The Royal Spyness series stars Lady Georgina Rannoch, twentysomething cousin to King George V. Set in the early 1930s, the books begin with Georgie trying to make her way in life without any family support or marrying a dreaded princeling. While her royal connections prevent her from being able to find a job, it doesn’t stop her from stumbling over a lot of dead bodies and solving their murders. It’s a cute, fun series that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The Last Mrs. Summers is the fourteenth book in the series. Georgie’s best friend, Belinda, has inherited a cottage in Cornwall and wants Georgie to go with her to inspect it. When they get there, they discover it’s little more than a fishing shack. After a stranger crawls into bed with them the first night, they decide to find new lodgings. In town, Belinda runs into a childhood playmate, Rose Summers, who invites them to stay with her and her husband, Tony. Belinda is reticent because she’s never liked Rose and because she had a fling with Tony several years earlier. But with nowhere else to sleep, they accept. Rose quickly confides that she thinks Tony murdered his previous wife and is trying to kill her too. When a member of the household dies, Belinda is arrested and it’s up to Georgie to prove she didn’t do it.
The author mentions her love of Rebecca in the Foreword and says readers will see references to it in the novel. This book does seem to borrow a lot of Rebecca but the tone is completely different. Even with the murder and mayhem, The Last Mrs. Summers is pretty lighthearted. There’s never any real sense of danger in the Royal Spyness books, which is part of why I read them. This is just an easy, enjoyable read that will take your mind off your troubles for a while.