The Masque of the Black Tulip (Pink Carnation Series #2)

The Masque of the Black Tulip (Pink Carnation Series #2)

by Lauren Willig
4.4 111

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Overview

The Masque of the Black Tulip (Pink Carnation Series #2) by Lauren Willig

The author of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation continues the romantic adventures of England's greatest spy with a newly arrived adversary from France, the murderous Black Tulip.

The Pink Carnation, history's most elusive spy and England's only hope for preventing a Napoleonic invasion, returns in Lauren Willig's dazzling imaginative new historical romance. The Masque of the Black Tulip opens with the murder of a courier from the London War Office, his confidential dispatch for the Pink Carnation stolen. Meanwhile, the Black Tulip, France's deadliest spy, is in England with instructions to track down and kill the Pink Carnation. Only Henrietta Uppington and Miles Dorrington know where the Pink Carnation is stationed. Using a secret code book, Henrietta has deciphered a message detailing the threat of the Black Tulip. Meanwhile, the War Office has enlisted Miles to track down the notorious French spy before he (or she) can finish the deadly mission. But what Henrietta and Miles don't know is that while they are trying to find the Black Tulip (and possibly falling in love), the Black Tulip is watching them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781415923535
Publisher: Books on Tape, Inc.
Publication date: 01/28/2006
Series: Pink Carnation Series , #2

About the Author

Lauren Willig is a law student and Ph.D. candidate in history at Harvard University. She is the author of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation.

Hometown:

New York, New York and Cambridge, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

March 28, 1977

Place of Birth:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Education:

B.A., Yale University, 1999; M.A., Harvard University, 2001

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Masque of the Black Tulip (Pink Carnation Series #2) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 111 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having just finished my own dissertation, like Ms. Willig's fictional Eloise, I needed a chick-lit break and found it with The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, quickly followed by The Masque of the Black Tulip. These books are absolutely delightful, and the historical detail is well done. As an acknowledged homage to The Scarlet Pimpernel, they leave a bit to be desired - Lady Blakeney (Marguerite St. Just) is never mentioned (at least not in either of the books I've read so far), and Ms. Willig's heroes and heroines don't begin to reach the depths of character that Percy and Marguerite share. (Besides, in the time when these novels take place, the Blakeneys would only be in their thirties and hardly out of the fashionable world - Percy was supposedly the Prince of Wales' closest friend, after all - so why do they never appear in a cameo?) Nonetheless, these books taken in themselves are a pleasure, and I applaud Ms. Willig for keeping the romantic mores true to the time - no consummation until the wedding night. (Heroes, heroines and readers are well rewarded for the wait.) That factor alone is so refreshing that it's well worth supporting by continuing to buy the series! In comparing the two books, I found the romance in Black Tulip even more endearing than that of Pink Carnation, although Pink Carnation had a slight edge in the swashbuckling department (which was clearly Ms. Willig's intention, as her hero and heroine in Tulip progress sweetly and convincingly from a brother-sister relationship into grown-up love). I really fell for Miles, and Henrietta is adorable. Richard's behavior toward Miles - challenging him to a duel, which precipitates the marriage between Miles and Henrietta - seeems a bit absurd since Richard, as the Purple Gentian, got into some very heavy petting with Amy before their marriage, and Miles hasn't progressed nearly as far with Henrietta when Richard comes upon them (but I suppose it is possible that an older brother might overreact in such a way, and I'm holding out hopes that the boys will make up in the next novel). As for Eloise and Colin, I don't find the interludes intrusive so much as too slow. They shouldn't jump into bed - that would be too out of keeping with the parallel historical romance - but by the end of the second novel, I would have expected a kiss. (As other reviewers have mentioned, there seems to have been a bit too much eye on the potential for sequels.) Ms. Willig's style is entertaining and breezy (the historical dialogue sometimes seems a little modern), but her editor needs to do a better job - her sentences do not always cadence as they should, and words are too often repeated in the same paragraph. In a novel of this length, a phrase like "made a sound that wanted to be laugh when it grew up" should be used once - and no more. That said, I couldn't not have spent two more pleasant weekend afternoons than I did with these two books - they are quick reads, and for romantic Anglophiles, a perfect love potion! If you read Baroness Orczy's Pimpernel novels first - in this order: The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Elusive Pimpernel, El Dorado, and The Triumph of the Scarlet Pimpernel - you'll understand Willig's plots better and you'll get a tremendous dose of history, heroism and romance along the way. (At the very least, read The Scarlet Pimpernel.) Meanwhile, I look forward to reading The Deception of the Emerald Ring!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed this installment of Lauren Willig's mystery romance set in two different time periods, yet intertwined. I like the way her characters carry from one book to the other. She also blends the tension and romance well. I have read four of the five and can't wait to read book five and the sixth which is soon due. I also have shared them with friends who enjoyed them as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading The Secret History of the Pink Carnation years ago and never knowing it was only the first in a series, I reread it recently and was delighted to follow it up with the Black Tulip. I love the mixture of past and present, and this book especially had me on the edge of my seat as it switched between them at the most inconvenient of times. (Cliffhangers abound.) I liked Miles and Henrietta's story a little less than Richard and Amy's but it was still exciting. Historically speaking, these books have a creative, entertaining voice where I think some people expect to find a more serious one. I, personally, enjoy the wit. My one criticism: the almost laughable dialogue of the men. The overuse of "chap" and "sport." I prefer the men's dialogue found in Judith McNaught's "Whitney, My Love" for example. That aside, I'm enjoying my time in these books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If they came to the med den, i would expect you to fight to save your life, but it is still unacceptable that you disobeyed direct orders from the medcat. You will be confined to the medicine cat den unless supervised by patchfur, snowfall or a senior warrior, and you will clean the warriors den bedding for one moon.
MADreaderMD More than 1 year ago
Miles and Henrietta may be more bumbling as spies than the Pink Carnation and the Purple Gentian, but they just prove that anyone can be of service to their country if their hearts are in the right place! And, of course, they were a little distracted by the whole falling in love thing. They made a very cute couple! I enjoyed how the definitions from the Pink Carnation's code book at the beginning of each chapter informed what would happen in the chapter. The double meanings were great. And I liked how the modern-day story tied in with what was going on in the past. My only complaint is that the romance between Eloise and Colin in the present-day is proceeding very slowly. Guess I'll just have to continue with the rest of the series to see where they end up.
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TheKarenJones More than 1 year ago
Second in the series, The Masque of the Black Tulip was just as delightful (perhaps more fun even?) as The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. If you've read Pink Carnation, then you've already met the main hero and heroine of Black Tulip. Henrietta Selwick, younger sister of the notorious Richard Selwick, is funny and bright and even occasionally silly. There's a scene where she hides from Miles Dorrington that it just hilarious. Miles is, of course, the hero of this story. Being Richard's best friend from childhood and very close to the whole Selwick family, he is deeply involved in all things spy. Miles is deliciously awkward and gets distressingly tangled up in things he shouldn't, including Henrietta. This was a fun romp full of mystery, romance and humor. A fantastic addition to the series. And don't forget, you get to follow along with modern-day Eloise and her budding crush on Colin Selwick, a descendant of Lord Richard, the Purple Gentian.
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