Thursday, December 2, 2010

Review: The Mischief of the Mistletoe

The Mischief of the Mistletoe
By Lauren Willig
Publication date: October 28, 2010

My review:

Reginald "Turnip" Fitzhugh finally gets his own adventure when he visits his sister at school and becomes involved in unraveling a mystery surrounding a Christmas pudding with a secret message in the wrapping. Arabella Dempsey has just taken a job as a teacher at the school and together she and Turnip try to foil the plot of a possible French spy while losing their hearts to each other. 

Unlike the other titles in the Pink Carnation series, The Mischief of the Mistletoe does not feature modern narrator Eloise Kelly but instead is entirely set in the past. It is also devoid of floral spies and rather chaste compared to its predecessors particularly the most recent book, The Betrayal of the Blood Lily. Readers who are accustomed to seeing Turnip as a character of ridicule will be surprised to find that he is a man of integrity and depth albeit still clumsy and endearing. Arabella is a likable heroine reminiscent of Charlotte Lansdowne, the mild mannered heroine of The Temptation of the Night Jasmine. While events in The Mischief of the Mistletoe slightly overlap with the events in The Temptation of the Night Jasmine, you don't have to read the other titles in the series to make sense of The Mischief of the MistletoeThe addition of Jane Austen as Arabella's friend and confidante will only increase the novel's appeal to fans of Austen's works. 

I found The Mischief of the Mistletoe to be a delightful and lighthearted holiday romance. At first I wasn't sure that I would like a book featuring Turnip as a main character but since the author wisely did not try to turn him into a macho hero, it really worked as a sweet romance. The mystery element is not as strong as it is in the rest of the series but it makes for a nice change. If you are in the mood for some holiday reading, give The Mischief of the Mistletoe a try. 

Readalikes: What Happens in London by Julia Quinn, Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn


  1. Great review! I love this time of year and need to pick up some good holiday reading. Thanks for the recommendation.


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