The Last Mrs. Summers by Rhys Bowen

This was quick read and fun delve back into this universe. Much less racism this time. However, there’s a foreword at the beginning of this one about the awfulness of sexual assault of servants by the lords of the manor that was interesting. I mean, obviously, that’s wrong and we know it’s wrong (and it was known to be wrong then too!), but the fact that the author felt the need to include this foreword when one hadn’t been provided in previous books that contained situations and actions that are known to be abhorrent today (the aforementioned racism, Nazism, etc.). I’m more curious what made that foreword be added as we don’t get any explicit mentions of this abuse and it’s only told in flashback.

Anyway, Georgie’s at loose ends when Darcy goes away and after finding no one in London to hang out with, she comes home to find her friend Belinda has returned from Paris. Belinda has inherited some property in Cornwall and they decide to go see it. It’s less than they expect and end up staying with an old childhood friend of Belinda’s. I thought we might get through this book without death, but about halfway through someone turns up dead and Belinda is the suspect. I really thought Georgie’s guess was going to be correct, even if some of the facts didn’t fit as that was my immediate thought as well. The ending is a bit dramatic and hyperbolic, but things are looking up for Belinda, so that’s good.

I’m happy to have this universe back and I look forward to dipping in once a year as long as Ms. Bowen keeps writing books.

Masked Ball at Broxley Manor by Rhys Bowen

15837400Months ago, I snagged this novella ebook from Barnes and Noble with a gift card I got for Christmas last year. Though I’m disappointed that B&N doesn’t have a Nook app for Mac, I do like that I can read my Nook books on my phone.

This is a VERY short little ditty from Georgina’s debutant season in 1929. It’s basically a speed-through of her usual adventures: she’s poor, but royally-related and invited to a party or a ball where something crazy happens. Darcy O’Mara is usually there for some reason. I finished this in less than hour and it didn’t really enhance my Royal Spyness knowledge or whatever, but it counts toward my book count for the year, so I’m happy.

Very much looking forward to the next Royal Spyness novel next month!

Love and Death Among the Cheetahs by Rhys Bowen

42919937I thought the last book was the last one in the series, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that we get to continue Georgie’s adventures now that she’s married Darcy. And now that I’ve read the book, I’m even more pleasantly surprised that Darcy remains sweet and good to Georgie, not falling to antiquated notions of what women should do now that they’re married (I’m looking at you, Mr. Carson from Downton Abbey!).

We pick up with Georgie and Darcy on honeymoon, which quickly turns from a houseboat in the Thames to a safari in British Kenya. Though accurate to the period, it was a bit rough to see the casual racism all laid out by the British colonists. And of course there’s a murder, but it doesn’t happen until about halfway through the book. Luckily, Georgie’s not the prime suspect, though people are trying to kill her (or Darcy) as per usual. She doesn’t so much solve the case as the killer confesses to her, but I was surprised as to who it was. A few other background mysteries remain, which was a nice distraction from the murder stuff.

Very impressed with the depiction of the scenery and surroundings and more impressed that Georgie really was suffering from altitude sickness, not morning sickness. I know she and Darcy want to have kids, but I’m glad she didn’t get pregnant on honeymoon all the same.

On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen

32969127I have several books to finish from interlibrary loan, so I grabbed this one next, as this series is always a quick read. I had forgotten about Georgie’s trip to Ireland, but it came back soon enough. It’s quite nice that she’s (almost) settled, though it does seem that perhaps there’s an end to this series coming.

Which may be a good thing because Georgie is becoming a little bit like Jessica Fletcher. I’m surprised that Queen Mary hasn’t noticed that every time she sends Georgie on a little spying mission, someone ends up dead and Georgie has to solve a murder. And given the short amount of time that seems to pass during and between books, she’s racking up quite a body count.

This installment takes us to Italy, where Georgie is ostensibly visiting Belinda, who is waiting to have her baby, but really she’s been “invited” to a house party to keep an eye on the Prince of Wales and Wallis Simpson. There’s intrigue, Hitler, and perhaps a preview of Georgie’s life as a Catholic wife. Oh and Georgie is almost raped – twice. But then her would-be rapist is killed, her mother is blamed and of course, the local police is useless. It would be a nice change of pace to the the local law enforcement not a group of bumbling fools, but then, I guess, Georgie wouldn’t get a save the day in her own way. Georgie’s fiancee, Darcy, is also about, spying on the meeting that’s taking place under everyone’s nose, trying to get the Prince of Wales on the side of Hitler and Il Duce. Sigh.

The whodunit is pretty well done, so I didn’t figure it out until much later than usual, which was great. There aren’t any new books listed, but fingers crossed we get at least one more, so Georgie and Darcy can finally get married!