Book Club



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. 

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Valerie Francis


Val McDermid is a first-class crime writer, and if you’ve yet to discover her fiction, now’s your chance. With her latest novel, 1979, she’s launching a new five-book series featuring journalist Allie Burns. Her backlist is so robust that she doesn’t actually have to write any books at all, but

Read More »
Valerie Francis


Rebecca is a classic gothic novel. When it was published in 1938, it was an instant bestseller and since then post-secondary literary departments have lauded it as one of the greatest, bone-chilling, ghost stories of all time. There is certainly no arguing the impact Du Maurier’s novel has had on

Read More »
Valerie Francis

Dark Shores

Earlier this month I realized that, in more than two years of doing this book club, I hadn’t featured a Canadian author. Well, that’s embarrassing! In true Canuck form, I can only apologize and to rectify the situation, this month I’m recommending a YA (Young Adult) novel from Danielle L.

Read More »


Join Valerie's
Book Club

books by women,
for women, about women