The Blood Royal
Review: In September 1922, Joe Sandilands returns from India to England to find the country in turmoil and his job as a member of His Majesty's Metropolitan Police Force in jeopardy, in The Blood Royal, the ninth mystery in this series by Barbara Cleverly.
The two most immediate threats come from Irish Republican Army terrorists and Russian agents and spies, though local gangs are also a constant thorn in the side of the police. Attacks on the citizens of London seem to occur daily. It seems inexplicable to Joe that Lord Admiral Dedman wants to diminish the role of the Metropolitan Police. That decision is quickly overturned, however, when Dedman is shot and killed by three gunmen while entering his home. Dedman's organization, the Irish Secret Service, is folded into Joe's, giving him an expanded role at an inauspicious time: a gala is to be held to honor the future Prince of Wales, who is said to be in grave danger. Joe suspects an assassin will be in attendance, either as a guest or possibly a member of the staff, and assigns one of his top operatives, Lily Wentworth, to pose as the Prince's date. While Joe and others will be there undercover, Lily will be on the front line. But which group will target the Prince: the Irish or the Russians? And not knowing which, can a single strategy be sufficient against either?
The Blood Royal is another solid entry in this series of historical mystery thrillers. Life in 1920s London is vividly on display, with the internal and external conflicts of the time forming the basis of the dynamic narrative. Joe Sandilands is an exceptional protagonist, who smartly uses his newly expanded position to both protect the Prince and also to demonstrate how valuable his organization is. But it is Lily who shares the stage with Joe in this book, and she brings an interesting perspective, and makes for an interesting contrast, to the typical proceedings.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Blood Royal.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of The Blood Royal for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Strange Images of Death
Soho Constable (Hardcover), April 2010
ISBN-13: 9781569476321; ISBN-10: 1569476322
Not My Blood
Soho Crime (Hardcover), August 2012
ISBN-13: 9781616951542; ISBN-10: 1616951540
Location(s) referenced in The Blood Royal: London, England
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The Blood Royal by Barbara Cleverly — A Joe Sandilands Mystery
Publisher: Soho Constable
Publication Date: September 2011
List Price: $25.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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