Just finished Blood Royal (1929) by Dornford Yates. I am a sucker for inter-war UK thrillers: Sapper, Buchan, et cetera.
This is the third Chandos novel. The first, Blind Corner, is a personal favorite. The second, Perishable Goods, less so: the castle layout is presented confusingly, and in the end Yates wants to have his cake and eat it, too, with his heroes.
Blood Royal introduces us to the royal lady Leonie. And this piquant moment during a chase through the countryside:
Leonie says, "....look at my shoes.”
“I will clean them,” said I. I swung myself out of the car. “By the time I have done what I can, perhaps I shall have a plan.”
Without a word the Grand Duchess left the car and took her seat on a log. Then she took off the slippers and gave them into my hand.
I made a wisp of fresh grass and fell to work.
I fear I thought more of the slippers than of how to outwit Major Grieg, but I think I may be forgiven, for they were very dainty and very small.
When I had cleaned them both, I knelt and shod her. Then I sat back on my heels and wiped the sweat from my face.