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Sweet Revenge
Lady Arianna Regency Mystery, No 1
Andrea Penrose

Signet / Penguin
April 5, 2011/ ISBN 0451233034
Historical mystery / Cozy / Regency-1813

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks

Lady Arianna Hadley is pretending to be a French Chef for Lady Spencer – a male French Chef. Someone poisoned the Prince and she is accused of tainting the dessert. The reason Arianna's hiding behind padding and a mustache is revealed right away and further glimpses into her past feeds the readers' curiosity and adds interest to the mystery.

Lord Grentham, minister in the Whitehall War Office, brings in Lord Saybrook, a former spy and current opium user, to investigate. Saybrook spots Arianna behind the mustache; instead of arresting her he takes her home. She becomes concerned for his health. He is concerned with her safety. They both cook and love chocolate. Arianna convinces him to let her help with the poisoning case. Saybrook knows Arianna is hiding her past and does some investigating. Arianna ends up back at Lady Spencer's with a new look as a wealthy widow; her goal is an invite into a special group.

While working the case together these two spar regularly (maybe too much); these scenes read more like a romance novel, but eventually the mystery takes off and there's more than one thread to it. Readers can expect a sound storyline with some interesting twists and turns. The conclusion of the mystery is satisfactory. And the conclusion of the characters is again a bit like a romance.

For a first in series the mystery is well done making it promising series. If you like cozy mysteries, cooking, and chocolate, you'll like Sweet Revenge.

Reviewed 2011
© 2011