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The Orchid Affair
Pink Carnation Mystery No 8
Lauren Willig

January 2011/ ISBN 9780525951995
H istorical Espionage / Contemporary Mystery mixed in/ Romance

Reviewed by Barbara Buhrer

Lauren Grey, tired of being a governess for so many years, decides to change her life. She enrolls in the Selwick Spy School. Fresh out of school she is dubbed "Silver Orchid" and is sent to France to be governess to the children of Andre Jaouen, a deputy minister of police in Napoleon's government. She must discover if Jaouen and Inspector Gaston Delaroche are about to thwart a Royalist plot to put a prince of blood back on the throne. She will work with the legendary spy known as the Pink Carnation. She learns that Jaouen is loyal with Delaroche working against him. Delaroche is trying to implicate Jaouen in undercover activities. Lauren and Andre posing as a married couple, with respected artist Daubler and the royal heir, flee France in a troupe of actors.

There is a parallel plot with contemporary scholar, Eloise Kelly, who is conducting research for her doctoral thesis on British spies during the Napoleonic Wars. Her relationship with Colin Selwick, a direct descendent of the Pink Carnation, adds to her information.

This is an engaging spy story with a wealth of historical information. It is also a romance with appealing characters, and witty dialogue. The writing is excellent, evoking a sense of the time of Napoleon's era.

When can we expect the new adventure of the Pink Carnation's staff??!!

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]

Reviewed 2011