It is the early spring of 2016 and Queen Elizabeth is at Windsor Castle in advance of her 90th birthday celebrations. But the preparations are interrupted when a guest is found dead in one of the Castle bedrooms. The scene suggests the young Russian pianist strangled himself, but a badly tied knot leads MI5 to suspect foul play was involved. The Queen leaves the investigation to the professionals--until their suspicions point them in the wrong direction. Unhappy at the mishandling of the case and concerned for her staff's morale, the monarch decides to discreetly take matters into her own hands. With help from her Assistant Private Secretary, Rozie Oshodi, a British Nigerian and recent officer in the Royal Horse Artillery, the Queen secretly begins making inquiries. As she carries out her royal duties with her usual aplomb, no one in the Royal Household, the government, or the public knows that the resolute Elizabeth will use her keen eye, quick mind, and steady nerve to bring a murderer to justice.
The Windsor Knot by SJ Bennett is one of the most original mysteries you will find on the market today. Imagine if Dame Agatha Christie had written a mystery novel with the Queen of England acting as the primary sleuth instead of Miss Marple, and you will have some idea of the fun and games that are about to ensue ... SJ Bennett gives Queen Elizabeth a voice that may not be recognizable outside of the UK, and I think that is just smashing. The Windsor Knothas enough twists, turns and red herrings to please any mystery buff and a list of potential suspects that rivals anything in the mystery or 'cozy' genre. I cannot wait to see what our dear Queen will get involved with next!
The Windsor Knot is as much a love letter to Queen Elizabeth as it is a mystery. Bennett clearly admires Elizabeth a great deal and imbues the fictional version of her with quite a bit of charm, warmth, and clever shrewdness. It’s great fun to see the nonagenarian weave the clues together while her police service spins its wheels on silly assumptions and then drop the essential details into the correct ears at just the right moment ... Bennett’s prose rings with personality and color; while the Queen is the primary focus, the supporting characters [...] all spring from the page in a vibrant and memorable fashion ... If The Windsor Knot has a flaw, it’s that there’s no way the reader can untangle the mystery for themselves with the clues provided, so serious armchair sleuths may be disappointed by the final reveal. But, ultimately, the “whodunit” portion of this mystery isn’t the real draw; no, it’s the time we spend in the Queen’s head and in her company, watching her outsmart everyone else without ever letting it slip that she’s investigating at all. Like a crown-wearing Miss Marple, she proves that old ladies can still have plenty of fire, wit, and determination. And with The Windsor Knot, Bennett has delivered a fun and charming story sure to delight Anglophiles and fans of The Crown.
British children’s author Bennett (The Look as Sophia Bennett) makes her adult debut with the delightful first in a series featuring Queen Elizabeth II as sleuth ... Bennett’s depiction of the warm, wise, and witty queen and the insights into her royal life are fascinating. Fans of Netflix’s The Crown will have fun.