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The Big Thrill Recommends: THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING by Rhys Bowen

Book Cover: The Proof of the PuddingRecommendation by Susan Santangelo

Lady Georgianna Rannoch feels overwhelmed in the newest Royal Spyness mystery by Rhys Bowen. Not only is she awaiting the birth of her first child with her husband, the handsome and mysterious Darcy, but she’s suddenly become the mistress of Eynsleigh, an Elizabethan-style mansion owned by her godfather, world traveler Sir Hubert Anstruther.

A mansion of this size should have a trained staff, especially a first-class chef, to be sure it runs smoothly. Georgie only has Queenie, who was a disaster as her personal maid. Queenie’s not a bad cook if the menu is simple food, which is fine for Georgie and Darcy. They’re just glad she hasn’t burned the kitchen down so far.

When Sir Hubert announces he’s coming home, Georgie scrambles to find a new chef pronto. Lacking any other options, she hires Pierre, a waiter she and Darcy met during a recent adventure in France who claimed to be a professional chef. Queenie is angry about this “foreigner” intruding into “her kitchen” and threatens to quit. However, she quickly changes her mind when she meets the handsome Frenchman.

Sir Hubert is delighted with Pierre’s culinary skills and gives a formal dinner party to show off the chef’s talent. One of the guests is Sir Mordred Mortimer, an author of Gothic horror novels. The dinner is a resounding success. Sir Mordred is so impressed with Pierre that he immediately hires him to cater a fundraising dinner for a favorite charity.

The fundraising dinner party is a complete disaster. Several of the guests and Sir Mordred, himself, become seriously ill, and two of the guests die. When the police decide they were deliberately poisoned, Pierre is blamed for the murders. Georgie and Darcy are sure he’s innocent and work together to clear him before he’s convicted of murder, and the new addition to their family makes its grand entrance.

THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING is a delightful addition to this top-notch cozy series. I loved every single word and can’t wait for Georgie’s next adventure. Highly recommended.



Susan Santangelo