THE ORCHID AFFAIR
This lively and engaging addition to The Pink Carnation series captivates with its quick pace, fascinating backdrop and intriguing romance (even the Pink Carnation makes an appearance). Willig combines the atmosphere of the tempestuous era with the perfect touches of historical detail to round out the love story. Then she juxtaposes the 1800s love story with that of present-day characters, adding depth to a witty, well-written mystery.
Governess Laura Grey is eager to take her place as one of the Pink Carnation’s operatives. After completing her training she is disappointed to be assigned as a governess to the children of Andre Jaouen, right-hand man to Bonaparte’s minister of police. Jaouen and his rival, Gaston Delaroche, are searching for the men behind a Royalist plot to depose Bonaparte. Laura is to pass on information to her fellow spies. Her mission begins quietly, with Lauren managing the children and getting to know Jaouen. She discovers there are many layers to the man and is surprisingly attracted to him. When Jaouen begins unraveling the plot he angers Delaroche and they are forced to flee with the children to the countryside, posing as husband and wife. Even with the help of the Pink Carnation they are hunted by Delaroche’s men while trying to keep Europe safe. (DUTTON, Jan., 350 pp., $25.95)