Now THIS is a different novel...
It purports to be a biography of Princess Isabella of Bisbania, a tiny city-state somewhere in Europe who becomes more of an icon in her own way than Princess Di. It's narrated by.... someone who seems to be in the know about Izzy's life, and is definitely in on her secrets. It's not quite a murder mystery- well, it might be, but you'll never know- but it is definitely about unraveling some major mysteries, as best as one character can.
It's very hard to discuss this without spoiling too much, so I'll stick to mentioning what's on the back cover.
Isabella grows up with Prince Raphael, and they eventually get married after a few years of courtship. But the first year of royal life isn't easy for her- she gets dubbed "Dizzy Izzy," makes a few fashion mistakes, and sneezes spectacularly on camera. This leads to Isabella feeling lonely, and she decides to write letters to an old friend of hers from her Yale days, Jeff Wright, a.k.a. Geoffrey Whitehall-Wright. Geoff was her mechanic back in the day, and someone she made out with once before going back home, back when they were both single. (Whether or not any romantic attachment continued with them is one of the novel's mysteries.) Geoff writes back and advises her to listen to Bruce Springsteen music (Geoff is a big fan)... and Isabella takes this to heart. Within another year her star is rising...and she gets the idea to ask Geoff and his wife Mae to move to Bisbania. Geoff operates as a royal mechanic/pilot and adviser to the princess.... in a "what would Springsteen do?" kind of way. (The Springsteen analogies are a bit weak, but then again, that's the point. And it's not belabored too much, so I'm cool with it.) His wife Mae writes novels, and she and Prince Raphael roll their eyes a bit behind Isabella and Geoff's backs. As for Prince Raphael, he'se a nice fellow, but someone who would rather study speech pathology than be a ruler.
This book is about what happens when Geoff and Raphael go flying one morning and the plane crashes... and only one body is recovered.
More than that, I cannot say. I will say that there is TWIST UPON TWIST UPON TWIST in this book, to the point where each chapter after awhile features another big revelation. It's dizzying, yet cool, and makes sense of most of what you've seen go on beforehand. The author, should she ever take up writing mysteries, will do VERY well- I haven't seen the likes of this kind of twistiness beyond reading Agatha Christie and Jeffrey Deaver mysteries.
Four stars from me. It's a wild ride.