by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details on how to win a copy of Queen of Hearts at the end of this review, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Lady Georgiana Rannoch is at it again, and this time it’s in America!
The penniless 35th in line to the British crown is sleuthing, lusting (but unconsummated with her beloved Darcy), and hobnobbing with the rich and famous in Rhys Bowen’s latest Royal Spyness mystery, Queen of Hearts.
Georgie is spirited away from a quiet English manor and her companion chores by her stage-star and often-wed mother, to accompany Mummy to Reno, Nevada, for a quickie divorce from a Texas oilman so she can marry a German industrialist. On the Atlantic crossing, she encounters deceit, gross clumsiness, burglary, and a possibility of murder (What–or who–was thrown out of that porthole?). She also encounters a Hollywood bigwig who entices Mummy into taking a shot at movie stardom.
In California, there’s more deceit, unexpected reunions, a Hearst-Castle-like estate with wild animals and purchased antiquities above Malibu, movie stars, spouses, armor, theft, and murder. Naturally, Georgie becomes part of the investigation–it’s what she does.
The Georgie series has a 30s screwball-comedy style, with unusual characters and odd situations, and there are cameo appearances by the famous of the era, like Wallace Simpson and Charlie Chaplin, as well as characters that resemble the famous. Recurring characters (Mummy, friend Belinda, maid Queenie, Darcy) get featured-player status. Mummy is egocentric and can’t seem to recognize any worth or beauty in her daughter. Belinda is always on the make for money, adventure, and sex.
Queenie is still the world’s worst ladies’ maid, but she falls under the spell of America, wanting to declare her independence. Darcy gets into some steamy, but PG-rated, situations with Georgiana and contacts a lot of people for information, but he mostly plays sidekick in this outing, rather than being the dashing hero who saves Georgie from danger.
Why do I like this series?
• I like the 1930s era and the historical references.
• Georgie is a Royal without a fortune, and she has to deal with the problems of The Great Depression while surrounded with the trappings of the upper crust.
• Characters that are clumsier than Georgie, who still gets her awkward moments.
• Clues and red herrings that are spread nicely through the text. You don’t think “How did they figure that out?” You think, “That makes sense. This was mentioned earlier.”
• It’s funny, has a lot of dramatic tension, and it zooms past you with a brisk pace.
The Twelve Clues of Christmas was my favorite in this series. I think I have a new favorite.
To enter to win a copy of Queen of Hearts, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Hearts,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 30, 2014. U.S. residents only.
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Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL!