This was a most delightfully entertaining read with a well-plotted mystery and interesting characters. The writing, as always, is excellent and the plot is well developed and well-executed. The identity of the villain was plain to me early on, but only because I have a warped brain. So, once I decided who the villain was – I had to devour the rest of the book to search for clues that I was correct. There are lots of red herrings and you’ll just have to weed through them to get the full story – which might not be evident until the end. Is the prince the intended victim? Is the villain part of a plot against the government?
It is Christmas 1935 and Georgie, along with her new husband Darcy, is looking forward to their first Christmas as a married couple. They decide it might be fun to have a Christmas house party – until – what amounts to a Royal command is delivered. So, Georgie and Darcy move their entire house party to Wymondham Hall located on the grounds of Sandringham where the royal family is spending Christmas. Georgie is excited to meet Darcy’s aunt, who lives at Wymondham Hall, but is surprised to find Wallis Simpson in residence as well.
Queen Mary is concerned and she’s asked Georgie to figure out if there is really evil afoot at Sandringham. Last Christmas, there were two strange and tragic deaths during the Christmas holiday at Sandringham and the Queen is concerned someone may be targeting the prince. When the prince is hit with buckshot, that worry only intensifies. Things become really serious when the prince’s paramour, Wallis Simpson, is attacked – not to mention more deaths. Is it someone who is inside the Sandringham estate? Could Darcy become a target if they get too close?
I thoroughly enjoyed this excellently presented book. There is an intense mystery set within increasingly turbulent times for England. Hitler has already come to prominence in Germany and King George V is very ill. The heir to the throne is seriously involved with an American woman who has already been divorced once and the royal family knows the people will never accept that relationship. When you add in the unrest in Ireland, you have a formula for extreme stress for Queen Mary and King George. Will Georgie and Darcy be able to relieve some of that stress by solving the local deaths? Whatever happens to the mystery within the pages, we have some very sad news and some very happy news – you’ll just have to read the book to find out the solution to the mystery and the news.
I highly recommend this entertaining book. I know you’ll love the story as well as the recurring characters. While this is part of a series, it can stand alone. However, if you want to understand Georgie’s whole backstory, you should read at least the first couple of books. You don’t need to read the earlier books as this one presents you with plenty of the back story, but they are really good books and I think you’d enjoy them.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.