Bestseller Bowen’s disappointing 12th Royal Spyness mystery (after 2017’s On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service) lacks her usual charm. Lady Georgiana Rannoch, a distant—and impoverished—relative of the British royal family, is a month away from her July 1935 wedding to Darcy O’Mara. As she juggles logistical details, including the guest list and her attire, not to mention her insecurities about Darcy’s faithfulness, her godfather, Sir Hubert Anstruther, offers her a welcome gift: his Sussex country estate, Eynsleigh, as her home. But on arrival at Eynsleigh, she finds a surly staff, neglected grounds, and indications that the household accounts have been faked. While she manages to adopt the persona of a forceful lady of the manor, her efforts to whip things into shape are impeded by her suspicions that the previous butler’s fatal fall down the stairs was no accident—and that her own life is in peril. The mystery element predominates, and fans will miss Georgie’s hilariously inept maid, Queenie, who’s offstage for the first half of the book. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/18/2018 Release date: 08/07/2018 Genre: Fiction
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