God Rest Ye, Royal Gentlemen – Rhys Bowen

I look forward to each entry in this series and Bowen does not disappoint. An implied Royal invitation for Georgie to stay with one of Darcy’s relatives –who is living in a home on the Sandringham estate–leads them away from a quiet Christmas at home with Georgie’s father to a stately home where something is not right. (MINOR SPOILER) In true English stately home mystery style, the guests are an odd array of Georgie’s Scottish family, her mother, some Americans … including Wallace Simpson who needs to be near her Prince for Christmas. A long walk or a short drive away is the Royal family and there has been at least one suspicious death; Bertie is cavorting with Wallace and the Queen is not amused, although the British newspapers are keeping mum; and then another death and we’re off to the races. These mysteries are well-plotted and the characters and manners of the age among the classes are entertaining and somewhat educational. Georgie’s relationships range from a close connection to Queen Mary – to a grandfather who lives quite modestly; her brother the Scottish Duke with “little” money to maintain his castle and his townhouse in London to Georgie’s rich former actress mother; from a mysterious husband with a title but little money – to friends with money, various talents and histories that are fun and call for more. Bowen has created a wonderful palette of characters with plenty of room for this series to continue to entertain at a high level.

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