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The twelve clues of Christmas
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She may be thirty-fifth in line for the throne, but Lady Georgiana Rannoch cannot wait to ring in the new year--before a Christmas killer wrings another neck...

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me--well, actually, my true love, Darcy O'Mara, is spending a feliz navidad tramping around South America. Meanwhile, Mummy is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with that droll Noel Coward! And I'm snowed in at Castle Rannoch with my bumbling brother, Binky, and sourpuss sister-in-law, Fig.

So it's a miracle when I contrive to land a position as hostess to a posh holiday party in Tiddleton. The village is like something out of A Christmas Carol ! But no sooner have I arrived than a neighborhood nuisance, a fellow named Freddie falls out of a tree, dead.... Dickensian, indeed.

Freddie's merely a stocking stuffer. On my second day in town, another so-called accident turns up another mincemeat pie--and yet another on my third. The village is buzzing that a recent prison break could have something to do with it... that, or a long-standing witch's curse. I'm not so sure. But after Darcy shows up beneath the mistletoe, anything could be possible in this wicked wonderland.  
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Booklist Review
Here's a very cheeky cozy that both celebrates and satirizes the conventions of the English country-house mystery. Bowen sets her latest in the depths of the Depression, allowing hints of hard times to seep into even her upper-class milieu. Lady Georgiana Rannoch, the heroine of the Royal Spyness series (this is the sixth entry), is in line for succession to the throne. But she's thirty-fifth in line, enough to get invited to the occasional royal party but not enough to pay the rent. She's about to be evicted by repellent relatives from her family home, Castle Rannoch, in Scotland, when she sees an ad in The Lady asking for someone of impeccable background to supervise festivities at a country house in a tiny English village, Tiddleton-under-Lovey. The villagers seem to be accident-prone: one falls out of a tree and dies; another drowns; another is asphyxiated, prompting Lady Georgiana to turn from games-mistress to investigator. Bowen, who has won both the Agatha and Anthony Awards, gives us another tongue-in-cheek romp. With Christmas recipes and instructions for traditional games at book's end.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist
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