Masked Ball at Broxley Manor (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #0.5)

Masked Ball at Broxley Manor (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #0.5) - Rhys Bowen A prequel to the series, this yummy little story tells the tale of Georgie's invitation to the palace to meet Prince Otto, a Prussian 2nd cousin that their majesties think might be a good match for her. It's set in 1929, the year of 19 year old Georgie's "coming out"/debut. It's the fall of that Season, and while successful in many ways, Georgie's not engaged, much to the chagrin of her sister-in-law, Fig.Georgie IS, however, invited to the palace to have tea with the Queen. She's 34th in line for the throne, after all - her grandmother was one of Queen Victoria's and Prince Albert's daughters. But the mysterious Prince Otto never shows. Neither does the prince that Georgie wouldn't mind marrying, her cousin, HRH the Prince of Wales.Then Georgie is invited to the country for a Halloween party. The Lady is American, and she thinks it's a scream to host a masked costume party for the stiff British... and she provides the costumes. Georgie isn't quite sure why she's invited, but she's willing to find out.At the train station, she meets a very rude American woman who turns out to be none other than Mrs. Wallis Simpson, who can't make up to Georgie's cousin, the Prince of Wales, fast enough at the party - even though her husband is nearby. Georgie quickly realizes this is another set up to be with Prince Otto, especially when her hostess tells her the the Fallen Angel costume is hers... and the prince is to wear the Devil's costume.When the only man in the room with a devil costume appears at the ball, he's quite dashing and romantic. Georgie starts to think that perhaps this set-up might not be such a bad thing. Despite the whispers of extra security because of the prince, because, after all, they've all come out of a war with the Germans not long ago, and there are new rumors of war on the way. But all that fades as Georgie dances in the arms of the devil... and he kisses her.Right before the unmasking at midnight, her prince disappears. Shortly afterwards, a ruckus is heard on the lawn and a bomb explodes! Is Prince Otto OK? Yes, Georgie sees him, looking quite unharmed. Except now that his mask is off, he's decidedly a different man - certainly not the dashing romantic prince she's danced and kissed!Upon her return home, Georgie has a letter to A Fallen Angel explaining that this mystery man is a "friend" of Prince Otto, who covered for him while Otto dalleyed with a married woman at the party upstairs. But is this mystery man responsible for capturing the bomber intent on murdering Prince Otto? All Georgie knows is that the letter is signed DOM....And thus, we find out the origins of Georgie meeting the one-who-always-seems-to-slip away, Darcy O'Malley.