Heirs and Graces Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Heirs and Graces

Lady Georgian Rannoch is on another job to turn a wild future duke into a respectable heir, but when the current duke is murdered the blame is new duke to proof his innocence or the family may lose it all. When Georgie, Lady Georgian finds out her Mummy, Claire Daniels is not going to finish her book, she now has a month to figure out where she will go. She does not want to go back to her brother, Duke Rannoch's castle and can't stay at their family home in London, so she is now feeling hopeless. The guy she loved, Darcy O'Mara was now gone off to another far place. She is penniless and unable to find a place she would be happy living. So, she contacts her royally family the queen of England for a little help with her situation. She now found herself going to the Queen otherwise her cousin, Mary Regina also known as Her Royal Majesty HRM.
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At the Buckingham Palace, Georgie is having tea with the Queen and Edwina, the Dowager Duchess of Eynsford to talk about Georgie's latest assignment. She discovers that Edwina has a new heir for the future position of Duke of Eynsford after the current duke passes on. This new heir is not groomed in the ways of the royal family and now Georgie must school him on the customs and role of a duke. She is off to go to Kingdowne Place in Eynsford, Kent with her maid, Queenie, who is probably the worst maid.
Now Georgie is in a beautiful palace and becomes comfortable with her surroundings before she starts her new assignment of grooming the new heir. She is introduced to the family including the current Edwina's son Duke Cedric Eynsford, Princess Charlotte and Countess Virginia, who are Duke Cedric's aunts and Edwina's sisters, Irene, who is Edwina's daughter along with her kids Nicolas, Katherine, and Elisabeth or Sissy. These were all the family members who Georgie would get to know closer when the future duke, Jack Altringham arrives at the palace. Georgie learns about the family especially Cedric who is a considered a selfish and difficult man, but a rich duke that supports his family, but doesn't go out of his way to help anyone. She finds out he is not a welcoming person unlike the rest of the family.
During her first week, Cedric fires a man named William, his footman and threatens to get rid of his family's home on the palace grounds to make room for his amphitheater. His three actors Adrian, Justin, and Simon were also apart of this amphitheater project. Georgie discovers that Cedric also could use his money to help Irene's daughter Sissy get treatment to fix her paralyzed body and give her kids a better education in London, but choses to build the amphitheater instead. Much of which many of the people around Cedric did not like the way he treated his family. It brought up a lot of arguments in the palace. This was what her surrounding would be like until the new heir arrived.

The day Jack arrives was the moment when things were to change in the family. He was very a different person compared to the rest of the family and didn't want his role as the new heir. The family soon learns that he is a simple person, who came from a teacher and Cedric's brother Johnnie, who died in the war. They also learned that he came from a sheep ranch and was not prim and proper, but also was someone who spoke his mind. This could potentially be problematic in an already stressful environment.

Soon after, many could see why Georgie needed to groom this heir into a proper royalty member. It was difficult trying to get Jack to fit the world of royalty because he could understand all the customs and felt they were funny as well as unnecessary. So, when he was brought out for a fox hunt and ended up killing the fox, which showed the family the true difference between his life and the life of royals. This shocked the family because they always let the fox get away. This was one example of the difference between his life and royalty. The family was upset when Jack was showing Irene's kids how to throw a knife and threw it over the head of one of the kids. This was very upsetting and caused Edwina a lot of grief, which she took away the knife to the tack room by the barn.

As time went on, it was obvious that Jack would need a lot of help with fitting in. Georgie along with Sissy helped with teaching him how to read and how to become part of the royal family with all of its difficult customs. It wasn't long until Cedric would get into it with Jack and his ways. A worry for this family involved Cedric lacking an heir to keep the role of Duke in the family, which caused problems because the estate would then go to England without an heir. They were not sure how Jack would be with all the responsibilities of being a duke and the possible treatment of their family and the future. With Jack having all the responsibilities on him, it brought on a lot of stress and fights into the family. Would he be good to the family or would he be worse than Cedric or better. The fate of the family rested on the future of the new heir until Cedric decides to call a new heir by adopting his French valet, Marcel. It was also rumored that Cedric was not into woman, which was potentially why he did not have an heir to bring into the family. This brought up a huge fight between Cedric and the whole family. With the fight going on, Cedric decided to pick a fight with Jack by calling his mother nothing but a common barmaid and this really upset him, which led him to want to fight him outside. With all of this happening, none of the family felt comfortable with the future of the family with all the fighting occurring.

After dinner, one of the maid notifies Edwina about her daughter's potential overdose of her sleeping powers that she uses when she gets migraines. The doctor is finally called and Irene had her stomach pumped. This was the ending of a horrible night for the family. The next day Georgie is up and finds herself escorting the architect to the area where the amphitheater would soon be on the grounds. It was a rainy and windy day when Georgie took Mr. Smedley to talk to Cedric. To their dismay, they find Cedric murdered with Jack's knife in his bad and a coat over his body. Georgie notifies the family of their lost and the police are then called.

Before the police arrived, Belinda and Darcy O'Mara have arrived at the palace. Belinda, Georgie's friend had brought her shoe that was left behind before coming to the palace. She had come to visit Georgie because she had heard that Cedric and Jack were single and very rich. Unfortunately, they both did not expect that the current duke, Cedric would be murdered this day. This left Belinda to with Jack while Darcy worked Georgie to figure out who murdered Cedric. While the family was notified of the death, the police had arrived to investigate the murder. The family one by one are interviewed and found no one was seen on the premises or no one paid any attention as the property was very large. Georgie finds herself deep into another investigation with the Chief Investigator Fairbotham.

As the investigation continues, clues are presented and tensions are grower hotter as the newest Duke Jack is now the main suspect because his knife was the murder weapon. He was considered a suspect because he had lost his temper with the family over his unwanted role of being the future duke. His potential motive was to get Cedric out of the way, but Jack is not about to take the fall for a murder he did not commit.

With all of this going on, Irene is upset about the murder and her potential murder attempt. What is even worse, Princess Charlotte believes that her sťance was the warning that someone would be dead. This is upsetting to everyone and makes it even worse for everyone who is being interviewed. The family members specifically, Edwina tells everyone that no one should speak of the fighting that occurred the night before. This leaving important information and potential motives purposes left out of the investigation. Adrian, Justin, and Simon suggest that William, the footman had a motive to kill Cedric. These three are now siding with Jack because he is the duke and all of them think Jack would take care of them just as Cedric did. But, if Jack was the murderer then the whole estate would go back to England, so it would seem that the family would not want Cedric dead or Jack as the potential murderer. Jack now was fighting to keep himself from being accused as the Cedric's murderer because as he told them he never wanted to be duke or even come to the palace.

As the family fight over the murderer, Georgie and Darcy are off to look at the murder site because Georgie feels that something is not right. The body was in an open area with Cedric's coat over him instead of on him. They feel that Jack is too smart to leave his knife to be the murder weapon. Also, they did not see blood in the area even with the rain drenching the murder site, which leads them to believe he was not killed there and that someone was not strong enough to move it to at least a bush where it could be hidden for a few weeks or so. What was strange was the possibility that Cedric was out to mail a letter, but there was no letter found. There was the possibility that murderer had taken the letter to avoid Cedric from naming the heir as the valet. The evidence was what concerned Georgie the most.

After a long day of investigation, they discovered Sissy had seen William on the ground around 7 am, but her clock was 20 minutes slow. Once this information was received, William was taken in for questioning. The rest of the night was strange because everyone acted as if nothing bad had happened. There was another sťance brought on by Princess Charlotte, which they used Ouija board to spell out the word Castor. The previous sťance spelled DEA while they were trying to get in touch with Jack's father Johnnie. The spelling of castor confused all of them because Cedric was stabbed not poisoned.
Next day, Darcy and Georgie went out of town with Belinda to get some help, but found no luck in this. When they returned, the family was told that Cedric was poisoned with a combination of deadly poisons. They found fingerprints on a bottle of poison from the photography room and eventually arrested the children's tutor Mr. Carter. To his return, he was kept in his room until he had taken the same poison. Georgie figured out that the kids had put this combination of poisons on a letter Cedric was writing and he died as a result. Irene decided to hide it by stabbing the dead body. As Georgie confronted the kids, Irene was planning on killing her to cover it up until Sissy threw a clock and saved her life. Irene was taken away and what was left was a broken family of which Georgie, Jack, and Darcy would try to put together.
Best part of story, including ending: I like the story because the character is in another murder investigation with her love, Darcy O'Mara. It was challenging to find the murderer, which is why this book was very interesting. The author did a good job with building the storyline and it was truly a mystery.

Best scene in story: I like the scene when Georgie has figured out who the murderer. She asks the kids about the poison that was given to Katherine and why Mr. Carter had taken the medicine. In this scene, she unravels what happen to Cedric because he was poison by licking the envelope of which Cedric was writing. Georgie gets the kids to tell the truth and by doing so she puts herself in danger. The mother of the kids, Irene, has decided to protect her kids she would blame Jack by stabbing Cebric with Jack's knife. Irene is at that moment planning on killing Georgie with the same poison until Sissy throws a clock at her and she is no longer a threat.

Opinion about the main character: Georgie is a great character because she is living in two worlds, but still manages to relate to everyone. She is a smart character that challenges everyone around her to find the truth.

The review of this Book prepared by Millicent Schrock a Level 2 American Robin scholar

Chapter Analysis of Heirs and Graces

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 10%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   very upbeat How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1930's-1950's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Murder of certain profession?    -   royalty Kind of investigator    -   british mystery (I say!) Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   unemployed Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   British


Europe    -   Yes Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Unusual forms of death    -   impaled Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Rhys Bowen Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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