Monday, December 19, 2011

The Garden Intrigue-Lauren Willig

The Garden Intrigue

Lauren Willig

Dutton, Feb 16 2012, $25.95

ISBN 9780525952541

In 1804, secret agent Augustus Whittlesby, residing in France for over a decade, conceals his espionage missives to the English within inane dull poetry. The surveillance agents loathe Whittlesby’s babble so they never look closely at his insufferable garbage he calls poetry.

New York expatriate Widow Emma Delagardie arrived in France years ago with her uncle the American envoy. She knows the Emperor’s stepdaughter and was married to a deceased Frenchman. Emma hosts a weekly literary gathering at her salon, which includes insipid Augustus and Jane Wooliston (see The Secret History of the Pink Carnation). Whittlesby learns that Napoleon plans to reveal a secret weapon at a gala at Malmaison. He teams up with Emma to gain entrance as she has an invitation; along with Jane they find out what the weapon is. However, Emma has other plans for Napoleon’s weapon of mass destruction as she plots to steal and sell the war machine.

The latest Pink Carnation espionage historical romance series (see The Orchid Affair and The Mischief of the Mistletoe) is an entertaining tale as readers will laugh at the terrible poetry of the protagonist. The storyline is fast-paced however the villain fails to match up against the hero so the suspense is not as taut as previous entries. Still series fans will enjoy the poem is mightier than the sword.

Harriet Klausner

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