Description: When royal sleuth Georgie Rannoch receives a letter from her dearest friend Belinda, who’s in an Italian villa awaiting the birth of her illegitimate baby, she yearns to run to her side. If only she could find a way to get there! But then opportunity presents itself in a most unexpected way—her cousin the queen asks her to attend a house party in the Italian Lake Country. The Prince of Wales AND the dreadful Mrs. Simpson have been invited, and Her Majesty is anxious to thwart a possible secret wedding.
What luck! A chance to see Belinda, even if it is under the guise of stopping unwanted nuptials. Only that’s as far as Georgie’s fortune takes her. She soon discovers that she attended finishing school with the hostess of the party—and the hatred they had for each other then has barely dimmed. Plus, she needs to hide Belinda’s delicate condition from the other guests. And her dashing beau, Darcy is (naturally) working undercover on a dangerous mission. Then her actress mother shows up, with a not-so-little task to perform. With all this subterfuge, it seems something is bound to go horribly wrong—and Georgie will no doubt be left to pick up the pieces when it does.
Genre: Mystery - Cozy
Why I Picked This Book: I really enjoyed the first few books in this series and while I've missed several I wanted to catch up with Georgie and Darcy.
My Impression: This series has always been a bit of a fun romp of a cozy and this entry was no exception. It starts off with Georgie in Ireland feeling somewhat at loose ends as Darcy has been called away and there's not much she can do but sit around and wait. But Georgie doesn't have as much time to sit around as she expected and is soon called back to England by none other than the Queen of England herself. Georgie has tea with the Queen in just about every book and it always adds a bit of fun to the book. Poor Georgie is often starving and I can imagine seeing all those delicious sounding pastries go to waste has to be maddening!
The mystery was intriguing. Not only are there the regular motives and emotions for murder floating around but there's a hefty dose of pollical intrigue and royal scandals which makes this extra fun. While there is a lot going on with everyone having a different angle it was a lot of fun unraveling all the different threads. I had a pretty good clue as to the who which isn't unusual for most mysteries but the reading experience was enjoyable enough that I was still able to enjoy the read.
I love the 1930s setting and the juggling that Georgie has to do to keep up appearances when she's basically flat broke is simultaneously entertaining and exhausting. I was pleased to discover that Georgie has grown up a bit in the last few books. She still has her sense of humor and her sparkle but she isn't quite as silly as she sometimes was in previous books. This was a fun book that really felt like catching up with old friends!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author? I would! I'm looking forward to reading the next book already.
Would I Recommend this Book? If you're looking for a light historical mystery this series is a good choice. While I don't think the series necessarily has to be read in order I think it might be best to read a few books from earlier in the series first to get an idea of who everyone is and how they're connected.