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The Mischief of the Mistletoe
A Pink Carnation Christmas
Pink Carnatian series, No. 7

By Lauren Willig

Arabella Dempsey has been companion to her elderly Aunt Osborne for 15 years. Now Aunt Osborne has married Captain Musgrave, a fortune hunter half her age. Arabella feels she must leave that household. With three sisters and an ailing father there is no place with them. Against the advice of her best friend, Miss Jane Austen, she seeks employment as a teacher at Miss Climpson's Select Seminary for Young Ladies.

Reginald "Turnip" Fitzhugh visits the school to deliver her Christmas box to his sister, Sally. He stumbles into Arabella when they are attempting to retrieve a fallen Christmas pudding. They find a cryptic message written in French on the muslin wrapper of the pudding. This is the time of the war with Napoleon. They determine to learn the source of the message and are involved in a complex web of espionage and danger. They must find a missing list of English spies in France. The discovery of their identities would create havoc with the British intelligence network.

This is a delightful romance and intrigue. Arabella is an attractive and intelligent young woman with a great sense of humor. Turnip is a lovable hero. Some of the characters from previous books of the series make an appearance and Miss Jane Austen makes an appearance as Arabella's best friend. The life in the girls' school and the Christmas celebration at the Duchess of Dovecote give a picture of life in this period. There are several episodes which will bring laughter to the reader.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable book to read as an escape from everyday life.

Reviews of other titles in this series

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, No 1  [review 1] [review 2]
The Masque of the Black Tulip, No 2    [review]
Seduction of the Crimson Rose, No 4    [review]
The Temptation of the Night Jasmine, No 5  [review]
The Betrayal of the Blood Lily, No 6  [review]
The Mischief of the Mistletoe, No 7  [Audio]   [Book]
The Orchid Affair, No 8   [review]
The Garden Intrigue, No 9   [review]


The Book

October 28, 2010
Historical Mystery / light romance / England 1803
More at
NOTE: Holiday: Christmas

The Reviewer

Barbara Buhrer
Reviewed 2010
© 2010