Summary: Harvard grad student Eloise Kelly has gotten into quite a bit of trouble since she's been spying on the Pink Carnation and the Black Tulip - two fo the deadliest agents to saunter the streets of nineteenth-century England and France. Not only has she been unearthing secrets that will rearrange history, but she's been dallying with Colin Selwich and looking for a romantic adventure all her own. Little does she know that she's about to uncover another
fierce heroine running headlong into history.
In June 1803, Letty Alsworthy attempts to prevent her sister's midnight elopement - only to be accidentally whisked away herself. The scandal forces her into a hasty marriage with Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe, who then decamps immediately to help the Pink Carnation quash a ring of Irish rebels led by the Black Tulip. Not to be outdone, Letty steals away to the Emerald Isle herself, ready to lean a thing of tow about espionage - and never imagining she might lean a few things about love along the way (Source: Book Cover).
Comments: Another very satisfying read by Lauren Willig, The Deception of the Emerald Ring has an interesting twist to the secret elopement. We have met Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe from the two previous books and heard of his literary poems dedicated to Mary Alsworthy, Letty's sister. When Geoffrey finds himself kissing the wrong sister, a wedding is quickly arranged. Poor Letty, obliged to marry where she does not want to and the mortification of it being her sister's lover. And to add insult to injury, he leaves the afternoon of their wedding for Ireland. Letty, determined not to be embarrassed further by his desertion, follows him to Ireland.
It seems the French want to stir up trouble in Ireland to distract England long enough for a French invasion. There are certainly enough rebels in Ireland to go around, and the notorious Black Tulip as well. And then there is my favorite character Lord Vaughn. The jury is still out on him - is he a good guy or a bad guy. One day we may find out. Jane Wooliston is there of course, flirting mightily with Geoffrey as the charming, Gilly Fairley - a blonde of course while they secretly exchange information on the Irish rebels and their weapons caches.
So who is the Black Tulip? Is it Lord Vaughn? He certainly seems to fit the bill, but perhaps too well. Very very enjoyable read. Next up. The Seduction of the Crimson Rose.