Summary: Georgie is tasked by the Queen to help with the transition of lost distant relative to his new role as heir to a Duke. (Of course someone ends up dead.)
Over the last six months I have read all six of the Her Royal Spyness books that have been written. The series is a fun, cozy mystery series that frequently pays homage to great British mystery writers. The first book was a clear homage to Dorothy Sayers. Sherlock Holmes has been mentioned throughout the books. And the last two book have had hints of Agitha Cristie.
That is not to say the plots are stolen, they are not. But that slight feeling exists that Rhys Bowen is trying to honor those that have gone before her by dropping in little scene hints or clues. If I were more versed on classic British mysteries, I am sure there are more that I would get.
In Heirs and Graces, the book opens with Georgie’s latest venture, secretary to her mother as her mother attempts to write a memoir. But as should be predicted, her mother either can’t talk about many of the interesting events of her life or wants to go shopping and not do the hard work on writing. So Georgie is left yet again without a means of supporting herself, or a place to live.
So she plucks up the courage to go see the Queen and ask for help. The Queen sends her off with a Dowager Dutchess. The Dowager’s son has refused to marry and produce an heir (he is more interested in men as seems to be a reoccuring theme in the series.) The Dowager’s daughter’s husband has abandoned her, so she and her two children had to move back in with her brother (who doesn’t want them there.) The only remaining child of the Dutchess was killed in World War I. But before he died he married and concieved a child in Australia. The Dowager has sent for her grandson, who is not quite 21 in order to prepare him to become the heir.
Georgie has been asked to help the transtion and assist in training the young Australian ranch hand (Jack) to be a Duke.
Not long after Jack gets to the family home, the Duke is murdered and pretty much everyone has a motive (he was not a nice man.) Again, Georgie take a real interest in the case, in large part because Jack is the prime suspect and Georgie is pretty sure he didn’t kill the Duke.
Georgie is less antagonistic toward the police investigator in this book and work with him fairly well, although does not reveal everything she knows as soon as she knows it. Darcy again, (because of course he coincidentally shows up as well) keeps encouraging her to stay out of the investigation. This is probably the clearest mystery, not because the result is obvious, but because there is less between the lines. We pretty much know what Georgie knows and suspects as soon as she does. And we know why.
The final result doesn’t come out until very close to the end. Because the list of suspects is pretty small, I was not really surprised at the murderer, but it was revealed well.
I am disappointed that I have caught up on the series. I enjoyed the humorous cozy style. Rhys Bowen has another series, Molly Murphy mysteries, that I might pick up eventually as well.