Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Last Mrs Summers - Historical Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Last Mrs. Summers (A Royal Spyness) by Rhys Bowen

Rating: Really Liked It!

Source: Publisher

Description:  Georgie's best friend, Belinda, inherits a spooky old house in Cornwall and asks Georgie to go with her to inspect the property. When they arrive, they meet Rose, a woman Belinda knew as a child when she spent her summers with her grandmother in Cornwall. Belinda never liked Rose, who has always been bossy and a bit of a bully, but when Belinda's house proves to be uninhabitable, Rose invites them to stay with her.

Rose is now married to Tony Summers, Belinda's childhood crush, and lives in the lovely house on the cliffs that he has inherited. Rose confides that she thinks Tony killed his first wife and now she is afraid. She asks Georgie and Belinda to observe Tony's behavior and their surroundings. Is Rose imagining things? Is Tony dangerous? In their quest for answers, they encounter a creepy housekeeper, Mrs. Manners, and learn that some kind of forgotten tragedy occurred on the property years ago involving them all.

There is a lot of strange to go around and things only get weirder--and deadlier--when one night a member of the household is found dead. All clues point to Belinda as the prime suspect. Now Georgie must uncover some long buried secrets that may prove the victim was really a villain before Belinda takes the fall for the murder.

Genre: Mystery - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  I really enjoy this series and this one sounded fun and spooky.

My Impression:  I've been reading this series since the beginning and while I've missed a few in the middle I've always enjoying catching up with what Georgie was up to and I've really enjoyed seeing her relationship with Darcy grow.  It's especially nice to have the will they/won't they wrap up with a decided will.  I do wish Darcy was in this book more but his presence would have been a bit odd so I'm willing to overlook it.

Belinda has long been a favorite side character and I really enjoyed seeing her front and center in this latest book though she definitely didn't have the easiest time of it.  Her friendship with Georgie has really come through a lot and these are two women I really believe are friends.  What really stands out about this particular book is the atmosphere.  While this is usually a fun romp of a series this book has full on Rebecca style atmosphere with a huge maze of a house, a sinister housekeeper and a host of tragedy centering around the family that lived there.  The atmosphere is strong from the beginning but the actual murder doesn't occur until about halfway through the book.  That doesn't mean this book drags though.  There's plenty of non-murderous mystery from the very beginning so really when the body falls I had kind of forgotten there hadn't been a murder.  

While this is book 14 in the series I really think you could jump in here though some aspects of characters will be easier to understand if you're a bit more invested in the series.  If you are looking for a fun spooky read with a great Cornish setting and lots of secrets then this is a read not to be missed.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I always enjoy this author's books.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy a good cozy historical mystery I recommend this series and if you're looking for a spooky (but not too scary) read then this is one you shouldn't miss.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. This one sounds great - I'm always a sucker from a Rebecca-type gothic thriller:)). Thank you for a cracking review, Katherine.

  2. I just finished it this morning and loved it! I've only read a couple of the early books and had no problems jumping back in this late in the series.

  3. I definitely want to read this one. I haven't read the whole series, but the couple I did read I enjoyed.

  4. OMG book #14, I have such a way to go, I need to ramp up my listening to this series. I do enjoy it. I might skip a few although I do enjoy them, love the English and the royalty. Good to hear Belinda is coming through.

  5. Every time you read this series I get so curious. I have yet to read book one. Will try to move it up.