon violent men.
From the islands of Scotland to the coast of Cornwall, the mountains of Galway to the depths of the Fens, these forgotten folktales howl, cackle and sing their way into the 21st century, wildly reimagined by some of the most exciting women writing in Britain and Ireland today.

The Windsor Knot – S J. Bennett

Anyone remember the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony where HM The Queen jumped out the plane à la James Bond…? Well the next book up on my TBR sounds absolutely like it was inspired by this… well kind of! The Windsor Knot is the first novel in a new series where The Queen goes all Poirot and starts solving crimes. I’m so excited to start reading it as it sounds like so much fun – (another Netgalley read so thanks again x4 to them)!
Review scheduled for: 28th October
Publication Date: 29th October / 9th March 2021

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.
It is the early spring of 2016 and Queen Elizabeth is at Windsor Castle in advance of her 90th birthday celebrations. But the preparations are interrupted when a guest is found dead in one of the Castle bedrooms. The scene suggests the young Russian pianist strangled himself, but a badly tied knot leads MI5 to suspect foul play was involved. The Queen leaves the investigation to the professionals—until their suspicions point them in the wrong direction.
Unhappy at the mishandling of the case and concerned for her staff’s morale, the monarch decides to discreetly take matters into her own hands. With help from her Assistant Private Secretary, Rozie Oshodi, a British Nigerian and recent officer in the Royal Horse Artillery, the Queen secretly begins making inquiries. As she carries out her royal duties with her usual aplomb, no one in the Royal Household, the government, or the public knows that the resolute Elizabeth will use her keen eye, quick mind, and steady nerve to bring a murderer to justice.
SJ Bennett captures Queen Elizabeth’s voice with skill, nuance, wit, and genuine charm in this imaginative and engaging mystery that portrays Her Majesty as she’s rarely seen: kind yet worldly, decisive, shrewd, and most importantly a great judge of character.


They are my forthcoming reads and reviews for across October. Have you read any of these yet or are tempted to add any to your TBR? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx