Naughty in Nice by Rhys Brown was the 28th book I read in this challenge. This is one of the books in the Lady Georgiana Rannoch mystery series. In this book, it is winter 1933 in England and Georgie’s brother and sister-in-law have decided to close up their London house where Georgie is staying with them and go to the Riviera for the winter with Fig’s (the sister-in-law’s) sister, Georgie is to be sent back to ride out the winter in cold Rannoch Castle in Scotland, not an appealing idea. But Her Majesty the Queen comes through with an “errand ” that is perfect for Georgie. One of the Queen’s collectible snuffboxes is missing and she believes it has been taken by Sir Toby Groper who is at his villa on the Riviera. She will pay for Georgie to go to Nice and try to retrieve the snuffbox from Sir Toby’s clutches.
So Georgie is off to Nice. She first tries to stay with Binky (her brother) and Fig and Fig’s sister at their horrid villa, where ther is little room, but it will not do. But on the train to Nice, she had met Coco Chanel and Vera Bate Lombardi who had invited her to stay with them and so Georgie decides to take them up on their offer. To her surprise, they are staying at her mother’s villa which is divine. Coco Chanel. is giving a fashion show abd wants Georgie to wear one of her designs in the show, along with a fabulous necklace loaned to her by the Queen. So Georgie is taight how to walk and goes to the fashion show where she takes a tumble and falls off the runway, and the priceless necklace disappears.
Upon returning home to her mother’s villa, Georgie discovers that Sir Toby’s villa is he villa below her mother’s She manages to get asked to go for a ride on his yacht, but not before she spots the Queen’s snuffbox in Sir Toby’s glass curio table. But on Sir Toby’s yacht, he becomes lecherous, and Georgie tries to get away. The Marquis de Rochard comes along in his speed boat; Georgie jumps overboard and goes off with the Marquis and spends the afternoon with him. Later that day, as Georgie is back at the villa, she looks over the terrace only to find that someone has hit Sir Toby on the back of the head and he is floating dead in his swimming pool. The police are called but Georgie becomes the prime suspect.
The rest of the book is a struggle to clear Georgie’s name, the efforts to find the real killer, the hunt for the Queen’s necklace, the discovery that some of Sir Toby’s impressionist paintings are forgeries, and of course, to retrieve the Queen’s snuffbox. But there is fun and love along the way and Georgie’s old friends Belinda and Darcy O’Mara turn up as well. A jolly good read. Twenty-eight down, 72 to go.