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

4.5 52
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

Overview

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!

Editorial 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.)
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

 

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101612194
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/06/2012
Series:
Royal Spyness Series , #6
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
27,092
File size:
698 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for The Twelve Clues of Christmas

The Twelve Clues of Christmas is yet another brilliant novel from Rhys Bowen.... 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. I adore this book and can hardly wait to give it to all my family and friends for Christmas! For all who love the season, and a great murder mystery, this book is perfect.” —Louise Penny, author of The Beautiful Mystery

"Lady Georgiana's sixth outing...offers another witty and thoroughly enjoyable mystery with a dash of romance."—Library Journal (starred review)

"Bowen's sixth whodunit featuring the irrepressible Lady Georgiana...may be her best yet...Bowen blends zany humor with fair-play detection as well as any author of traditional mysteries."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Praise for the Royal Spyness Mysteries:

“Wonderful characters…A delight.”—Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels

“Hilarious adventure…What an absolute delight! With a witty and clever plot, it’s clear that Agatha Christie is alive and kicking and what’s more, she’s funny!” —Hannah Dennison, author of Thieves! A Vicky Hill Exclusive! Mystery

“Georgie’s high spirits and the author’s frothy prose are utterly captivating.” —The Denver Post

“Whimsical…Bowen successfully melds a whodunit with comedy as few contemporary writers can.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Meet the Author

Rhys Bowen has been nominated for every major award in mystery writing, including the Edgar®, and has won many, including both 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.

Customer Reviews

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The Twelve Clues of Christmas 4.5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 52 reviews.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
A holiday mystery based on the twelve days of Christmas is the basis for this latest Royal Spyness Mystery series. Georgie (Lady Georgiana Bannock, 35th or 36th in line for the throne) escapes from Castle Rannoch and her sister-in-law, Fig, whom she dislikes, by answering an ad to act as a social hostess for a large Christmas party in a small English village, Tiddleton-under-Lovey. Her actress mother and Noel Coward are staying in the same village, supposedly writing a play, and Georgie convinces her grandfather to join them. But almost immediately dead bodies begin to appear, one a day. The police think it is the result of a prison breakout by three convicts. Villagers believe the deaths are the result of the Lovey Curse, made by a “witch” burned there hundreds of years before. However, all the deaths appear to be accidental, at least until Georgie comes up with a possible motive for murder. This sixth novel in the series is, as were its predecessors, very entertaining. The plot is clever, woven around the Twelve Days of Christmas theme. And as an added bonus, all the recipes for an old-fashioned English Christmas, food and games are provided after the mystery is solved. Who can ask for anything more? Recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was like the whipped cream on top of my Christmas Irish coffee! The plot was clever, exciting, and the characters were three dimensional. Woven into the story were the customs and activities of the Christmas season in a simpler and less commercial time, including in an appendix an explanation of the activities, food, and games portrayed in the book. This was a diamond in the "Royal Spyness" series, and I look forward to the next installment!
Michelle1948 More than 1 year ago
I have read plenty of reviews that the love interest of Georgiana's is never featured enough thru this series....romance lovers...you will enjoy this one! Mr. Darcy O'Mara makes an appearance and becomes a main character in this Christmas story...wonderful !!! The main plot of this story is Georgiana getting a job to be a co-host at a traditional English country home for Christmas. But once she arrives, a person dies each day for the twelve days of christmas. Who is doing this and why? Rhys Bowen has woven a great mystery plot. It moved quickly. I truly enjoyed the cozy mystery and substantially more of a relationship for Georgiana and Darcy in this book. I recommend this book to all cozy mystery readers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just finished the latest installment. This would be so wonderful as a television series. I love the creepy, witty, theatrical, suspense with the holiday theme. I can't wait for the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finally, Georgie and Darcy are engaged. Let's hope it doesn't take another six books for them to marry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much. I liked the characters and the story was intriguing. I was not expecting the ending. A good read.
MadoniaT More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed THE TWELVE CLUES OF CHRISTMAS!! The story line is GREAT and it's easy to get lost in the world of Georgiana Rannoch. You can relate to each character in this novel and I couldn't help thinking that the Dowager Countess in the book was the same as the Dowager on Downton Abby (lol) . I could visualize her and her remarks so vividly! The twists and turns of this book will have you on the edge of your seat! You won't be able to put it down! I was not left wanting!!! Good job, Rhys, as always! I highly recommend the Royal Spyness Series if you haven't already read them!! GREAT READS!!!
MaggiemaeMI More than 1 year ago
Good story, moved rapidly, one of my favorite authors
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book as usual! I just love Darcy and Georgie!
Anonymous 12 days ago
I always enjoy Rhys Bowen's work!
Michelle_Palmer More than 1 year ago
I love this series. Rhys Bowen has written characters that you will fall in love with and root for. The main character, Georgie is 35th in line for the throne of England but she is penniless. Her brother is a Duke but her sister in law is tired of Georgie hanging around and keeps trying to marry her off to dreadful princes. But that isn't really what the series is about. She regularly stumbles on murders and ends up helping to solve them. Her paramour, Darcy, is completely dreamy (and a spy!!) I love the way the settings of the books are described. This one takes place in a small town in Devon. The various people she encounters are also described wonderfully. Georgie reads an announcement for a job for a young woman of high class to help hostess a house party over Christmas and she applies. The various characters at the house party are pretty terrible for the most part but they make for some funny and interesting scenes. Overall, the mystery is wonderfully written. I didn't guess the culprit until it was revealed. The characters are wonderful, the settings are beautifully described, and the relationships have chemistry.
fishJD More than 1 year ago
Fun, clever read! I look forward to reading more by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes, I would recommend this book. It keeps you on your toes trying to figure out who had did all of the killings. Love the twist and turns!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With classic english manor houseparty. Rent a royal was really what saves the holiday for our heroine. I agree with the reviewer who says maid and mother annoying
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This one might have been slightly more far-fetched than other stories in this series, but they're all light-hearted, fun cozy murder mysteries. And LOTS of the charming Darcy O'Mara -- reason enough to read right there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NancyLibrarian More than 1 year ago
I have been in love with this series since the first volume came out, and #6 does not disappoint. I think it may be the most interesting plot yet, you don't even know there's a murder for sure until about 120 pages in, and the characters all grab your interest. The ending was a bit tame, but the story was so good and satisfying that I didn't mind. Georgiana provides her top-drawer social status to help (for a fee) hostess a 'traditional English Christmas' for minor gentry having a house party of people from several countries, who turn out to be paying guests. Just as Georgie arrives, local people begin turning up dead in situations that seem natural until the number starts mounting. With her irrepressible mother staying in a cottage in the same village and her grandfather and Mrs. Hodges also (acting as butler and cook to Mummy's current man), all Georgie lacks is Darcy--and then he turns up, being cousin to the hosting family! Lots of fun to read. Keep it up, Rhys Bowen! This is your best series, in my opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Georgie doesn't stretch her sleuthing muscles until page 245. Before then, she is just strictly reporting the scene of murders. The murderer was very predictable, and the ending was unsatisfying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mysterychik More than 1 year ago
Loved it! One of my favorite Christmas mysteries. Lots of holiday and mystery. What a Christmas mystery should be like. Like Santa, I'm, reading this one twice. Something I rarely do!
Patito02 More than 1 year ago
The usual Royal Spyness read. Fun fast moving with the usual "friends" showing up. If you like the Royal Spyness series then don't miss this book. If you have not tried this series start with the first book and read in order so you will enjoy the development of the different characters/ situations.