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The Cocoa Conspiracy
Lady Adrianna Hadley Series, No 2
Andrea Penrose

Obsidian/ Penguin
Dec 2011 / ISBN: 9780451235312
Historical Mystery / Regency

Reviewed by Barbara Buhrer

Lady Ariana Hadley is trying to adjust to her life in the ton as the countess of Saybrook. She is searching for a birthday present for Sandos. She finds a rare volume of botanical engravings on chocolate but has to fight off a man for the possession of the book.
At a party she encounters her assailant, a Russian diplomat, who again tries to gain possession of the book. At home Ariana determines to find the importance of the volume and finds a letter in cipher hidden in the binding of the book. Sando deciphers the letter, which hints of impending events that will disrupt the delicate peace at the Congress of Vienna.

Sando and Ariana are sent to Vienna by the War Office to find the truth about the conspiracy and defuse it.

This Regency mystery is well plotted and fast paced. The story is full of intrigue and adventure. It is well researched with intriguing information about famous figures of the times, such as Tallyrand and the Tsar of Russia. The scenes of the social world at the Congress are well pictured. The growing romance between Sandos and Ariana is delightful. This is an excellent view into the society, personalities and governments of the Regency period.

At the beginning of each chapter there is a brief discussion of the history of chocolate and tempting recipes of chocolate goodies.

Other reviews in this series

Sweet Revenge, No 1 [review 1]
Sweet Revenge, No 1 [review2]

Reviewed 2012
© 2012