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The Windsor Knot


The Windsor Knot

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.

It is April 2016, and we find Queen Elizabeth admiring the view of her favorite place in the world, Windsor Castle. She is there to celebrate her 90th birthday, and many local and international dignitaries are expected to attend. Growing up Royal, the Queen has always considered the Castle to be her home. However, bad luck strikes just as preparations for the party are underway when one of the guests, a famous Russian pianist named Brodsky, is found dead in his room.

"THE WINDSOR KNOT has 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."

Initially, it is thought to be a suicide, and those who knew Brodsky are asked if he was depressed or had any suicidal thoughts. No one thinks that he was a danger to himself, and they are all in a state of shock. Once the Queen calls for local MI5 agents to investigate further, they find evidence of a clumsy Windsor knot on the noose that allegedly had hung Brodsky; he was obviously strangled to death. But why him, and who would commit such an act on Royal property?

The Queen is especially taken aback and wants to see the truth come out, no matter who is involved. Unfortunately, the so-called professionals handling the case bungle it pretty badly and initially place suspicion in the wrong direction. Now that the Queen has lost faith in them, she must see that justice is served and is willing to do so at the expense of her own investigatory experts, especially if they are trying to cover up something or potentially create an international incident as an impetus for justifying political war games.

Even though she is the Queen and head of the Royal Family, she is still a 90-year-old woman who easily can be underestimated in these matters. She relies heavily on her private secretary, Rozie Oshodi, a British Nigerian who was an officer in the Royal Horse Artillery. There is nothing more important to the Queen than protecting her staff, as well as those who live in the surrounding village. To keep up their morale and continue to earn their devotion, she will see this baffling case through to the very end.

However, the death count does not end with just Brodsky, and the Queen and Rozie are now seriously against the wall to prevent an international incident that could possibly involve Vladimir Putin and Russia. The book so deftly weaves in real figures along with fictional ones, which consistently provides the story with an air of credibility.

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 KNOT has 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!

Reviewed by Ray Palen on March 12, 2021

The Windsor Knot
by SJ Bennett

  • Publication Date: February 8, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 0063050013
  • ISBN-13: 9780063050013