by Lauren Willig

February 2005
ISBN: 0-525-94860-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Dutton

Eloise Kelly wanted to know who was THE PINK CARNATION.

Eloise is working on her dissertation which is about a pair of spies, the Scarlet Pimpernel and The Purple Gentian. She discovers a letter, dated in 1803, which points to a third spy - THE PINK CARNATION - who is reportedly the one person to save England from Napoleon.

She travels to meet Mrs. Arabella Selwick-Aldery, the current owner of the Purple Gentian journals. Eloise reads these tantalizing journals and, bringing the reader to 1803, she discovers a long history of secrets, deception, even a love affair.

She is interrupted by Mr. Colin Selwick of Selwick Hall, one of the people she had written a letter to for information about the Scarlet Pimpernel and The Purple Gentian. He is none too happy to know his aunt allowed this stranger into the family`s home, let alone the family papers.

As Eloise gets further and further into the letters and journals, she and Colin are circling each other; she is so close to finding out the identity of the Pink Carnation - he doesn`t want her to find out who it is. Eloise also discovers she is really attracted to Colin.

Will Eloise discover the truth about The Pink Carnation? Will she be surprised to learn who this person was? Will she and Colin learn to like each other the way they should? The only way to know the answers to these questions, is to read this outstanding book.

I enjoyed reading this story for a couple of reasons. One, the author made the English more human than their usual portrayal as crusty, stiff upper lipped, and unbending - these characters were funny, entertaining and witty. The other reason? It was like reading a book within a book, a two for one deal.

I highly recommend this book..

Reviewed in January 2005 by Pat.

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