13.8.13

HER ROYAL SPYNESS, by Rhys Bowen

1/series. London, 1930-ish. Prolific prize-winning author Bowen has created an easy-to-like heroine in Lady Georgiana Rannoch, an impoverished royal who chars for a living; at 34th, she's so far down the Line of Succession she doesn't rate any bodyguards...or a living allowance. Granted, it's posh charring - she readies London houses for their owners' returns - but still she skulks around in her maid's uniform. This first novel introduces the entire gang: Georgie's half-brother Binkie, perhaps not as muddle-headed as he seems; the snooty sister-in-law, Hilda aka Fig; old school chum and nighlife-addict Belinda; Irish hottie Darcy O'Mara; Georgie's commoner grandpa, a retired bobbie; and a murderer or two. A nasty Frenchman  - a gambler who claims he had won the Rannoch ancestral estate in a card game - turns up drowned in Rannoch House's bathroom. Binky has fled to Scotland, then returns only to be arrested. Georgie knows Binky couldn't have done it...who did? And why? A great start to a posh English series you'll completely enjoy. A solid, fun-filled 4!