Friday, December 25, 2015

The Twelve Clues of Christmas (audiobook) by Rhys Bowen, narrated by Katherine Kellgren

The Twelve Clues of Christmas is a historical cozy mystery.


I'm getting more of my review backlog out of the way, because, one way or another, I plan on starting the new year with a clean slate. I'd like to leave anything I haven't reviewed by then behind.

Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie (aka “Georgie”) doesn't want to spend Christmas with family members who don't really want her around, and she's been forbidden from going to visit her commoner grandfather and spending the time with him. When she spots an ad for a position as hostess at a party in a little village, she jumps at the chance for a more enjoyable Christmas. Everything seems to be going well, except Georgie keeps hearing about apparently random and accidental deaths. She can't shake the thought that there's something sinister behind it all.

This is another audiobook I bought during a recent Audible sale, and I can happily say I didn't regret the purchase. Katherine Kellgren does such a wonderful job with the narration that I'm considering getting another book in the series using one of my precious credits. I particularly liked the way she voiced Georgie (which is good, since Georgie is the narrator) and Darcy. I had been worried, because The Twelve Clues of Christmas is the sixth book in Bowen's Royal Spyness series, and I had only ever read the first. I was able to follow along pretty well, although I'd still like to go back and read books 2 through 5 at some point.

I listened to this book at this particular time of the year because I figured it fit. There was the Christmas party, a few traditions I knew about (caroling, presents, mistletoe, etc.), and a few I didn't (the yule log, the little charms). But this was a mystery, so there was also death. Lots and lots of death. Like, enough for several books. It got to the point where I stopped keeping count of the number of people who had died, and the pattern, once Georgie figured it out, seemed a bit ridiculous. Still, it was an enjoyable mystery, and I particularly liked the character interactions that went along with it all.

I vaguely remembered that, in the first book, Georgie and Darcy had had a lot of chemistry, but various things had kept them from becoming an actual couple. I was worried that this book would continue in that vein, to the point that I cheated and checked the descriptions of the later books. Georgie fretted about the status of her relationship with Darcy (wouldn't a guy who liked her keep more in touch with her?). And when things started to go really well, she fretted over the fact that they couldn't legally marry, what with their differing religions and her being thirty-somethingth in line for the throne.

Georgie's grandfather and mother were both around, as was a huge cast of characters I couldn't really keep straight very well. It all made for nice, fun listening, although there was a bit of a darker edge (beyond all the deaths) – hints of World War II on the horizon.

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