Thanks to NetGalley, William Morrow, and Book Club Girl for this free digital copy in exchange for an honest review. This book will be available 3/9/21.
In S.J. Bennett’s The Windsor Knot, a young and charismatic Russian musician is found dead at Windsor Castle after one of the Queen’s well-known “dine and sleeps.” At 89 years-old, in order to get the job done correctly, Queen Elizabeth II takes in upon herself to investigate what is clearly a murder at her favorite residence. When the Queen subtly brings in Rozie, her Assistant Personal Secretary, Rozie embarks on an investigative adventure for “The Boss” and learns that one of the Queen’s greatest secrets might be her penchant for solving mysteries.
Queen Elizabeth II at 89 years old subtly investigating a murder at Windsor? Say no more. Like many, I have a love and fascination for the English royal family and jumped at the chance to read this novel. I found it charming and loved that the point-of-view bounced back and forth between a few characters. The story was an interesting mix of espionage, worldly intrigue, and royal life while still managing to seem quaint and respectable. Obviously I will not give anything away, but I had a hard time fully believing in the “whodunnit” because it felt a bit far-fetched. However, when you take into consideration that this is the Queen of England we are talking about, it becomes easier to believe that perhaps there is some deeper political intrigue happening. I loved the moments from Queen Elizabeth’s point-of-view–her moments of solitary reflection about her life, the events she attends, the brief mentions of her family, and her sweet interactions with Prince Philip. She is described with such brightness and care I loved how much emphasis was put on about how much her staff and the community have so much respect and loyalty for her. The inclusion about the Obama visit to Windsor was wonderful and I loved that real-life aspects of their visit was reflected in this story and I could connect them with what I know about the visit of Michelle Obama’s book Becoming.
Many of my favorite reads last year included main characters who were over 60 years old and this one is added to the niche list for me. I recommend this for those who like the Royal Family and mysteries! I will say, this one feels like a slow burn mystery but it definitely hooks you in and keeps you reading. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series!