A ROYAL PAIN
Anybody who thinks being in line
for the crown -- even way down in
line -- is a good thing should have
a chat with Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, the cousin of King George V of England. Bowen's mystery is a funny glimpse of the upper crust
in the depressed 1930s. Georgie is
a charming sleuth, and Bowen's fans are going to clamor to see more of
her after this sophomore outing.
Georgie has the dubious honor of hosting Bavarian Princess Hanelore, even though funds are running so low in her royal household that baked beans and eggs may be the best she can do. The Queen hopes the beautiful princess will catch her playboy son's eye and lure him away from the dubious charms of a Mrs. Simpson. All Georgie has to do is squeeze her brother Binky into actually handing over some cash and keep a wary eye on the boy-mad young woman at social gatherings.
But the death of one old friend at a party, another in a bookshop and Hanni's accidental involvement in a Communist Party gathering have Georgie searching for a murderer while trying to run her own romance. (Berkley Prime Crime, Jul., 320 pp., $23.95)