Alternate-world yarn from Oscar winner Dreyfuss and Hugo winner Turtledove (Worldwar: Upsetting the Balance, 1995). In this world, the American Revolution never happened, and the North American Union is an integral part of the British Empire--a union symbolized by the Gainsborough painting of the title, featuring George III and George Washington. The tranquility of the NAU--peaceful, nonviolent, multicultural, technologically 1930s--is threatened only by the ruthless, fascist, separatist Sons of Liberty terrorist group. As the painting tours the NAU, alcoholic divorcâ€š Colonel Thomas Bushell of the Royal American Mounties, along with custodian Kathleen Flannery, is given the task of guarding it. In New Liverpool (Los Angeles), used-car salesman Tricky Dick is murdered as a diversion while the Sons steal the painting--just days before King-Emperor Charles III is due to arrive. Bushell's boss, Sir Horace Bragg, and Governor-general Sir Martin Luther King are, understandably, upset. Bushell investigates assiduously, but fails to come up with the painting. Worse, someone highly placed in the RAMS is leaking information to the Sons. Eventually, in Victoria (Washington), Bushell will be called upon to prevent the assassination of Charles III. Despite the rather ponderous approach, Dreyfuss and Turtledove's might-have-been world--something like an indefinitely extended Victorian idyll--charms as it intrigues, and the above-average characters help compensate for the movie-ish sleuthing.