The Twelve Clues of Christmas (Royal Spyness Series #6)

The Twelve Clues of Christmas (Royal Spyness Series #6)

4.5 49
by Rhys Bowen

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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

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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 no sooner have I arrived than a neighborhood nuisance, a fellow named Freddie, falls out of a tree dead.  On my second day, another so-called accident results in a death – and there’s yet another on my third.  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.

Includes an English Christmas companion, full of holiday recipes, games, and more!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Like all of Rhys’s books, this is so much more than a murder mystery. It’s part love story, part social commentary, part fun and part downright terrifying. And completely riveting. ”—Louise Penny, author of The Beautiful Mystery

“Bowen blends zany humor with fair-play detection.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Delightful.”—Kirkus Reviews


Publishers Weekly
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. Agent: Meg Ruley, the Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Nov.)
Library Journal
It's December 1933, and single, penniless Lady Georgiana Rannoch is facing a bleak winter in Scotland at Castle Rannoch with her brother and dreadful sister-in-law. Seizing on an opportunity to escape, Georgie answers an ad to play hostess at a Christmas house party in a small English village, but the idyllic village soon turns sinister when the villagers begin dying in suspicious accidents. VERDICT Lady Georgiana's sixth outing (after Naughty in Nice) offers another witty and thoroughly enjoyable mystery with a dash of romance. Christmas recipes and period party game instructions are included. [See Prepub Alert, 7/5/12.]
Kirkus Reviews
Being 35th in line for the British throne is no sinecure. Lady Georgiana Rannoch, distant heir to the Empire, has resigned herself to a dull Christmas in the family's cold and cheerless Scottish castle with her henpecked brother, his awful wife and her even more repugnant family when an opportunity arises to act as a paid hostess at a house party. Arriving in the picture-perfect village of Tiddleton-under-Lovey, where her actress mother and Noel Coward are spending a working Christmas, she's warmly greeted by the Hawse-Gorzley family, who are providing an old-fashioned Christmas to a wide assortment of paying guests. Georgiana is thrilled to discover that the man she loves, Darcy O'Mara, is the nephew of Mrs. Hawse-Gorzley and is spending Christmas with the family. True, a neighbor seems to have shot himself accidentally while sitting in a pear tree, but it is only when more deaths follow on a daily basis that Georgiana, who is no stranger to sleuthing, takes an interest. The guests are spooked, even though only locals seem to be targeted. The investigating officer calls on Georgiana's grandfather, a retired London policeman who's acting as a butler for his actress daughter, for help with the deaths, which the officer still can't believe are murders, perhaps because he's preoccupied with the convicts who've escaped from Dartmoor Prison. It takes a while for the penny to drop, but Georgiana finally sees a pattern to the deaths, though the clever killer will not be easy to catch. The sixth in Bowen's delightful Royal Spyness mysteries set in the 1930s (Naughty in Nice, 2011, etc.) gives readers a blueprint for an old-fashioned English Christmas, complete with traditional recipes, games, drinks and homicides.

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Royal Spyness Series, #6
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Rhys Bowen has been nominated for every major award in mystery writing, including the Edgar®, and has won many, including both the Agatha and Anthony awards. She is also the author of the Molly Murphy Mysteries, set in turn-of-the-century New York, and the Constable Evans Mysteries, set in Wales. She was born in England and lives in Northern California. 

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