Lady Georgiana Rannoch is off to be a host at a holiday party when villagers and those around her are having deadly accidents that potentially looks like a murderer is running loose. As the thirty-fifth in line for the British throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch is looking to get away from her life at Castle Rannoch and her family especially her sister in law, Fig Hilda with her brother Binky Rannoch under her close watch. Realizing this Christmas was going to be bad only because the man she loves, Darcy O'Mara is off on a secret adventure. Without any hope of a spending time with the ones she loves, she decides to take a position as a hostess to a holiday party in the village of Tiddleton-Under-Lovey, which happens to be the same place her Mummy otherwise known as Claire Daniels and Noel Coward, who is a play writer, are staying along with her Granddad and Mrs. Huggins as her Mummy's butler and cook. Everyone has plans but her which makes her Christmas to be lonely as she feels like a burden on her brother and his wife. Her plans to be a hostess is what she needs to get away from the dreary Christmas she would have at Castle Rannoch especially knowing Fig's relatives would be down.
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She is now packed with her maid Queenie to be a hostess to Camilla Hawse-Gorzley. As to her surprise she finds that later in her stay Darcy O'Mara has arrived to the same Christmas party she is working at. This is now making her Christmas a lot better than it would have been at the castle with Fig and Binky. She finds out that she is working for Darcy's aunt along with the knowledge that convicts are on the loose and the neighbor died in a tree next door. Her role as hostess is to show Lady Hawse-Gorzley's guest at her manor an old fashioned English Christmas and all the festivities planned each day. She also learns from Sir Oswald, who is married to Lady Hawse-Gorzley that the neighbor, Freddie Partridge died from an accidental shooting in a pear tree. Known by everyone to be Georgie, but introduced to the guest as British royalty name Lady Georgiana Rannoch, which was a way to impress the American guests in the manor.
While staying at the manor, she makes friends with Bunty, who is Lady Hawse-Gorzley's daughter and she helps her get settled in for the Christmas daily activities including the Yule log and mistletoe. Bunty tells her all about the village history to get her used to her environment and the people. Georgie soon learns about the next person being Ted Glover, who was said to be drunk and lost his balance falling into the Lovey Brook to bump his head and die. It was rumored that the deaths were a part of the Lovey Curse. This Lovey Curst was said to have occurred after a witch was burned at the stake leaving a Christmas curse to strike again. Georgie senses that these deaths are more than a curse, but has no proof of a murder just all accidents. Her Granddad otherwise a former cop named Albert Spinks is introduced to the two accidents and into the possibility that they were not accidents. They learn about the convicts who were two entertainers and an escape artist turned safe cracker from Inspector Harry Newcombe. The inspector senses that there is more to the accidents, but has no proof of it and not part of the curse.
After visiting with her Mummy and Granddad, Bunty and Georgie are off in the village talking to some of the locals. Bunty introduces her to the village idiot, Willum and learns about the wild woman Sal that floats around the village. They soon hear about the next death being Misses Ffrench-Finch dying from a gas leak and Miss Prendergast, another villager who suggests it was another accident. The investigation begins when Newcombe, Granddad, and Georgie are off questioning people at the home of Misses Ffrench-Finch. They discover that the doors are never closed and they were found closed the night Miss Effie died. Miss Prendergast and Mr. Barclay, another villager left after vising Miss Effie.
Soon after, the American guests start showing up for the Christmas party at the manor including Mr. Clyde Wexler and Mrs. Wexler and their daughter Cherie and son Junior, Mr. and Mrs. Upthorpe and daughter Ethel, Colonel and Mrs. Rathbone, Countess Albury, Montague Hawse-Gorzley, Archibald or Badger, and their cousin Darcy O'Mara. The guest are all accounted for and they discover that the order from the butcher was never received because the telephone was done when Gladys Trip the operator was killed possibly because she listened to a lot of gossip. The following day there was a robbery at Mr. Klein's jewelry store that Georgie stopped by for Christmas presents.
After the death of the operator, Inspector Newcombe was now sure there was a murderer, but couldn't understand the motive or connection behind all of the deaths. He thinks that the convicts might be responsible for the deaths while others believe the Lovey Curse is responsible for them. Newcombe told Granddad about the convict and his wife who had committed suicide, but Granddad could not see a connection between the convicts and the deaths as most convicts try to hide. After the robbery, the next person to die was the Mr. Skagg, who was the butcher on his way to bringing the geese for the Christmas dinner. With a ride from the villagers, Georgie discovered after her brief warning from Wild Sal that she, had been around when Miss Effie died.
It was after Christmas or Boxing Day that another accident occurred when the group of guest and some of the villagers went out for a ride on horses for the fox hunt. They found master of hound, Mayor Wesley-Parker missing from his horse in the bog when the fog was so thick that no one could see around them. Georgie at that time received another warning not to follow the same way Mayor had gone as it lead to the bog and to a sinking mud death. The group of riders found a fellow villager, Barston Mere in a tree after his horse was spooked and left him. Once again the Inspector Newcombe came to speak with some of the riders from the fox hunt and found out about Georgie being around Wild Sal and then Barston Mere in the tree. There were still no answers on this death or the previous ones, but they were very suspicious and the guests were starting to get concerned about the accidents during their Christmas stay. Lady Hawse-Gorzley or Lady H-G worked harder to keep her guest busy with more games and English traditions with excellent food and plenty of alcohol.
The following day while Georgie was visiting with her Mummy, Granddad, and the Inspector Newcombe came over to get some advice about the newest murder, which was a farmer's wife being kicked in the head by the cow she was milking. The conversation left to discovering that the first two death were not investigated properly because they seemed like accidents leaving the crime scene without evidence. They also found out the jewelry shop theft was a professional job with some of the most expensive golden rings stolen. This left them thinking that the convict had committed the crime because of the crimes previously committed.
With one of the convicts caught, it still brought up the idea that it could be the convict or maybe just the Lovey Curse. Georgie is now compelled to solve these murders before more people end up dead. She takes Granddad out to the crime scene to get some clues on the deaths and their connections with her suspicion on Wild Sal because she was around some of the crime scenes. They discovered that Ted was having an affair and was not drunk. The idea of Wild Sal was brought up, but she was not around when the farmer's wife was killed. The murder of the operator was by someone with knowledge of the system and a man in his 40's was fixing something in the near area with no one questioning his identity.
During a dance and after their day of investigating, they were witness to Sandra Sechrest, who was a villager had flames engulfing her. Another villager, Johnnie Protheroe stepped in to help her while she was hurt. It was found that the candelabra fell over to set a fire, which seemed like an accident after the window was open and the wind could have knocked it over. Georgie felt that a person could have been hiding and pushed the candelabra to set fire to Mrs. Sechrest because she might be having an affair with Johnnie leading Johnnie to believe it was a jealous husband. Once again, the investigation found something strange as a string attached to the candelabra, which could have been used to move it and look like no one was near it. It was a long night for everyone with the scare of Mrs. Sechrest being almost killed and all the guest were frightened.
The next day during the Lovey Chase Georgie was starting to put things together. She put together the reason for the death included the first death being Partridge in a pear tree, two turtle doves being a pair of cheaters, Misses Ffrench-Finch or three French hens, Glady's was four calling birds, Mr. Klein was five golden rings stolen, Mr. Skagg was bringing geese or six geese a laying or lying after the accident, the master of hounds was a swans a swimming in the bog, eight was the farmer's wife was to be maids a milking, then Mrs. Sechrest was one of nine ladies dancing, and now ten lords a leaping with Johnnie now the next victim. Georgie had found the motive like the song twelve days of Christmas because they were all committing some bad death relating to the song. Then, Georgie encountered Wild Sal who was explaining that she had nothing to do with all of the accident but warned her again. Being that Wild Sal was around the deaths made Georgie wonder about who could be involved with them.
After a conversation with Mr. Klein, they learned that all of the deaths were from a trial cause against the robber and was one of the convicts. They left and in hopes of apprehending this murderer and finding who the next victims were from a court proceeding. The next two potential victims were Mr. Barclay from the village and Mr. McGill. They were rushing to find Robbins and the next two potential victims to warn them of the danger to follow. Soon later, Mr. Barclay was found dead leaving Mr. McGill to follow if they didn't find Robbins. During one of the festivities, they discover that Miss Prendergast could be involved in the deaths as she was the one around them and potentially involved with one of the convicts. Georgie during the Lovey Tor on New Year's Eve encounters the murderer, which happens to be a man disguised as Willum and the wife of the convict being Trixie and who was said to have committed suicide, but kept hidden for revenge. Dressed as Wild Sal, Trixie and Robbins take Georgie as a hostage. Unfortunately for them, they encounter the bog suffering the same fate as the mayor. After everything is solved Georgie was able to enjoy the rest of the holiday, but wonders where she will be after everyone leaves. Would she go back to her life at the castle or be the next Mrs. O'Mara after she had gotten close to him through all of the deaths.
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked the clever theme behind the accidents and the fact that it was hard to pick up on it until much later in the book. I also like how Darcy and Georgie had gotten closer.
Best scene in story:
I like the scene when she is figuring out what the motive is behind the accidents. She starts thinking about the first accident being the man in the pear tree and so on. She was now at the part where there were lords a leaping and she sees the next person dying in another so called accident. Georgie how is able to prove her theory to all of them. She finally gets the respect she wants from everyone at the race.
Opinion about the main character:
I like how Georgie is very smart and is persistent in finding the motive and connection behind all of the murderers. It shows how she is not just another royalty, but a clever character.