Monday, December 10, 2012


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and I was thrilled to have stumbled across the most wonderful book for this most wonderful time of the year. 

Book Title:  The Twelve Clues of Christmas, A Royal Spyness Mystery
Author:  Rhys Bowen
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Setting:  Christmas 1933, at a manor house in Devon, England,
Format:  Hardcover
Pages:  311
Publication date:  November 2012
Publisher:  Berkley Hardcover
Opening Line: Ah, Christmas:  chestnuts roasting; Yule logs crackling merrily; tables groaning under roast goose, turkey, mince pies and flaming plum puddings; carols and mistletoe, goodwill to all men. 
Favorite Passage: “Oh, bugger the royals,” Mummy said.  “It’s time you stopped trying to please other people and started living for yourself.  I always have.”   

Beach Read Rating: 5 Beach Umbrellas

Review: I’ve been a fan of the Royal Spyness Mystery series since its beginning in 2007.  Lady Georgiana is delightfully “old school” in this historical series set between the great wars.  As a member of the royal family, she is treated as such, but doesn’t have the money to live as such, a delightful juxtaposition.  But this sixth book in the series is like a Christmas present to the reader.  It is so cleverly written that I didn’t figure out the ending and was as delighted as Lady Georgiana when the final puzzle piece dropped into place. 
          And to make things even better, the opening line mentioned above sets the festive tone for the entire book!  The reader is treated to a real old-fashioned English Christmas in a great manor house in Devon.  Oh, the food, so much food, and charming traditions (like “crackers” and The Ministers Cat) are all brought to life in this very well told story.  It makes me want to host an old-fashioned Christmas of my own!  Anyone know where I can get an English Manner home on short notice?  And for free?  J
          This is a most enjoyable read.  It will definitely get you in the mood for the holiday season! 

Flap Copy:  She may be thirty-fifth in line for the throne, but Lady Georgiana Rannoch cannot wait to ring in the new year—before a Christmas killer wrings another neck…
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me—well, actually, my true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending a feliz navidad tramping around South America. Meanwhile, Mummy is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with that droll Noel Coward! And I’m snowed in at Castle Rannoch with my bumbling brother, Binky, and sourpuss sister-in-law, Fig.

So it’s a miracle when I contrive to land a position as hostess to a posh holiday party in Tiddleton. The village is like something out of A Christmas Carol! But no sooner have I arrived than a neighborhood nuisance, a fellow named Freddie falls out of a tree, dead…. Dickensian, indeed.

Freddie’s merely a stocking stuffer. On my second day in town, another so-called accident turns up another mincemeat pie—and yet another on my third. The village is buzzing that a recent prison break could have something to do with it… that, or a long-standing witch’s curse. I’m not so sure. But after Darcy shows up beneath the mistletoe, anything could be possible in this wicked wonderland.

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