Saturday, March 20, 2010

Review #25 The Masque of the Black Tulip

The Masque of the Black Tulip
By Lauren Willig
Publication date: January 2006
My rating: ****1/2

My review:

In the second book of the Pink Carnation series, the deadly French spy known as the Black Tulip is back in operation posing a serious threat to the Pink Carnation. Lady Henrietta Selwick and Miles Dorrington join forces to discover the dangerous spy's identity and stop the Black Tulip before the Black Tulip catches them.

After reading The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, I was a little disappointed but other fans of the series told me that the books just keep getting better and I was glad to find that to be true. Henrietta Selwick is an intelligent and brave young woman and one of my favorite heroines from this series. Miles is humorous and I love the description of him as an elephant under a lampshade. Together they make a great team and as their romance develops it is really funny to see how two old friends fail to recognize what is right in front of their eyes. The Black Tulip is a fantastic addition to the cast of characters, a sort of Moriarty-like villain. Once again, Lauren Willig brings a great blend of romance, mystery, and humor to this series and unlike the first book, I was very happy with the heroine in the end. The only thing I could have wished for was more of a presence from the Pink Carnation but Miles and Henrietta are fantastic as are the new characters that are introduced, especially the mysterious Lord Vaughn. I had fun trying to guess who the Black Tulip is with absolutely no success, which is unusual for me. All in all, I loved The Masque of the Black Tulip and it is one of my favorites from this series.


  1. Ohhh this sounds just like THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL! Hmmm I think I'm having comment deja vu because I think there was another book I said was just like the SCARLET PIMPERNEL on here :S sorry to sound so redundant!
    do you know how many are in this series?

  2. There are currently six books published with a seventh book coming out later this year. I reviewed the first book also which is probably the one you compared to The Scarlet Pimpernel.

  3. Is it a "series" in that it follows the same main characters, or are there different main characters in each story? Could you read this one but not the first one? I've been looking at some reviews from amazon and GR, and this one sounds really good, but not so much the first one... and how big of a part do the "modern day" characters play?
    Sorry for so many questions, but I'm really curious! I might have to read these pronto!

  4. While you could probably read book two without reading book one I wouldn't necessarily recommend it. Each book focuses on different characters but the characters from the earlier books make appearances throughout the series. Book one isn't that bad really. It just isn't as good as the rest in my opinion (because I don't like the main female character).

    The modern parts are woven throughout each book but most of the book is in the past. Basically the narrator is the American grad student Eloise Kelly and she is doing the research on all the various spies and related characters. There are some other modern characters such as Colin Selwick, a direct descendant of one of the main characters whom Eloise meets as she does her research. There is romance involved for Eloise as well. As the books progress I kind of skim over those parts because I prefer the historical fiction.

    Check out Lauren Willig's website if you want more information and to read excerpts from her books.


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