A royal relative turns sleuth when murder haunts her household.
Lady Georgiana Rannoch, who lives in her impoverished brother’s London house, survives by doing occasional light cleaning jobs. Although dead broke, she is 34th in line to the throne and at the beck and call of the Queen, who’s thought up a scheme to scuttle the highly unsuitable romance between her son David and the married American Wallis Simpson. The Queen asks Georgie to host the lovely young Bavarian Princess, known by her friends as Hanni, as well as her escort Baroness Rottenmeister and their maid. Having no money or servants, Georgie calls on her grandfather and his neighbor to act as butler and cook. Hanni turns out to be a lively young miss with an American accent acquired from watching gangster movies and a bent for unsuitable young men, shoplifting and wild parties. At an aristocratic bash whose guest list includes the Prince of Wales, Mrs. Simpson and Georgie’s actress mother, a young man is killed in a fall from a balcony. Georgie and Hanni are escorted away by Georgie’s love interest, sexy Irishman Darcy O’Mara (Her Royal Spyness, 2007). As Georgie attempts to keep Hanni out of trouble, more murders follow. Nothing daunted, Georgie works to discover if the cause is a Communist or Fascist plot or something even more sinister.
A pre–World War II mystery with a touch of romance that adds another winner to Bowen’s accomplishments.