The Windsor Knot

I think the best word to describe this book is, charming.

Whether you’re a Royal watcher or not, the idea that Queen Elizabeth II is an amateur sleuth is pretty compelling. Author SJ Bennett has taken the Agatha Christie Miss Marple trope and turned it on its ear.

When I read the premise of this book, my first thought was, how can the most famous woman in the world, whose every move is watched and catalogued, possibly be a crime-solver? How would that work? Are the courtiers in on this? What would MI5 think (to say nothing of the Prime Minister)?

Bennett has set up a scenario where the Queen has a select few staff who are aware of her hobby as a detective, and they’re the ones doing the leg work. In fact, the Queen is rather like Charlie in Charlie’s Angels; she’s mostly in the background, giving assignments and solving the crime based on the intelligence her helpers bring back to her. I admit to being a bit disappointed that the Queen is such a passive character. The real protagonist seems to be her assistant, Rozie Oshodi, who conveniently has military training and has perfected the curtsy in stiletto heels and a pencil skirt.

True to form for an amateur sleuth novel, the lead detective is a bumbling idiot who is making a botch of the investigation and it’s up to the Queen to anonymously point him in the right direction. The twist is that when he does solve it, she has to knight him for his service to the Crown.

The story takes place at the time of the Queen’s 90th birthday, so Prince Philip is still alive. He makes a cameo appearance and honestly, he steals the scene.

All in all, this is a very light crime story with zero gore. Although, the manner of death is a tad more riqué than I was expecting. The crime almost takes a backseat to the setting, which is Windsor Castle in all its regal glory.

If you’re a fan of the Netflix series, The Crown, and are growing impatient for the next season, The Windsor Knot might be just the thing to tide you over. It’s a little bit of mystery, and a whole lot of atmosphere.

Audiobook Review

The audiobook is expertly narrated by Jane Copland, and since this is a G-Rated story, you can feel comfortable listening to it in mixed company. 

About the author 

Valerie Francis

Valerie Francis is a bestselling author, literary editor, and podcaster with a passion for stories by, for and about women.

Each month, Valerie recommends books from literature’s best female authors. Selections come from every genre because women write, and read, in every genre. The Women’s Fiction category offers up some terrific novels, but these days there’s a strong female presence in thriller, horror, crime, and other genres traditionally dominated by male writers. No matter what the publishing companies may think, in the 21st Century, Women’s Fiction is whatever we want it to be.

stories for women, by women, and about women