Third in Bowen’s highly entertaining mystery series featuring Lady Georgiana, thirty-fourth in line to the British throne in 1932, this outing finds Georgie visiting the family seat in Scotland, Castle Rannoch. For once, she and her priggish sister-in-law Fig find themselves on the same side as they conspire to make their odious American guests as uncomfortable as the draughty old castle will permit. Georgie also has more assignments—to suss out who is attempting to kill the Prince of Wales as he visits Balmoral and to keep an eye on the infamous Mrs. Simpson before she sinks her claws into said prince.
Although ostensibly a lighthearted mystery, class and rank figures heavily into this book, causing much of the grief that ensues. Georgie is pressured to make a correct match with a German prince (never mind that he’s homosexual) and sees her love for Darcy O’Mara, a penniless Irish peer, as hopeless as he must make a wealthy match himself (Georgie is equally penniless). A famed aviatrix must sing for her supper (or endorsements) as her humble parentage cannot support her flying habit, and through all these travails, the Prince of Wales goes merrily on his privileged way. Bowen has a deft touch with such issues, and Georgie is proving herself to be a worthy heroine.