Agatha Award–winner Bowen’s amusing 11th Royal Spyness mystery (after 2016’s Crowned and Dangerous) takes Lady Georgiana “Georgie” Rannoch, 35th in line to the British throne, to Italy in the spring of 1935. She joins a house party hosted at a lavish estate near Stresa on Lake Maggiore, where her mission, on behalf of Queen Mary, is to keep an eye on that woman (aka Wallis Simpson), the paramour of the Prince of Wales. Meanwhile, a high-level conference among representatives of England, France, and Italy to discuss the Nazi threat is taking place at Stresa. A murder doesn’t occur until late in the action, but series fans know not to expect thrills and chills. The story’s main pleasure lies in the picture of Georgie’s world, where she takes tea with Queen Mary at Buckingham Palace and records Mrs. Simpson’s imperious behavior. Another delight is the large cast, which includes horrible countesses, terrifyingly efficient lady’s maids, grim-faced nuns, and Nazis, both brash and bashful. Fans of light mysteries will be rewarded. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/26/2017 Release date: 08/01/2017 Genre: Fiction
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