The masque of the Black Tulip

Lauren Willig

Book - 2006

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Review by Library Journal Reviews

The second part of Willig's French Revolutionary-era adventure/romance takes up where her charming debut, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation , left off. Harvard graduate student Eloise Kelly is still in England researching the archives of the Selwick family. Richard Selwick was revealed to be the British spy the Purple Gentian, and his wife's cousin Jane Wooliston follows in Richard's "colorful" footsteps in the personage of the Pink Carnation. We return to 1803 through the journals of Henrietta (Hen) Selwick, Richard's sister, and his friend Miles Dorrington. News arrives that the dastardly French agent, the Black Tulip, is wreaking havoc among the British intelligence community. Can Hen discover the Tulip's identity and aid in the war effort? Can Hen suddenly be falling for longtime family friend Miles? Is Miles on the right track by suspecting Lord Vaughn, or does Miles just want to kill Vaughn for looking leeringly at Hen? Though it seems obvious who the Tulip is, there is enough ambiguity to keep readers guessing until the final un-Masquing . Willig's new work is again terribly clever and funny, though a bit more clichéd than her first. The Pink Carnation makes few appearances here, but perhaps she is being saved for her own romance in a promised third novel in the series. Carnation fans especially will want to pursue this one. Recommended for public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/05.] --Bette-Lee Fox,Library Journal [Page 70]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

The Pink Carnation, the Napoleonic-era English spy featured in Willig's best-selling debut, The Secret of the Pink Carnation, goes up against a deadly French spy-the Black Tulip. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Willig picks up where she left readers breathlessly hanging with 2005's The Secret History of the Pink Carnation . After discovering the identity of the Pink Carnation, one of England's most successful spies during the Napoleonic wars, modern-day graduate student Eloise Kelly is hot on the trail of the Black Tulip, the Pink Carnation's French counterpart. While researching the archives of dashing-but-grumpy Colin Selwick (a descendant of the Selwick spy family), Eloise learns that spy Purple Gentian (Richard Selwick) safely retired to the countryside; meanwhile, the Pink Carnation continues her mission with the help of Richard's younger sister. Spirited Henrietta Selwick discovers that the Black Tulip has resurfaced after a 10-year silence with the intent of eliminating the Pink Carnation. Miles Dorrington (Richard's best friend) works for the War Office and is directed to unearth the deadly spy. As he and Henrietta investigate, they try to deny their attraction for each other--and avoid becoming the Black Tulip's next victims. Hero and heroine can be quite silly, and there are overlong ballroom shenanigans aplenty; like last time, Eloise and Colin's will-they-won't-they dance isn't nearly as interesting as what takes place in 1803. No matter. Willig knows her audience; Regency purists may gnash their teeth in frustration, but many more will delight in this easy-to-read romp and line up for the next installment. (Jan.) [Page 32]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When a London War Office courier is murdered for the confidential dispatch he carried for an elusive spy known as the Pink Carnation, Henrietta Uppington and Miles Dorrington decipher a secret message and work with the War Office to prevent the Pink Carnation's assassination by a deadly French spy. Reprint. 150,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When a London War Office courier is murdered for the confidential dispatch he carried for an elusive spy known as the Pink Carnation, Henrietta Uppington and Miles Dorrington decipher a secret message and work with the War Office to prevent the Pink Carnation's assassination by a deadly French spy.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

...But now she has a million questions about the Pink Carnation's deadly French nemesis, the Black Tulip. And she's pretty sure that her handsome onagain, off-again crush, Colin Selwick, has the answers somewhere in his archives. But what she discovers in an old codebook is something juicier than she ever imagined.