I decided to recommend A Murder at Balmoral by Chris McGeorge for this week’s book blog. It is a ‘locked door mystery’ and was entertaining, though it probably won’t win any literary awards. The novel involves a present day Windsor royal family – but is written with the premise that King Edward VIII did not abdicate the throne and the current king is his son, Eric. (There are a few similarities to current royals though.) I found the novel to be a little like the movie “Knives Out” with bits of “The Crown” thrown in. The story is told from the chef’s point of view.
King Eric has arranged that the Windsor family Christmas in Balmoral, Scotland be “family only” this year – the staff have all been dismissed – only the head chef, Jon and Tony, the head of security, remain at the castle. After a sumptuous dinner, King Eric begins his traditional family speech, takes a sip of whisky and falls over dead. Most of the family seem to agree that King Eric was poisoned . . . but by whom? There is a raging blizzard outside and no one else could get near Balmoral. It must have been one of the family! Jon is elected as the person to begin some type of investigation. He does his best to sort out details of the day, but secrets abound and not everyone in the family is cooperative.
I enjoyed trying to figure out the murderer in this novel as I followed along with Chef Jon’s investigation. I loved the royal setting and the bits of humor thrown into the plot. A Murder at Balmoral is a perfect read for a cold, gloomy winter’s day!