Lauren Willig is a law student and Ph.D. candidate in history at Harvard University. She is the author of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation.
Harvard grad student Eloise Kelly continues her dissertation research on 18th-century British spies among the treasure trove of Colin Selwick's family archives and finds an unexpected offshoot of the Pink Carnation's spy network foiling French conspiracies. The documents reveal that Penelope Devereaux is forced into a loveless marriage with Lord Frederick Stains, and they are both sent off to a British enclave in India. As Freddie pursues drinking, gambling, and womanizing, the headstrong Penelope is left to the care and protection of Capt. Alex Reid, who fears a spy hidden in their midst. Slipping easily between the contemporary world and the Napoleonic era, Kate Reading delivers a superb performance in this sixth book of the romantic mystery series as she gives unpolished Eloise her broad mid-America accent and brings her mildly clumsy persona to life. Her Penelope, on the other hand, is suitably aristocratic, and the multitude of supporting vocal characterizations is equally precise and entertaining. A Dutton hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 5). (Feb.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.