Being 35th in line for the British throne is no guarantee of a peaceful life for an inveterate amateur sleuth.
Lady Georgiana "Georgie" Rannoch has had much better luck solving mysteries than finding security. Poor as a church mouse, she continues to struggle while her glamorous actress mother, Claire Daniels, roams Europe shedding husbands and lovers. Claire drops into Georgie’s life, pressing her to accompany her to Reno for a quickie divorce so she can marry her wealthy German lover. A fast shopping trip for some decent clothes, and Georgie and her remarkably inept maid, Queenie, are on the Berengaria headed for New York. Georgie is thrilled to discover that her mother’s unofficial fiance, Darcy O’Mara, an Irish aristocrat with many secretive jobs, is on board trying to capture a jewel thief. Dining at the captain’s table, Claire and Georgie, her marriage plans on hold until Darcy can make his fortune, meet fabulously wealthy filmmaker Cy Goldman, fresh from buying more treasures for his California mansion. Also at the table are his mistress, movie star Stella Brightwell; Promila, an Indian princess whose ruby is soon stolen; and the notorious Wallis Simpson, who may also be traveling in search of a divorce. All of them but Mrs. Simpson and Promila end up in Hollywood, where Cy talks Claire into starring in his new movie and even offers the handsome Darcy a job. Suspecting Stella of being the jewel thief, Darcy is especially pleased to accept an invitation that reunites most of the leading characters at Cy’s hideous country castle. Georgie finds herself back in the familiar role of sleuth when Cy is murdered and the only suspects are the staff and the guests.
Georgie’s charming eighth (Heirs and Graces, 2013, etc.) subordinates its modest mystery to romance, local color and historical tidbits.