I really enjoy this series and just happened to see this on the shelf at the library and was delighted to see it existed. My mom tells me that there is an even newer one that I missed, Christmas themed. In this installment Lady Georgianna is invited (commanded) to represent the royal family at a royal wedding in Transylvania. She is excited about the travel, especially because the bride is having a Parisian dressmaker make her gown. Free food and clothes! Hooray! A few stumbling blocks, though. She needs a maid and ends up with the worst maid ever, Queenie, and is assigned a travel companion (who has her own traveling companion!) who is quite stern.
They finally arrive in Transylvania to find that the castle is extremely remote and terrifying. Bowen manages to convincingly get all the usual characters to happen to be at the castle too, so we have the fun of meeting new people and having fun folks like Belinda and the dreamy Darcy around. The castle is so spooky that of course Georgie is worried about vampires, and even more so when strange things happen-like waking up in the middle of the night and finding a pale young man standing over her. We all know a murder will happen (as this is a mystery series) and it does in the form of a nasty man dropping dead at a big formal dinner. At first presumed to be a heart attack, it is quickly realized to have been cyanide. Because the wedding is a few days away and they want to avoid an international incident, they decide to hide the truth. And since a convenient giant snow has trapped everyone in the castle, that makes this book a “bottle episode” (in tv parlance!) So, no one can go anywhere and it stands to reason the killer is among them. Georgie sets about amateur sleuthing.
I liked this, but not quite as much as the others. Perhaps because I had a hard time getting my head around the time period and location which seemed to clash ancient things and modern things together, plus Romania, Bulgaria, Transylvania-presumably there was actual history there, but it was slightly confusing. Nonetheless, Georgie was as delightful as ever, as were all the other characters. I didn’t care for the vampire worries-that just seemed silly.