Heirs and Graces

Rhys Bowen. Berkley Prime Crime, $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-26002-9
Set in 1934, Bowen’s rollicking seventh Royal Spyness mystery (after 2012’s The Twelve Clues of Christmas) finds Lady Georgiana Rannoch, a distant cousin of George V, typing up her mother’s life story. But once Mummy decides her memoirs are too scandalous for publication, Georgiana must seek new employment. With options limited, she writes Queen Mary, who rewards her with a royal audience and a business proposition. The son of the dowager Duchess of Eynsford, a friend of the queen’s, has not produced an heir, and the future of the family hinges on a newly discovered relation, Australian Jack Altringham. But Altringham, an uncouth sheep farmer, needs help acclimating to British high society, which is where Georgiana comes in. Inevitably, a murder crosses her path, and the quasi-royal again gets to show off her detecting chops. The appealing lead and breezy prose will remind many of James Anderson’s period mysteries featuring the Earl of Burford. Agent: Meg Ruley, the Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/10/2013
Release date: 08/06/2013
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