Who Stole the Tarts?

A luxurious ocean liner voyage, stops in New York, Reno, and onto the bright lights and glamour of L.A. -- Hollywood's calling, the starlets are vamping, and Georgie's in the middle of it all!

Mummy's decided to finally ditch the stuffy Texan and whisks herself, her lady's maid, Georgie, and Queenie off to the States where she's heard a quickie divorce can be had for the right price. While they're there she might as well revive her acting career and take part in the shooting of one of the new-fangled talkies, which lands Georgie in the midst of all the gilded glory of Hollywood's femme fatales and heartthrobs. There's no reason to let this little matter of a jewel thief spoil the excitement, darling...

...Until someone knocks the producer over with a jeweled candlestick, and his murderer can only be one of the small company of guests staying at his over-the-top mansion for the weekend!

When the guest list becomes the suspect list, Georgie is grateful she's invited Darcy along. Together, they work to determine who amongst the eminent collection of silver screen idols might have had a motive to bump off the cantankerous Cy Goldman. The aging actress who was his mistress? The hag of a wife whom he fought endlessly with, but who refused to divorce him? Any one of the other actors, would-be stars, or staff who claimed to adore -- but secretly detested -- the film magnate?

It's a high-profile conundrum, and Georgie gets to flex her deductive muscles yet again. Watch out bad guys, Her Royal Spyness is on the case!


As always, it was cute! Georgie is a sweetie, and her internal monologue is fun to listen in on. Happily, her klutziness seems to have manifested itself once more, and she was tripping her way into adorably awkward situations again. I really did miss that in the previous book! :-)

*Sigh* Why do I feel somewhat disappointed? I guess Georgie's personality has evolved strangely, imho. She's matured, developed a sense of self-worth, and gained confidence -- all of which I'm very proud of her for. Oh yes, and she's fallen for a breathtakingly handsome Irish peer (penniless, but still quite gorgeous for all that)! At the same time, however, she's held onto her maidenly virtue and that almost crippling bashfulness. It didn't quite work when those qualities tried to meld together in situations like the one when Charlie Chaplin tried to creep his fingers up her thigh. Her quirks clashed awkwardly as innocence and insecurity overcame the woman who had been all about her self-assurance and cynicism with the world. The Georgie of the early books would have reacted exactly as she did here -- "OMG! OMG! What do I do?! He's trying to seduce innocent little me! Oh golly, what do I do?!?!" But the newer Georgie, the mature, more worldly Georgie, shouldn't have had any trouble giving a laugh and a gentle swat. If you're going to have a character "grow up," then follow through with it.

There is one other bit of this book that really fell down on the job, and that's the scene where Darcy arrives to find Georgie in the arms of a rich & famous lead actor and not exactly using the syllable, "No." I got SO EXCITED as I began reading this scene! I thought, here we go. This will be the ultimate test of the relationship. This is where Georgie and Darcy will really have to evaluate things and prove to themselves how much they mean to one another ... Not so much. Georgie gets to have a little flush of glee over Darcy's jealousy, and he puts his hackles right down and lumps it. REALLY!?!?!?! Ugh, this was such a wasted opportunity! Give us a right old row, Bowen! I want to see some fireworks, some genuine emotional flares of light and color. Make them really think about this. It's all been so fluffy for so long. The fuel was there, so just strike the d*mn match!!

Rant, rant, rant...

Okay, so all that's out of the way, now I can say this: I enjoyed this one. It was, as I said, cute. Georgie got her klutz back on, and all the usual suspects were present and correct. It was nice to have Georgie traveling again, and it was oh-so-fitting that the British royalty should be treated to the royal treatment of 1920s Hollywood!