A to Z Mystery Tour – Book 13
Book 1: Her Majesty the Queen Investigates – SJ Bennett 2021
**This is not the same as the “Her Majesty Investigates” series by a different author who didn’t have any books in my library. **
A talented young pianist has a night of music, dancing, and looovvvve at Windsor Castle, but the next day finds him strung up in a closet in a very embarrassing condition. Also he’s dead. Imagine explaining to Queen Elizabeth that the cause of death appears to be autoerotic asphyxiation.
It’s not, of course. It’s murder, or else this would be a very different kind of book. SJ Bennett starts out weak; the point of view changes with every paragraph in the first few very short chapters, which is disruptive to the reading experience. Once she’s introduced most of the characters, though, the author’s footing is firm as she moves forward with the story.
It’s odd to read a book in which so many of the main characters are fictionalized versions of real living people, but if the reader can set that weirdness aside, this is actually quite a good story. I couldn’t even pretend to follow the machinations that led to this murder as well as two others, but the main characters are nicely developed and the story flows well.
Parts of this very readable cozy mystery would rate five stars, but the awkward beginning and the fact that the author didn’t have to build a setting or a main character from scratch warrant a one-star reduction to four stars.
The second book, All the Queen’s Men is due out this month (March 2022); its UK title is A Three Dog Problem.