She may be thirty-fifth in line for the throne, but Lady Georgiana Rannoch cannot wait to ring in the New Year - before a Christmas killer wrings another neck . . .
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me - well, actually, my true love, Darcy O'Mara, is spending a feliz navidad tramping around South America. Meanwhile, Mummy is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with that droll Noel Coward! And I'm snowed in at Castle Rannoch with my bumbling brother, Binky, and sourpuss sister-in-law, Fig.
So it's a miracle when I contrive to land a position as hostess to a posh holiday party in Tiddleton. The village is like something out of A Christmas Carol! But then there are three deaths, so-called accidents. Perhaps a recent prison break could have something to do with it . . . that, or a long-standing witch's curse. But after Darcy shows up beneath the mistletoe, anything could be possible in this wicked wonderland.
Set at Christmas-time 1933, Bowen's sixth whodunit featuring the irrepressible Lady Georgiana Rannoch (after 2011's Naughty in Nice) may be her best yet. Despite her connections (albeit attenuated) to the Crown (she's 35th in the line of succession), Georgiana finds herself at the mercy of her brother's ghastly family. Escape comes just in time for the holidays when she answers an advert and is hired to help Lady Hawse-Gorzley with a large Christmas party at Hawse-Gorzley's home in Tiddleton-under-Lovey, Devonshire. Accompanied by the anti-Jeeves, her bumbling, if endearing, maid Queenie, Georgiana arrives in Tiddleton-Under-Lovey only to find that a series of apparently accidental deaths has begun to plague the rustic community. With one villager dying each day, the amateur sleuth suspects that the accidents are anything but. Bowen blends zany humor with fair-play detection as well as any author of traditional mysteries.