⭐Emery, Prudence and Ron Base. Death at the Savoy (A Priscilla Tempest Mystery, Book 1) October. 320p. Douglas & McIntyre.
We’re in the mad, mod, mini-skirted world of London, 1968—the height of the swinging sixties. Where better to catch all the action than from a perch at the world-famous Savoy Hotel? Nowhere, unless you are young Priscilla Tempest, head of the Savoy’s press office, and arrive at work only to discover that your date from the previous night—Mr. Room 705—has been found quite dead. Odd, since when you left him he was a little too alive. Plus, it turns out that he’s a bit of an arms dealer, and not the caviar dealer he claimed. So begins Prudence’s crusade to clear her name, if not her reputation, keep her job, and maybe even stay alive. This book is outrageously funny, peppered throughout with all-too-realistic cameo appearances from the likes of Noël Coward, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, and even a member of the royal family. Add to the mix a Soviet spy, a louche but handsome reporter, a fanatical monarchist from Scotland Yard, a Spanish gigolo, and serve it all accompanied by a nice flute of Bucks Fizz—that’s what the British call a Mimosa. And who said you don’t learn from fiction? Anglophiles, lovers of comic crime fiction, and anyone in need of a break from the present day will adore this book. I’m off to The Carlyle for a Fizz myself, don’t bother ringing until Book 2 is out.—Brian Kenney