The Last Mrs. Summers

Rhys Bowen. Berkley Prime Crime, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-0-451-49287-6
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.)
Reviewed on : 06/12/2020
Release date: 08/04/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-8232-7
Book - 978-0-440-00006-8
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