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The Last Mrs. Summers

by Rhys Bowen

Book list In this fourteenth Royal Spyness mystery, which Bowen acknowledges is her tribute to du Maurier's Rebecca, Lady Georgiana Rannoch is just back from her honeymoon. With her husband, Darcy, away on one of his top-secret missions, Georgie heads off to Cornwall with her friend Belinda, who has inherited a cottage there. When it turns out to be barely habitable, they take refuge at Trewoma, a lovely old estate that, much like Manderley, has a foreboding air, an uncomfortable second wife, and an obsessed housekeeper. Belinda spent her summers in Cornwall as a child in the company of the owners and has accumulated some baggage with them over the years. She ends up in jail when a member of the household is murdered, and it falls to Georgie to sift through the lies and secrets of Trewoma’s troubled past. Bowen’s style has been described as Agatha Christie meets P. G. Wodehouse; that assessment remains apt, but by throwing in a generous helping of du Maurier this time, the author has delivered another sure winner for series fans.

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

Library Journal Having arrived back in 1930s England after her exciting African honeymoon, Lady Georgiana Rannoch, aka Georgie, goes to Cornwall to check out the creaky, creepy house friend Belinda has inherited and ends up dealing with Belinda's acquaintance Rose Summers, who's convinced that her new husband murdered his first wife. Next in a much-awarded (e.g., LibraryReads) series.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list In this fourteenth Royal Spyness mystery, which Bowen acknowledges is her tribute to du Maurier's Rebecca, Lady Georgiana Rannoch is just back from her honeymoon. With her husband, Darcy, away on one of his top-secret missions, Georgie heads off to Cornwall with her friend Belinda, who has inherited a cottage there. When it turns out to be barely habitable, they take refuge at Trewoma, a lovely old estate that, much like Manderley, has a foreboding air, an uncomfortable second wife, and an obsessed housekeeper. Belinda spent her summers in Cornwall as a child in the company of the owners and has accumulated some baggage with them over the years. She ends up in jail when a member of the household is murdered, and it falls to Georgie to sift through the lies and secrets of Trewoma’s troubled past. Bowen’s style has been described as Agatha Christie meets P. G. Wodehouse; that assessment remains apt, but by throwing in a generous helping of du Maurier this time, the author has delivered another sure winner for series fans.

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

Publishers Weekly Agatha-winner Bowen’s 14th Royal Spyness mystery (after 2019’s Love and Death Among the Cheetahs) falls short of her usual high standard. In 1935, the once impoverished and recently married Georgiana O’Mara, née Rannoch, having inherited a fortune, is now adjusting to a new role as lady of a Sussex manor. With her husband off doing something secret for the British government, Georgiana leaps at an invitation from an old friend, Belinda Warburton-Stoke, to travel to Cornwall, where the pair end up the guests of Tony Summers, an old flame of Belinda’s, at his palatial, ghost-haunted home. Tony has recently remarried after his first wife died in an accidental fall from a cliff. The second Mrs. Summers suspects that Tony killed the first one and is plotting to kill her, too. This explicit homage to Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca unfolds along predictable lines, and Bowen’s continued neglect of Georgie’s delightfully inept servant, Queenie, eliminates the comic relief that was a memorable aspect of earlier series entries. Fans can only hope for a return to form. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Aug.)

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