The Twelve Clues of Christmas: A Royal Spyness Mystery

Rhys Bowen. Berkley Prime Crime, $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-25278-9
Set at Christmas-time 1933, Bowen’s sixth whodunit featuring the irrepressible Lady Georgiana Rannoch (after 2011’s Naughty in Nice) may be her best yet. Despite her connections (albeit attenuated) to the Crown (she’s 35th in the line of succession), Georgiana finds herself at the mercy of her brother’s ghastly family. Escape comes just in time for the holidays when she answers an advert and is hired to help Lady Hawse-Gorzley with a large Christmas party at Hawse-Gorzley’s home in Tiddleton-under-Lovey, Devonshire. Accompanied by the anti-Jeeves, her bumbling, if endearing, maid Queenie, Georgiana arrives in Tiddleton-Under-Lovey only to find that a series of apparently accidental deaths has begun to plague the rustic community. With one villager dying each day, the amateur sleuth suspects that the accidents are anything but. Bowen blends zany humor with fair-play detection as well as any author of traditional mysteries. Agent: Meg Ruley, the Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/03/2012
Release date: 11/06/2012
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