Saturday, May 20, 2017

Book Review: The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen

The Twelve Clues of Christmas (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #6)The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the sixth book in the Her Royal Spyness series, but the first I have read. It was this year’s Christmas read. I am hooked. I loved Georgiana, as well as the other characters, though there is not as much development of them - her mother, grandfather, Darcy - as some of the other characters.

Georgie is faced with spending Christmas with her brother and his wife, Binky and Fig (I’m not going to say anything about the ridiculous names) at the family’s castle, with Fig’s family. Georgie’s mother is going to be spending Christmas at Tiddleton-under-Lovey. Desperate not to spend Christmas where she’s not wanted, she looks for a job and finds an ad for a lady of high breeding to help host a party in Tiddleton-under-Lovey of all places. She applies and gets the job.

The Christmas party and events are a setting that are reminiscent of Agatha Christy and Ms Bowen did it wonderfully. The characters range from an American couple and their two children (teenagers) to a colonel and his wife just recently from India. Plus, a cast of characters from the town, including what amounts to a village idiot (though he managed to have jobs) to a trio of spinster sisters, and the Vicar.

The day Georgie arrives the first murder has already occurred, but it is ruled a hunting accident or a suicide, though one doesn’t usually shoot themselves in a tree. From there, there is a death just about everyday, though none of them appear to be anything other than accidents or natural causes. What is unusual is the daily occurrence. Georgie finally connects the the deaths and from there it moves rather quickly. The ending was climatic and not what I expected, but it all pulled together well.

I loved the book. I loved the setting of the Christmas party in a small town with her mother and Noel Coward nearby along with her Grandfather, who is a retired beat cop (the local police mistakenly thought he was a detective and sought him out for advice with the deaths). I liked that the local cop looked to the Grandfather for help and didn’t rule out help from Georgie.

There was also her relationship with Darcy O’Mara. It was the only drawback to not having read the previous novels as I was a little lost (though it did not detract from the novel). He is smitten, but thought she should leave it to the local police, though he seems supportive of Georgie.
If you like historical mysteries a la Agatha Christie with a tiny bit of romance, this book is for you. I’m ready to read the first books in the series and hope they are as good.

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