Cover Image: A Murder at Balmoral

A Murder at Balmoral

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Member Reviews

I just finished A Murder at Balmoral. It was a clever  “who dun it” with all the fun twists and turns.   I thought I had it figured out  and could not put it down. I wanted to be right. (I was, kinda).  I highly recommend for a cozy mysytery quick read.
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In this alternative universe where the Duke of Windsor married someone appropriate and didn’t abdicate, his son is now an elderly king surrounded by his family at Balmoral. 

Jon Alleyne, personal chef to the king, is the only staff aside from the head of security who is at Balmoral with the royal family at Christmas. The king has ordered everyone gone but family, security has taken their cellphones to keep their isolation a secret, there’s a blizzard outside, and that’s what leads to this locked door murder mystery when the king’s whiskey is poisoned and he dies. 

The premise relies on a new rule to succession where the current monarch can help to choose his successor along with input from the government. His oldest child isn’t automatically heir apparent. Once this is made clear—and accepted by the reader—it’s easier to proceed. 

The king, his bitter alcoholic wife, his younger brother who has always skirted the law, his twin daughters, his commoner son in law, and his two young grandsons along with the chef, our protagonist, and the head of security are the only ones at Balmoral.

Jon is a loyal retainer, with the patience and diligence you’d expect from someone who’s served the royals for thirty years. He’s a likable character, although some of his observations stretch out of his point of view. He quickly realizes all of the family had the opportunity to poison the whisky and is voted to lead the investigation when the head of security is missing. 

It’s very descriptive and the castle itself and the tension come alive. Jon does his best with the twisted family dynamics and everyone’s secrets, but he’s not a detective. If you’re expecting an Under Siege sort of thing, Jon is not Steven Segal, but I think that’s better. He walks the line between more than employee but not a family member. 

Unfortunately, the conclusion to this enjoyable mystery felt a bit like a deus ex machina. Jon and the royal family kept my interest, but it felt more implausible as new elements came into play and the villain finally showed themselves.
3.5. I received an arc from NetGalley
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A Royal murder mystery. This book is set in an alternate timeline where Edward did not abdicate the throne for Wallace Simpson. The current king, Eric, and his family are at Balmoral for the Christmas holidays. However, things turn deadly when the king dies. The king’s chef, Jon, is determined to find out who killed the king, especially since it appears to be another member of the royal family. 

I liked this book at first but then it became slow for me. I also didn’t like the ending at all - it felt very deus ex machina for this type of mystery. 

I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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The Royal family is alone at Balmoral for Christmas excepting two staff member, Chef Jon and head of security, Speck.  In this locked room mystery, King Eric dies a sudden and suspicious death early in the book.  Chef Jon must solve the mystery  while simultaneously managing the needs and expectations of the royal family when Speck goes missing.  Was it the King's unpopular and sometimes banned brother David, the king's wife Princess Marjorie who is holding a big secret, spoiled twins Princesses Emeline and Maud, overlooked son-in-law Thomas or one of the King's ambitious grandsons?

The book unfolds in chapters with alternating viewpoints and you learn quickly that almost everyone has secrets that he/she is hiding and no one is telling the whole truth.  This book is full of surprises, humor and some spoiled unlikable royals that you will enjoy hating.  I definitely did not see the ending coming!

4 stars for a delightfully fun cozy mystery.  Thank you Penguin & NetGalley for this early review copy.
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4 stars. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Thanks for the opportunity to read this book!! I've been on a roll with my enjoying the books read and this one is no exception.

How to convey how much you had fun reading without giving away spoilers. This was a VERY solid fun, quick read. I manage to read in a day. I enjoyed the characters, the premise of the story was very different, which allowed me to have fun. This was the first time I've read this author and I guarantee it won't be my last. 

Thanks for allowing me to read an advanced copy.

#AMurderatBalmoral #NetGalley
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this novel. I am rating this book based the stars due to lack of time to leave a full review. #NetGalley #AMurderatBalmoral
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A crowd-pleaser for sure. This book should be popular with a large variety of readers, plus it’s Christmas setting will make for a great holiday gift.
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I was expecting this to be a bit cozier than it ended up being. It ended up being just a tad bit of a thriller, I enjoyed it and it kept me guessing.
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I afraid this book was too preposterous for me to enjoy.  The author would have been better served by making the family royals of a fictional country or doing away with the royal aspect all together. Making the family the descendants of Edward VIII was a choice that didn’t feel like it paid narrative dividends. The writing needed another round of polishing.
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A Murder at Balmoral by Chris McGeorge is a great murder/mystery set in the infamous Balmoral castle. 

This is a great murder/mystery set up in the classic who-dunnit style. It is Christmas, and a blizzard has stranded and isolated the Royal family (an alternative royal family with a few notes of similarity in family structure only) and King Eric has requested the family and personal chef, Jon, be the only remaining inhabitants. The King is enigmatic on why he has requested this arrangement, but before all secrets can be revealed, the King dies in a mysterious death. Now going back over the day in reflection, Jon is tasked with solving the murder, revealing the culprit, and getting out alive. 

Moderate pacing, a few surprises, and a very intriguing ending. Very enjoyable read that I recommend. 

4/5 stars 

Thank you NG and G. P. Putnam’s Sons for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 10/25/22.
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A fun engaging mystery with a hero easy to root for in the midst of a truly foul bunch of royals.

The conceit of a snowed in royal family, each with a motive to kill the king was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed the book although I am not sure it quite meets the requirements of fair play in the end. Overall, I would recommend it to other mystery lovers as a good vacation read.
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