The Last Mrs. Summers by Rhys Bowen (Review by Julia Bryan)

2 min read

3.3 stars

The latest installment in the Royal Spyness series featuring amateur sleuth Lady Georgiana, is an enjoyable and quick read. Set in England between WWI and WWII, it follows the exploits of Lady Georgiana – who is 34th in line to the throne no less – and her best friend Belinda as they get caught up in a small-town mystery.

As I was reading, I found it reminiscent of a classic murder mystery, filled with sprawling manors, loyal servants and unique characters – some with murky pasts. But to me it was also a statement on living the life of a ‘lady’ in a very different time. The story begins as Lady Georgiana (Georgie) is trying to navigate the confusing labyrinth of hiring servants, running the perfect household and hosting teas – things that do not come naturally and frankly are not very exciting for this somewhat modern lady.

To escape her new life, Georgie travels with Belinda to Cornwall in Southern England to explore a property that Belinda had inherited from her grandmother. When the “property” is found to be less than inviting, the girls are invited to stay with old friends of Belinda’s in the town’s most historic manor. The plot thickens when someone in the house is murdered and Belinda is accused of the crime.

To help her friend, Georgie must use the investigative skills she has acquired (gently referencing the previous books in the series) to find the real murderer. While this is the 14th book in the series, it very easily stands alone. I had not read any of the other books – although I think I will now – and did not feel that I was missing out on any pertinent information.

All in all, I found the unique characters, sweeping coastlines and the glimpse into the traditions of Britain’s minor nobility all added to the fun of reading “The Last Mrs. Summers.”

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