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Publishers Weekly

British spy Malcolm Rannoch and his intrepid wife (and fellow spy) Suzanne have returned for more intrigue in Grant’s newest Regency-era novel (after Vienna Waltz). Now in Brussels, Malcolm and Suzanne attend the usual parties, but the ever-present threat of confrontation with Napoleon is palpable. When Malcolm is called away from a ball to meet a French informer at an ostensibly empty château, an unexpected firefight takes the life of Lady Julia Ashton. In the course of Malcolm and Suzanne’s investigation to discover what Ashton was doing at the remote rendezvous, a host of ulterior motives and dubious identities is exposed. An unexpected twist further reveals that Suzanne has secrets of her own. When the Battle of Waterloo begins, Suzanne must reconcile her warring loyalties to her husband and to her infamous employer. This sprawling Napoleonic epic (thankfully supplemented with a “Dramatis Personae”) involves a cast of dozens and an intricate plot that is constantly morphing—no one is who they seem to be and everyone has something to hide. However, for a spy saga set on the verge of one of the most important battles in European history, Grant spends a lot of time discussing love and relationships. While such a focus enables readers to become sympathetic toward her characters, it tends to drag the story out. Readers will begin to wonder how many more plot twists and double agents they can handle. A strong historical, but definitely for patient readers. Agent: Nancy Yost, the Nancy Yost Literary Agency. (Apr.)

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