Masked Ball at Broxley Manor
Masked Ball at Broxley Manor: A Royas Spyness Novella by Rhys Bowen narrated by Katherine Kellgren

Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Audio
Series: A novella prequel to the Royal Spyness series
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date: 2014
Length: 1 hour, 14 minutes
Source: Purchased

The Book:
From the publisher:

A delectable prequel to the national best-selling Royal Spyness mysteries featuring Lady Georgiana Rannoch – 34th in line to the throne, and England’s poorest heiress. At the end of her first unsuccessful season out in society, Lady Georgiana has all but given up on attracting a suitable man – until she receives an invitation to a masked Halloween ball at Broxley Manor. Georgie is uncertain why she was invited, until she learns that the royal family intends to marry her off to a foreign prince, one reputed to be mad. When the prince, dressed as the devil, rescues her from an embarrassing situation at the ball, Georgie is surprised to find her unwanted suitor to be a dashing, charming man – especially when he pulls her aside and gives her the kiss of a lifetime. But as the time comes for the unmasking, Georgie’s rescuer vanishes and the party is thrown into chaos, making it clear that everything at Broxley Manor is not as it appears…

My Thoughts:
I have read the first book in the Royal Spyness series and listened to the second on audio. They’re fun light mysteries set in 1930’s London. This prequel was offered at one point for free through Audible so I downloaded it. I decided to give it a listen before I go on with the series.

It’s a prequel set several years before the first book and a short novella. It’s really not much more than an introduction to the main characters in the series. It doesn’t really add anything to the story for those who have read part of the series but the story itself is pleasant enough. It’s not really a mystery and it doesn’t really have the same feel as the full books in the series.

I was not a fan of the narration of this audio edition. I listened to Katherine Kellgren narrate the second book in this series and enjoyed the way she performed. In this novella however, I felt like she was yelling at me way too often. I don’t remember that from A Royal Pain so I’m not sure what was up. I fear I’ll be hypercritical of the narration in the next book in the series if I listen to it.

This novella is really not representative of either the series or the narrator so I’m glad I didn’t pay for it or spend a little more than an hour with it.

2 stars 2/5 for the book

2 stars 2/5 for the narration