As thirty-fifth in line for the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch may
not be the most sophisticated young woman, but she knows her table
manners. It’s forks on the left, knives on the right—not in His
Here I am thinking the education I
received at my posh Swiss finishing school would never come in handy.
And while it hasn’t landed me a job, or a husband, it has convinced Her
Majesty the Queen and the Dowager Duchess to enlist my help. I have been
entrusted with grooming Jack Altringham—the Duke’s newly discovered
heir fresh from the Outback of Australia—for high society.
upside is I am to live in luxury at one of England’s most gorgeous
stately homes. But upon arrival at Kingsdowne Place, my dearest Darcy
has been sent to fetch Jack, leaving me stuck in a manor full of
miscreants…none of whom are too pleased with the discovery of my new
And no sooner has the lad been retrieved than the Duke
announces he wants to choose his own heir. With the house in a hubbub
over the news, Jack’s hunting knife somehow finds its way into the
Duke’s back. Eyes fall, backs turn, and fingers point to the young heir.
As if the rascal wasn’t enough of a handful, now he’s suspected of
murder. Jack may be wild, but I’d bet the crown jewels it wasn’t he who
killed the Duke…
Berkeley Hardcover | August 6, 2013 | 304 pages | ISBN: 978-0425260029
Heirs and Graces, the seventh installment in Rhys Bowen’s
Royal Spyness mystery series, finds Lady Georgiana Rannoch at Kingsdowne
Place, the home of the Duke of Eynsford, in 1934. The Duke’s mother has
recruited Georgie to educate her son’s recently discovered heir, Jack,
in the ways of high society. This task is not without considerable
challenges given that Jack has only recently arrived from the Australian
Outback, where he was raised. Georgie, however, is soon confronted with
a bigger challenge when the Duke is found dead with Jack’s knife stuck
in his back. While it appears that Jack has the most reason to want the
Duke dead, Georgie is convinced that he isn’t the culprit. Can the real
murderer be found before it’s too late?
In Heirs and Graces Rhys Bowen once again delivers a fun and
clever read. Lady Georgiana is one of the most refreshing heroines in
historical fiction. She’s intelligent, sensible, and portrayed in a
manner consistent with the fact that she’s the daughter of a duke and a
member of Britain’s royal family. Like its predecessors, Heirs and Graces
is full of quirky and eccentric characters both old and new, many of
whom are easy to love, including Georgie’s non-aristocratic grandfather.
Darcy O’Mara, Georgie’s longtime love interest, also makes an
appearance. One of my favourite aspects of this series, which is
reflected in this novel, is that rather than overshadowing the main plot
Georgie and Darcy’s relationship complements it. The mystery itself is
well developed and, even though there are a number of clues pointing to
the murderer’s true identify sprinkled throughout the book, the ultimate
resolution is still unexpected.
Overall, Heirs and Graces is as great addition to the Royal Spyness series.
Note: This review first appeared in Historical Novels Review (Issue 66, November 2013). I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.