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Library Journal
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Lady Georgiana Rannoch's dream of spending her first Christmas as a married woman in her new home is not to be. Aunt Ermintrude has invited Georgie and husband Darcy to her home near the royal Sandringham estate, and there's no saying no; it's implied that Ermintrude is merely conveying the queen's wish. Not only is Georgie to keep an eye on the troublesome Wallis Simpson, but several gentlemen of the royal household have met untimely deaths, and there's a distinct feeling that someone in the royal family is in danger.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

The fifteenth entry in Bowen’s popular Royal Spyness series again combines a delightful spoof of the British upper classes (shades of Oscar Wilde and NoŽl Coward) with an Agatha Christie–style period cozy starring Lady Georgiana, who’s thirty-fourth in line to the British throne. It’s 1936, and Georgie, newly married to Darcy O’Mara, is looking forward to their first Christmas together. She’s hoping to have a house party, but her plans are foiled when Darcy’s eccentric Aunt Ermintrude invites them to her own party on King George’s Sandringham estate. Ermintrude implies that the queen has specifically requested their presence, which is not terribly surprising, as Her Majesty is quite fond of Georgie. Soon after they arrive, someone takes a shot at the Prince of Wales, and the king’s equerry is killed during a hunt. The queen knows Georgie has solved murders before and insists that she find the perpetrator of these terrible deeds, all while unexplained accidents and near-deaths keep piling up. A plucky heroine and plenty of droll British humor will keep readers happy.


Publishers Weekly
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It’s 1935 in Agatha winner Bowen’s warmhearted 16th Royal Spyness mystery (after 2020’s The Last Mrs. Summers), and newlyweds Lady Georgie Rannoch and dashing Darcy O’Mara are looking forward to their first Christmas together. But when Darcy’s Aunt Ermintrude, once lady-in-waiting to Queen Mary, invites the couple to spend Christmas at her manse near the royals’ Sandringham retreat and hints that the queen herself wants Georgie to call on her, that’s an end to Georgie’s plans for a comfy Christmas at home. After all, one can hardly turn down the queen. When the Prince of Wales shows up with Wallis Simpson in tow, the queen senses trouble and asks Georgie to keep an eye on her son. It seems Her Majesty’s foreboding is justified after the Christmas gathering is interrupted by a series of freakish accidents and unlikely deaths. Is the prince a target, or perhaps Mrs. Simpson? Or does someone have another motive for murder entirely? The humor and wit match a cast of charming, quirky characters. Bowen’s lovely English Christmas cozy doesn’t disappoint. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Oct.)


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Christmas 1935 finds murder stalking the British royal family.Lady Georgiana Rannoch is settling into married life with dashing Darcy OMara, who for once isnt off on some secret government mission. When the house party shes planned falls apart because almost no one shes invited can come, she accepts an invitation of her own. Darcys eccentric aunt Ermintrude asks the newlyweds to Wymondham Hall, on the edge of the royal Sandringham estate, and hints that Queen Mary especially wants Georgiana to come. There are enough rooms on offer to allow the inclusion of Georgies brother, Binky, the Duke of Rannoch, his annoying wife, Fig, their children, and Georgies mother, the dowager Duchess, whos suddenly arrived from Germany. Georgie even brings along Queenie, her cook, who has a reputation for causing problems. The biggest surprise is the arrival of Wallis Simpson, whom Georgies cousin David, the Prince of Wales, wants close by his side while he visits his ailing father. The British press has been keeping Mrs. Simpson, whos about to divorce her husband, a secret from the public, but the scandal shes caused is well known among the aristocracy. David is almost shot during a hunt; Mrs. Simpson is knocked out; and Georgies ride with the princes friend results in his death. Are these all accidents or cleverly concealed murder attempts? Queen Mary asks Georgie, who has a track record of successful sleuthing, to discover the truth.Britain teeters on the brink of scandal and war in this charming combination of history and mystery. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Christmas 1935 finds murder stalking the British royal family. Lady Georgiana Rannoch is settling into married life with dashing Darcy O’Mara, who for once isn’t off on some secret government mission. When the house party she’s planned falls apart because almost no one she’s invited can come, she accepts an invitation of her own. Darcy’s eccentric aunt Ermintrude asks the newlyweds to Wymondham Hall, on the edge of the royal Sandringham estate, and hints that Queen Mary especially wants Georgiana to come. There are enough rooms on offer to allow the inclusion of Georgie’s brother, Binky, the Duke of Rannoch, his annoying wife, Fig, their children, and Georgie’s mother, the dowager Duchess, who’s suddenly arrived from Germany. Georgie even brings along Queenie, her cook, who has a reputation for causing problems. The biggest surprise is the arrival of Wallis Simpson, whom Georgie’s cousin David, the Prince of Wales, wants close by his side while he visits his ailing father. The British press has been keeping Mrs. Simpson, who’s about to divorce her husband, a secret from the public, but the scandal she’s caused is well known among the aristocracy. David is almost shot during a hunt; Mrs. Simpson is knocked out; and Georgie’s ride with the prince’s friend results in his death. Are these all accidents or cleverly concealed murder attempts? Queen Mary asks Georgie, who has a track record of successful sleuthing, to discover the truth. Britain teeters on the brink of scandal and war in this charming combination of history and mystery. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

The fifteenth entry in Bowen’s popular Royal Spyness series again combines a delightful spoof of the British upper classes (shades of Oscar Wilde and NoŽl Coward) with an Agatha Christie–style period cozy starring Lady Georgiana, who’s thirty-fourth in line to the British throne. It’s 1936, and Georgie, newly married to Darcy O’Mara, is looking forward to their first Christmas together. She’s hoping to have a house party, but her plans are foiled when Darcy’s eccentric Aunt Ermintrude invites them to her own party on King George’s Sandringham estate. Ermintrude implies that the queen has specifically requested their presence, which is not terribly surprising, as Her Majesty is quite fond of Georgie. Soon after they arrive, someone takes a shot at the Prince of Wales, and the king’s equerry is killed during a hunt. The queen knows Georgie has solved murders before and insists that she find the perpetrator of these terrible deeds, all while unexplained accidents and near-deaths keep piling up. A plucky heroine and plenty of droll British humor will keep readers happy.

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