twelve-cluesLady Georgianna is 35th in line for the British throne, but she’s also penniless, unemployed, and stuck in a gloomy old castle eating beans on toast for Christmas. When she gets a chance to help out at a country house party in a tiny village in Devonshire, it sounds like a chance worth jumping at.

Georgie is ready for riding, Christmas pudding, and changing for dinner. She’s not ready for a witch, a curse, a terrifying string of murders — and her own particular handsome fellow turning up out of the blue. Will Christmas bring romance and adventure — or danger and death?

Award winning novelist Rhys Bowen writes wonderfully atmospheric novels in several different times and places, but this series, set in England and Scotland during the Great Depression, is one of the most fun. Lady Georgianna is plucky and smart in the best traditions of the Golden Age girl heroines, but engaging and believable for modern readers.

The puzzle may not be plausible, you’ll probably catch on before the characters, and there’s quite a bit of “We may never know…” at the end, but this is a fun holiday read filled with atmosphere and a little romance.