Monday, November 29, 2010

Review: The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig

Reginald “Turnip” Fitzhugh—often mistaken for the elusive spy known as the Pink Carnation—has blundered into danger before. But when he blunders into Miss Arabella Dempsey, it never occurs to him that she might be trouble. When Turnip and Arabella stumble upon a beautifully wrapped Christmas pudding with a cryptic message written in French, “Meet me at Farley Castle”, the unlikely vehicle for intrigue launches the pair on a Yuletide adventure that ranges from the Austens’ modest drawing room to the awe-inspiring estate of the Dukes of Dovedale, where the Dowager Duchess is hosting the most anticipated event of the year: an elaborate 12-day Christmas celebration. Will they find poinsettias or peril, dancing or danger? And is it possible that the fate of the British Empire rests in Arabella and Turnip’s hands, in the form of a festive Christmas pudding? (summary from book cover)

The Mischief of the Mistletoe: A Pink Carnation Christmas
I have been a big fan of Lauren Willig's historical romance for a while and the release of The Mischief of the Mistletoe happened to fit in nicely with All About {n}'s Holiday Reading Challenge. While this can be read as a stand-alone Christmas novel, it's much more fun when you have read the previous entries in the Pink Carnation series (six in all, starting with the Secret History of the Pink Carnation). I loved seeing the reappearance of some of my favorite characters from earlier books, like Lord and Lady Pinchingdale and the fearsome Dowager Duchess of Dovedale.

I had never found Turnip Fitzhugh to be a particularly romantic character, but Willig creates a depth that makes him very appealing by the end of the story. As Arabella and Turnip romp through various adventures I was caught up in their story and the setting of Regency era Bath, England. I also enjoyed seeing an appearance by the famous Jane Austen (as an old family friend of Arabella's) and how Willig seemed to capture her smart and comedic take on society.

Rating 5 out of 5 stars. This book reaffirmed Willig's place on my list of favorite authors. Witty and fun, with plenty of chemistry between the two main characters, this was the perfect start to the holiday season! I would highly recommend this for Jane Austen fans or anyone who enjoys a blend of historical romance and comedy.
source: personal copy

1 comment:

  1. Great review, now I'm really excited to read this one!