Heirs and Graces (A Royal Spyness Mystery #7)

I want to say right up front that I truly think after The Twelve Clues of Christmas (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #6), which was just absolutely superb, any book was going to feel pale in comparison. Such was the case for me with this book. But – I truly feel it only suffers by comparison, as I can’t find a single thing to say to the negative about Heirs and Graces.

 

I really enjoy the recurring characters in this series: Georgie is sweet, naive and correct, while maintaining a firm hand and a steel backbone; no simpering or sniveling going on here. Belinda is the scarlet woman, the best friend that keeps Georgie in the present. And Darcy is the divine love interest with an air of mystery surrounding his super secret work life. No irritating, annoying characters (except Fig, and she’s a bit player that doesn’t always make appearances in the books and was blissfully present-in-name-only in this book).

 

The plot of Heirs and Graces was good and the characters surrounding the plot were colourful enough to keep my attention. I was surprised by the ending – it was an excellent plot twist and though it doesn’t seem right to say, it made me laugh. Such a creative twist, with a tip of the hat to old murder mysteries.

 

A thoroughly enjoyable entry to a very solid series.

India Black and the Widow of Windsor (Madame of Espionage #2)

I really enjoy this series – what’s not to like about a brothel madam that becomes a spy for her majesty? I love the repartee between her and French, her partner in spying. I love India’s sass and wit and her pragmatic outlook to life.  

 

This book, the second one in the series, takes place in Scotland at Balmoral castle. Generally, I’m not a fan of ‘away’ mysteries, since I usually have to adjust to a new cast of characters, but this one simply relocates the entire cast to Balmoral for the duration. India goes undercover as a personal maid for a Marchioness who is rather eccentric. There are scenes with this woman that had me absolutely laughing out loud – one involving pepper that forced me to put the book down for a moment, I was laughing so hard. Truly these are Stephanie Plum-worthy scenes, although the book itself could hardly be compared to J. Evanovich’s popular series.  

 

The book ends with some intriguing hints to future character developments and I look forward to the next book.

Footsteps in the Dark

What a great, fun read! I was almost late for dinner out with friends because I didn’t want to put it down until I reached the end. Great British humour throughout the story, really well blended with the mystery, the setting, the atmosphere. The ghost story was really done well too. I found this to be just an excellent cozy mystery in every sense of the word.