Meeting Queen Marie
I met Queen Marie during a trip to Eastern Europe in the fall of 2018. My friends who own the Poisoned Pen bookshop in Scottsdale talked me into it. Not that it was difficult. They said that they were going and asked if I wanted to join them and I had never been on a cruise, and it was on a river and I thought, sure, why not?
Anyway, with that amount of deliberation and pre-planning, and with a full load of writing until the minute I got on a plane, you can understand that my research was less than complete.
I mean hey, this was a holiday. It’s all about the surprises, right?
So off I schlep to Bucharest, and a couple days later we pile our way into some buses and drive up into the Carpathian mountains, with a guide who tells us all kinds of interesting things and leads us up a hill to this crazy little castle, and inside it I spot a photo (at the right, below) and hear the guide talking about this English-born Romanian Queen…in the 1920s…and I say: hmm.
So yes, I decided that Queen Marie of Romania could well meet a certain detecting woman and her husband. And so she did.
And because this little castle up in the Carpathians is in Transylvania, and because we all know what Transylvania is known for–in the world of fiction, at any rate–Bram Stoker’s fantasies enter in.
But I’m not giving away any spoilers. Instead, let’s see Marie with her people, during the War—
And in an interview, here–
And we also meet her daughter, Princess Ileana, who has a charming accent, and a pair of mischievous ponies, seen here five years after Castle Shade: