Review: The Twelve Clues of Christmas (Royal Spyness #6) by Rhys Bowen

Over the last year or so, I have been making a big effort to go back and catch up on some long running historical mystery series that I have loved but haven’t read all the books.

The Royal Spyness books are at the top of that list. I read a few of the later books and then went back and read a few of the first books in the series but then I kind of stalled on the series and moved on to something else.

I meant to pick this one up at Christmas time as this one is obviously set around the holidays, but I didn’t and then I just forgot about it. I needed a pallet cleansing book lately though and I thought this was the ticket to clearing my head after some heavy reading.


On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me—well, actually, my true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending a feliz navidadtramping around South America. Meanwhile Mummy is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with that droll Noel Coward! And I’m snowed in at Castle Rannoch with my bumbling brother, Binky, and sourpuss sister-in-law, Fig.

So it’s a miracle when I contrive to land a position as hostess to a posh holiday party in Tiddleton. The village is like something out of A Christmas Carol! But no sooner have I arrived than a neighborhood nuisance, a fellow named Freddie, falls out of a tree dead.  On my second day, another so-called accident results in a death – and there’s yet another on my third.  Perhaps a recent prison break could have something to do with it…that, or a long-standing witch’s curse. But after Darcy shows up beneath the mistletoe, anything could be possible in this wicked wonderland. (summary from Goodreads)


I don’t know if this was my favorite book in the series, but it was fun all the same. I think I would have liked it better at Christmas as I had planned, but it was still a fun mystery. I didn’t see the ending coming and I was excited to see Georgie and Darcy make some progress in their relationship though for me it lacked a little of the chemistry that had in previous books—but it went somewhere so that was good.

Bowen has written a number of mystery series as well as stand alone books and they are always well done and a fun escape. In any long standing series, some books are better than others and this for me was just the ok one and I can’t really put my finger on why. I mean we got to see many of our favorite characters and the mystery was a hard one to solve, but for some reason I had a hard time keeping my interested focused on this one.

I spent a few days wondering why and I think it’s because I just wasn’t really in the mood to read. I was in the middle of binge watching a show and there have been SO SO SO many book that I want to pick up lately and I just couldn’t nail down which book to start so rather than picking up a new book, I went with a book series that I knew would be an easy read and a nice little escape and that’s what this one was, a nice escape but it just didn’t hold my interest in the way that some of the other books in this series had in the past.

In the end I think it came down to mood for me and while this was fun, it maybe just wasn’t the time for me to read this one, but I did and while I wasn’t devouring it page after page it was still a good book. I am also looking forward to the next book in the series, it sounds so good! Plus there is another new book coming out in this series which I will have up for review here soon!

Book Info and Rating

Hardcover, 311 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Berkley
ISBN 0425252787 (ISBN13: 9780425252789)
Review copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 3 stars
Genre: historical fiction, historical mystery


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