Arabella Dempsey’s dear friend Jane Austen warned her against teaching. But Miss Climpson’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies seems the perfect place for Arabella to claim her independence while keeping an eye on her younger sisters nearby. Just before Christmas, she accepts a position at the quiet girls’ school in Bath, expecting to face nothing more exciting than conducting the annual Christmas recital. She hardly imagines coming face to face with French aristocrats and international spies…
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? (Source:Goodreads)
I have been looking forward to reading this for months. Shanyn of Chick Loves Lit was nice enough to pass along an ARC copy she received and knew she wouldn’t get around to reading. After I finished virtually kissing her feet, I immediately read it cover to cover. While I still have to claim The Betrayal of the Blood Lily my favorite of the series, this one is close to the top!
All us loyal Pink Carnationites have been clamoring for Turnip to have his own book, and reading it was just as much fun as I expected it to be! He gains new depth and even – dare I say it? – proves that he does indeed have common sense. The fact that his open, honest, and fun-loving personality is the first thing one notices about him doesn’t mean he is quite the idiot he is perceived to be.
I was really disappointed that Eloise and Colin didn’t make their normal appearance, but I understand that it wouldn’t have worked too well because of series order. This book is the newest book to be published, but not the newest chronologically in the series…so Eloise and Colin had to take a break. Now I’m even more eager to see them again in The Orchid Affair!
I don’t want to say too much more about the book since it isn’t going to be published for a few more months, but I can promise that series fans will be thrilled with Turnip and Arabella. Lauren Willig never misses!