Banquet of Lies

Written by Michelle Diener
Review by Arleigh Johnson

London, 1812. Giselle “Gigi” Barrington is the daughter of a gentleman folklorist, traveling Europe and collecting recipes for her passion of cooking. While she knew her father sometimes transported state documents for the British government, she was never aware of the details. As such, she was unprepared for the situation she was thrust into when she witnessed her father being murdered for refusing to hand over a letter that was secretly sewn into her dress. She found herself on the run and looking for a place to hide in plain sight, while searching for a mysterious person by the alias of “D.”

Taking a position in a house near to her home in London, Gigi uses her culinary skills to become a suitable French cook for a young, single gentleman with specific tastes. As he begins showing more interest in her than she’d like, she discovers her father’s murderer, the shadow man, is lurking around the neighborhood – looking for her, and always just a step behind. With the time-sensitive document still in her possession, she must find a way to safely transfer it to its intended recipient.

This story may be of particular interest to those who have read the author’s previous book, The Emperor’s Conspiracy, as characters from the two books blend seamlessly together to create a unique setting that has the feel of a series. Diener has found the perfect formula for a great historical read, including genuine characters, a fast-paced and intriguing plot, and a storyline that will delight readers of mysteries, as well as those interested in the Napoleonic War era. This book is pure reading pleasure!