Friday, July 19, 2013

Book Review: Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen (Royal Spyness #7)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Characters, plot, setting, and tons of fun
Cons: Only if you don't enjoy classic cozies
The Bottom Line:
Feel the tension rise
As murder rocks upper crust
Georgie on the case

Murder Most Unmannerous

Someone takes a knife in the back.  No, I’m not talking about a metaphorical knife but a real one.  After all, Heirs and Graces is a murder mystery.  It is the seventh adventure for Lady Georgiana, 35th in line for the throne of England in the 1930’s.

As spring of 1934 begins, Lady Georgiana is looking for a new place to live.  Fortunately, she is soon sent to the Kingsdowne Place.  The current Duke is a confirmed bachelor, but the family has just learned about a nephew who could inherit everything.  Unfortunately, he has been raised in Australia and will need someone to show him the proper manners of the upper crust.

Georgie arrives to find a house full of tension which is only made worse when the heir arrives.  Still, she is not expecting to find someone murdered.  Will she solve the crime before the wrong person gets accused?

As with the last book in the series, this one is very much a classic cozy.  We’re even in a mansion with lots of servants.  But while the set up might be familiar, the details are always changing, and that’s what kept me turning the pages.  I had a hard time putting it down and couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

The characters were a big part of the draw.  The usual cast of characters appear here and are as charming as ever.  But the new characters are wonderful.  I never had a problem remembering who any of them were because they were so well drawn.  In fact, if one or two of them became regular supporting characters, I wouldn’t complain at all.

The tension is so palatable you could cut it with a knife.  Okay, I couldn’t resist the pun, but it is true.  There are some interesting developments along the way before we reach a surprising conclusion.

As always for the series, there is some great humor.  A scene near the beginning actually had me laughing, and much of the rest brought some grins to my face as I read along.  It works well to help relieve the tension for a few moments before it comes back.

Fans of classic cozies will enjoy Heirs and Graces.  In fact, anyone who is interested in 1930’s British society should give it a chance.  Me?  I’m left waiting for the next book from the pen of Rhys Bowen.

If you want more mystery in 1930's England, check out the rest of the Royal Spyness Mysteries in order.

NOTE: I was sent an ARC in exchange for my honest review.  But really, with as much as I love Rhys’ books, is anyone surprised I liked this one, too?


  1. Thank you for the lovely review, Mark. I'm so glad you liked this one.

  2. Nice review! I'm really looking forward to this one -- I haven't gotten my hands on it yet. :-)