Signet adds another shining jewel to its Regency crown of stars with the first appearance of Eileen Winwood under her own name.

Miss Sarah Armistead is not a typical actress of her time. The daughter of a deceased baron, she has turned to the stage as the only way to earn enough money to educate her younger brother in a manner befitting a nobleman. The theater, however, is not a sufficient source of funds, and Sarah must supplement her earnings any way she can short of surrendering her virtue.

And so it is that Sarah finds herself employed by the devilishly handsome Lord Justin Linton to pose as his mistress as he weaves a complicated plot to catch his father's murderer. But did his father really die the way he believes? And will Linton discover that revenge has too high a price?

Ms. Putman transforms a piquant plot into something far more intense and intricate-a shifting maze of intrigue and complexity in which nothing is as it seems. Brilliantly plotted with outstanding characterization, this masterfully crafted novel represents the very finest of period fiction. (Mar., 224 pp., $5.50)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer