Saturday, December 11, 2010
The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig (Review)
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (October 28, 2010)
'Tis the season to get Pink! Lauren Willig's beloved Pink Carnation series gets into the holiday spirit with this irresistible Regency Christmas caper.
Arabella Dempsey's dear friend Jane Austen warned her against teaching. But Miss Climpson's Select Seminary for Young Ladies seems the perfect place for Arabella to claim her independence while keeping an eye on her younger sisters nearby. Just before Christmas, she accepts a position at the quiet girls' school in Bath, expecting to face nothing more exciting than conducting the annual Christmas recital. She hardly imagines coming face to face with French aristocrats and international spies...
Reginald "Turnip"Fitzhugh-often mistaken for the elusive spy known as the Pink Carnation- has blundered into danger before. But when he blunders into Miss Arabella Dempsey, it never occurs to him that she might be trouble. When Turnip and Arabella stumble upon a beautifully wrapped Christmas pudding with a cryptic message written in French, "Meet me at Farley Castle," the unlikely vehicle for intrigue launches the pair on a Yuletide adventure that ranges from the Austens'modest drawing room to the awe-inspiring estate of the Dukes of Dovedale, where the Dowager Duchess is hosting the most anticipated event of the year: an elaborate twelve-day Christmas celebration. Will they find poinsettias or peril, dancing or danger? Is it possible that the fate of the British Empire rests in Arabella's and Turnip's hands, in the form of a festive Christmas pudding?
This was a good, light, funny in parts historical romance book. It is not heavy on history and is set in the Regency period (1803) in England. It is the seventh book in the Pink Carnation spy series but can be read alone. It actually happens after The Seduction of the Crimson Rose and before The Temptation of the Night Jasmine. I have loved the whole series and eagerly anticipate each book. I got hooked by Shauna at Readings and Ruminations. lol
The two main characters in this book are Turnip Fitzhugh and Arabella Dempsey. Turnip has made previous appearances in the other books and I am glad he finally got his own story. The book started off slow but picked up toward the middle. The mystery/spy part was interesting and I liked how the romance developed between Turnip and Arabella. This is a clean book so there is no remotely R rated scenes. I also enjoyed the Christmas aspect of it. I could have lived without the cameo appearances of Jane Austen though. I did not think it added anything to the book. I did not miss the present day flashbacks to Eloise and the diaries either. Overall I recommend this book even to fans of light historical romance who have not read the Pink Carnation series which I also recommend. :)
Thank you to Stephanie at Dutton Publishers for my review copy.