From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Here's a very cheeky cozy that both celebrates and satirizes the conventions of the English country-house mystery. Bowen sets her latest in the depths of the Depression, allowing hints of hard times to seep into even her upper-class milieu. Lady Georgiana Rannoch, the heroine of the Royal Spyness series (this is the sixth entry), is in line for succession to the throne. But she's thirty-fifth in line, enough to get invited to the occasional royal party but not enough to pay the rent. She's about to be evicted by repellent relatives from her family home, Castle Rannoch, in Scotland, when she sees an ad in The Lady asking for someone of impeccable background to supervise festivities at a country house in a tiny English village, Tiddleton-under-Lovey. The villagers seem to be accident-prone: one falls out of a tree and dies; another drowns; another is asphyxiated, prompting Lady Georgiana to turn from games-mistress to investigator. Bowen, who has won both the Agatha and Anthony Awards, gives us another tongue-in-cheek romp. With Christmas recipes and instructions for traditional games at book's end.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist
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It's December 1933, and single, penniless Lady Georgiana Rannoch is facing a bleak winter in Scotland at Castle Rannoch with her brother and dreadful sister-in-law. Seizing on an opportunity to escape, Georgie answers an ad to play hostess at a Christmas house party in a small English village, but the idyllic village soon turns sinister when the villagers begin dying in suspicious accidents. VERDICT Lady Georgiana's sixth outing (after Naughty in Nice) offers another witty and thoroughly enjoyable mystery with a dash of romance. Christmas recipes and period party game instructions are included. [See Prepub Alert, 7/5/12.] (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Set at Christmas-time 1933, Bowen's sixth whodunit featuring the irrepressible Lady Georgiana Rannoch (after 2011's Naughty in Nice) may be her best yet. Despite her connections (albeit attenuated) to the Crown (she's 35th in the line of succession), Georgiana finds herself at the mercy of her brother's ghastly family. Escape comes just in time for the holidays when she answers an advert and is hired to help Lady Hawse-Gorzley with a large Christmas party at Hawse-Gorzley's home in Tiddleton-under-Lovey, Devonshire. Accompanied by the anti-Jeeves, her bumbling, if endearing, maid Queenie, Georgiana arrives in Tiddleton-Under-Lovey only to find that a series of apparently accidental deaths has begun to plague the rustic community. With one villager dying each day, the amateur sleuth suspects that the accidents are anything but. Bowen blends zany humor with fair-play detection as well as any author of traditional mysteries. Agent: Meg Ruley, the Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.