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Continuing adventures of Lady Georgiana Rannoch,
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This review is from: The Twelve Clues of Christmas (A Royal Spyness Mystery) (Hardcover)
Lady Georgiana (Georgie to her friends) is facing a bleak Christmas stuck at the ancestral castle in Scotland with her sister-in-law, Fig, and Fig's impossible family (see Naughty In Nice (A Royal Spyness Mystery). Desperate times call for desperate measures. She arranges to be a social hostess at a gala Christmas gathering at a country estate in Devon. It is near the village of Tittleton-under-Lovey, and it happens that her mother is spending the holidays at a cottage in the village with Noel Coward - not her mother's usual relationship if you know about Coward.
All is not as it seems, when unexpected houseguests show up - the Lady of the household is an aunt of Darcy. There is a diverse collection of houseguests, and there is the Lovey curse on the village - laid on the villagers by a witch the villagers burned at the stake centuries ago. Added to the mystery are escaped convicts from nearly Dartmoor prison. And then people start to die. The deaths are by different means, and would seem to be unconnected accidents, but to use an old expression, once is chance, twice is coincidence, and three times is enemy action. Her grandfather is on hand at her mother's cottage, and is willing to assist the local police, and of course Georgie and Darcy become involved.
Of course there is a village idiot (every village must have one), a crazy woman (said to be descended from the witch), and Georgie still has her impossible maid who she does not have the heart to fire. An interesting mystery with fogs, dangerous bogs, and village customs added in. An added feature at the end of the novel- there are recipes for various Christmas dishes that are mentioned in the novel - would you like to make mince pies, or have a Wassail Bowl? There is also a brief explanation of party games.