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AN UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS WHODUNIT...,
This review is from: A Royal Pain (Berkley Prime Crime Mysteries) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is the second book in a new, charming cozy mystery series by the author, and it is a winner. This is a charming, funny look at life among the upper crust in 1930s England, as seen through the eyes of Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, known as Georgie to those near and dear. Her grandmother was one of Queen Victoria's daughters, making Georgie thirty-fourth in line to the throne.
Georgie is definitely a thoroughly modern Millie, who has left her family's manor home in Scotland for a sojourn in her family's New Hyde Park London townhouse, where she will fend for herself. While there, she meets old acquaintances, makes new friends, and continues to feel romantic stirrings for an irresistible and handsome Irish peer. Unfortunately, she is flat broke, as her brother, Binky, cut off her allowance due to a reversal of fortune. So, Georgie is without servants, virtually penniless, and unable to obtain even the bare necessities.
So, what is a girl to do, especially a royal who is not supposed to work? Well, what Georgie does is sure to set tongues wagging were members of her set to find out, and it would certainly get the Queen in a tizzy were she to discover Georgie's occupation and means of support. After all, it is not every day that a member of the nobility works as a maid.
In between cleaning jobs, Georgie is summoned to the palace by the Queen, who is going to host the beautiful and young Bavarian Princess Hannelore, whom the Queen hopes will distract her son, the Prince of Wales, from the dreadful and very married Wallis Simpson. The Queen asks Georgie if she would do her the favor of entertaining and chaperoning the Princess in her home. Unable to say no, after all, who would dare say no to the Queen, Georgie agrees. What Georgie does to ensure that no one knows of her dire circumstances is quite funny. It also turns out that Princess Hannelore turns out to be somewhat of a handful and not at all what Georgie expected. When dead bodies start popping up and become a recurring nightmare, however, Georgie is put to the test to discover just what is going on.
As with all cozy mysteries, it is the lives of the characters that propel the story forward. While the mystery is intriguing, it is merely the framework around which the characters evolve. The combination of some history with mystery, as well as a touch of romance and lots of humor, is irresistible. Set within the social mores of the time, all the characters, both downstairs and upstairs, manage to add to the ambience of the book. Those who enjoy cozy British mysteries will find this one to be an entertaining and humorous romp.