18.8.13

A ROYAL PAIN, by Rhys Bowen

2/series. Lovers between-the-wars upper-crust British mysteries will adore intrepid, dead broke Lady Georgiana Rannoch who chars for the aristocracy and is invited to "Buck House" (us colonials call it Buckingham Palace) to consult with the Queen. Pushed into hostessing a Bavarian princess destined to take errant Prince of Wales eyes off an American divorcee, Georgie disguises her poverty by hiring her granddad and his culinary wizard-neighbor as staff. But the blonde, busty princess, a trash-talking devotee of American gangster films, wants only to party. And the Prince wants only to be alone with Wallis (and we all know where that went). Why, then, do people keep turning up murdered? This is a great summer read: entertaining, educational (I find nuggets of fascinating lore in all of these books) and very well written. I like Georgiana, very down-to-earth, and her hilarious attempts to stay independent. Have I mentioned handsome, devil-may-care Darcy O'Mara, an Irish "royal" with a yen for Georgie? It's a 4+. www.rhysbowen.com