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Historical Fiction Early Review: Banquet of Lies by Mchelle Diener

Banquet of Lies by Michelle Diener


Egalley thanks to Gallery Books

Synopsis from Goodreads
A Secret Treaty and a Secret Life

LONDON, 1812: Giselle Barrington is living a double life, juggling the duties of chef with those of spy catcher. She must identify her father’s savage killer before the shadowy man finds her and uncovers the explosive political document her father entrusted to her safekeeping.

Posing as a French cook in the home of Lord Aldridge, Giselle is surrounded by unlikely allies and vicious enemies. In the streets where she once walked freely among polite society, she now hides in plain sight, learning the hard lessons of class distinction and negotiating the delicate balance between servant and master.

Lord Aldridge’s insatiable curiosity about his mysterious new chef blurs the line between civic duty and outright desire. Carefully watching Giselle’s every move, he undertakes a mission to figure out who she really is—and, in the process, plunges her straight into the heart of danger when her only hope for survival is to remain invisible.

Release date: October 22nd 2013.
 
Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK

9/10

* * *
Oh gods, I can't tell you how much I love this author! Every book is like pure gooey chocolaty indulgence!

Banquet of Lies is all about delicious food and strong women. In fact, you can always bet that Michelle Diener will write about a score of strong, admirable, brave women in her historical fiction. This is just how she rolls, ladies and gents.


Add to it Napoleonic era and a big spying intrigue, and you'll be as hooked as I am. Banquet of Lies is a continuation of The Emperor's Conspiracy in some aspects (there are interconnected characters), but mostly it's its own story.

Giselle Barrington is a folklorist and a superb cook, and she is trudging all over Europe with her dad, who under guise of his folklore studies works with The British against Napoleon.
When he is killed, she flees with an important document and tries to lie low back in England until she can figure out who is the traitor.


She manages to hire herself as a French chef in the house of Lord Aldridge, and while she is unable to stay away from sorting out the whole household, it's Aldridge who is completely enamored with the magical meals he is getting and the captivating woman who cook them for him. Giselle is full of secrets and she does not know who to trust, but her time is running out while her enemies are getting closer to finding her.

This is historical fiction, so the rules of historical romance do not apply. Both Aldridge and Giselle are lovely characters, but their feeling for each other are secondary to the mystery of Banquet of Lies and to how skillfully Michelle Diener is playing it out.

Wholly recommended, gorgeous and clever spy fiction with layered characters, do read it!


* * *

Ну вот, не могу передать полностью, как я обожаю шпионские романы Мишель Дьенэ! Сразу же подчеркну, что её книги - не исторические любовные романы, а исторические романы с большим ударением на историю.


И вот как раз её родимую ей удаётся представить читателю как что-то захватывающие, полное экшн и многограневых персонажей.

Жизель Баррингтон - фольклорист и шеф-повар, мотающаяся по Европе с отцом-учёным, который под прикрытием изучения культуры различных народов работает с британской разведкой против Наполеона.

Когда её отца убивают у Жизель на глазах, она сбегает в Англию с важным документом, но не зная кто предал её отца не решается довериться военному министерству как таковому, а пытается найти друга её погибшего отца, который работает в министерстве и которого она знает только по почерку.

Жизель прячется под маской французского шеф-повара и нанимается в дом Лорда Элдриджа по соседству с её бывшим домом, за которым она следит в поисках людей, работающих на предателей.

Только вот Элдридж очарован её готовкой и пытается узнать побольше о женщине, которая таит так много секретов, а сама Жизель никак не может понять кому можно довериться а кому нельзя в этой сложной шпионской интриге.

Какие-либо отношения и разрастающие чувства между Элдриджем и Жизелью совершенно второстепенны  главной линии сюжета и самому развитию персонажей. Жизель - шикарнейшая, сильная и умная героиня с очаровательной прагматичностью, которую я так люблю у этого автора, и поэтому я очень вам советую читать Дьенэ. Не только эту книгу и всё остальное, что она пишет.
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