Release Date: Oct 12, 2021
Series: A Royal Spyness Mystery
Publisher: Penguin Group
Lady Georgie is happily married to her beloved Darcy O’Mara and is looking forward to hosting Christmas and then ringing in the new year of 1936 in their new home in Essex. Plans change, however, when Darcy’s Aunt Ermintrude summons them, on behalf of Queen Mary herself, to spend the holidays on the Sandringham estate. Georgie soon learns the Queen wants her to discreetly figure out what is behind some strange accidents that have occurred on the estate. Georgie is willing to put her fears of the possible danger aside to please the Queen and catch a killer.
This book is the latest in the long-running Royal Spyness Mysteries. I’ve only read a few of the prior books and although that doesn’t get in the way of understanding the plot of the book, I did feel at a disadvantage in keeping all of the side-characters and their backgrounds and nicknames straight. It was so confusing in the beginning that the first few chapters of the book went by really slowly for me. I love Georgie and Darcy, but not all of the supporting characters, such as Georgie’s mom and her sister-in-law, but fortunately they play a small role in this book. Once I had most of the characters down, I could start getting into the plot of the book more.
The pace of the story is steady and leisurely through most of the book. Georgie doesn’t do a lot of questioning of witnesses, but is very observant and a good listener and starts to put the pieces together of who is behind the mysterious accidents and suspicious deaths on the estate. Georgie and Darcy come up with a dangerous plan to either prove or disprove Georgie’s theory about the murderer. These passages are very dramatic and very exciting and are the highlight of the book. There is some sadness to the solution of the crime, but the book ends on a very positive note. I enjoyed the setting of the book, too, and liked reading about the Christmas traditions of the times. I also appreciated the author’s note at the end, because it helped me understand some of the actual facts, especially about the royal family, behind this historical mystery. All readers who enjoy a light-hearted historical mystery will enjoy this book, but those who have been following the series will really love Georgie and Darcy’s newest adventure.