The Lady's Slipper
St. Martin’s Griffin, Nov 23 2010, $14.99
After his father’s execution and a decade plus in exile, by 1660 King Charles II has regained the throne after being forced into exile. However, there remains religious divisiveness and ire from those who lost power with the restoration.
In that environs Alice Ibbetson finds the rare Lady’s Slipper orchid in a nearby woods owned by her neighbor Quaker Richard Wheeler. She steals the beauty with the intent of growing it elsewhere to preserve this impressive plant that she believes is near extinction. Wheeler wants to prevent what he believes is an abomination of God as the flower should only grow where the Lord placed it. Alice runs into other problems with a maid who tries to extort money from her and her business partner nasty Geoffrey Fisk who threatens murder if crossed.
The Lady's Slipper is an entertaining seventeenth century historical thriller that uses chaos theory as a simple act leads to repercussions for several people including some several degrees of separation from the catalyst theft. The story line is at its best when it focuses on the theft and aftermath; when the key cast members ponderously ponder over the Civil War, Cromwell and Charles I and II, it slows down the pacing and diverts readers from the prime theme. Still fans of historical thrillers will enjoy Alice’s adventures in wonderland.