twelve-cluesReviewed by Caleb Shadis

The Twelve Clues of Christmas has introduced me to a great mystery storyteller! I haven’t read anything by Rhys Bowen before, but I am glad I’ve rectified that situation. The Twelve Clues of Christmas is the 6th book in the A Royal Spyness Mystery series, so I now have 5 books I need to go back to and read. Good thing I didn’t need to read any of the previous books to enjoy this one.

Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 35th in line to the British throne, is staying in her ancestral castle for the Christmas season, in the middle of no place in Scotland. After her father’s death, the castle now belongs to her brother, along with the rest of the diminished family fortune. Her brother, his wife and child and his mother-in-law are all there with her and the rest of her sister-in-law’s family will be arriving any day. It is not looking like a very Merry Christmas for Georgie this year.

As luck would have it, Georgie finds an ad in a magazine looking for a hostess for an old fashioned Christmas house party. She applies and is accepted immediately. Hurrah! Christmas is saved, and best of all the party is in the same sleepy little town that her mother and grandfather will spending Christmas in as well. Things are looking up!

When Georgie gets to the manor the local police are just leaving. Turns out the neighbor accidentally shot himself climbing a pear tree, supposedly to play a prank on her hosts. The next morning she hears about a local man who fell off a bridge on his way home from the pub. Before the first guests even arrive one of the old ladies next door dies when the gas is left on in her room without being lit. It’s starting to look like the local ‘Luvy Curse’ is working in full swing this year. Or is it?

Georgie is a wonderful protagonist. I enjoyed reading this book immensely. I would put this well into the cozy mysteries category, and if you like English mysteries from the likes of Agatha Christie you’re likely to enjoy this series as well. Georgie and her bumbling maid Queenie are a hoot together. The mystery was very well done and I was partially thrown off on the who, so I can’t complain there. Excellent read in my opinion.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

MP3 file was provided free of any obligation by Berkley Hardcover. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.