Friday, May 27, 2016

665 (2016 #20). The Masque of the Black Tulip

by Lauren Willig,
read by Kate Reading

This is the second of 12 (full) books (there are also two novellas and a short story) in the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig (whose bio sounds a bit like the Eloise character in the book).  I listened to the first in the series a couple years ago, and enjoyed it, so I decided to continue when I wanted a "light" read (or listen, in this case).

It's still 1803 (summer), but this book focuses on two characters who played a minor role in the first book, Lady Henrietta Selwick and Miles Dorrington.  They are, respectively, the little sister and the best friend of Sir Richard Selwick, the former spy known as "The Purple Gentian."  Henrietta takes on the bumbling amateur spy role played by her now-sister-in-law Amy Balcourt Selwick from the first book.  In this case, she and Miles are trying to catch the mysterious French spy, the Black Tulip.

Naturally there is romance and some steamy sex and a few cameos by real historical characters, although a bit out of context.  And naturally I figured out pretty quickly who the Black Tulip was.

Once again, framing this story is the 2003 tale of Eloise, who is continuing her work on a dissertation on the mysterious British spy known as the Pink Carnation.  She spends the weekend exploring the archives at Selwick Hall, with Richard's descendant, Colin Selwick (and of course there are hints of romance there - at least for Eloise - but not much).

Kate Reading (real name:  Jennifer Mendenhall) does a fine job with American, British, and French accents and both male and female voices in the audiobook.  I will likely listen to a few more in the series when I'm looking for something funny, easy, and entertaining.

© Amanda Pape - 2016

[The audiobook, and a print copy for reference, were borrowed from and returned to my local public library.]

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