It's 1930s London, and Lady Georgiana - thirty-fourth in line to the throne - has a lot on her plate, but little in her cupboards, in this national bestseller . . .
Baked beans and boiled eggs. That's what my houseguest, the Bavarian Princess, will have to eat if I don't get help posthaste. The Queen of England has requested I entertain said princess, placing her in the playboy prince's path in hopes he might finally marry.
But queens never consider money, of which I have little. And which is why I moonlight as a maid-in-disguise. My plans:
1) Clean house in manner of palace
2) Blackmail brother Binky into sending a few quid
3) Un-teach Princess Hanni English from gangster movies - lest she address queen as "old broad", and
4) Keep eye on princess at parties, where she drinks like fish.
Then there's the matter of the body in the bookshop and Hanni's unwitting involvement with the communist party. It's enough to drive a girl mad . . .
To make ends meet, slightly impoverished but well-connected Lady Georgiana Rannoch takes on house-cleaning jobs in disguise in Agatha-winner Bowen's enchanting second mystery set in 1930s England (after 2007's Her Royal Spyness). A tea invitation from the queen, however, sets her on a new mission. Georgiana must house and chaperone a young Bavarian princess the queen hopes to set up with the prince of Wales, thus diverting his attention from his current American love interest. The princess proves to be quite a handful, na ve and addicted to slang. Invitations to the palace, country house weekends and swinging parties are provided for her amusement. When a series of unfortunate deaths arouses Georgiana's suspicions, she launches an investigation that culminates in a startlingly bloody conclusion. Fans will welcome the return of this spunky heroine, 34th in line to the British throne.