Betrayal of the Blood Lily
Dutton, Jan 12 2009, $25.95
In London, Penelope Deveraux avoids a ruinous scandal with a hasty marriage to Lord Frederick Staines as they were caught canoodling. Also abetting their ability to elude social humiliation is his assignment as special envoy to the court of Nizam of Hyderabad in India.
Penelope struggles somewhat to adjust even as she bravely participates in court activities, but soon uncovers a plot to throw out the imperialists who are turning India into a crown of the British Empire although the French have forces and agents there to counter that. In fact the Nizam uses both sides against one another to keep control. She finds a brave companion in Captain Alex Reid who teams up with her to expose the traitors behind the plot. As they fall in love while competing with one another in sporting contests that she continually wins, the elusive Marigold continues seditious activities to remove the British from India.
Moving the Pink Carnation series to India adds freshness even as the basic theme remains the same of a modern day researcher uncovering information of a nineteenth century Englishwoman going undercover to try to thwart a Napoleonic plot. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Penelope muses over being married to Freddie especially after meeting Alex. Fans of the saga will enjoy her adventures as an amateur female agent causing mayhem that shakes up the dysfunctional triangle of power sharing by the English, the French and the native Nizam..