The Prince’s Lady: Bresciano and the Baroness

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The lesson that I learnt from reading this book is that one should never, ever, judge a book by its cover. The novel’s cover illustration, although well executed, is not enticing, and I found it most off-putting. However, having prepared myself for a dire read I was delighted to discover a well-plotted story, which was highly engrossing. The two authors had managed to blend their writing styles seamlessly, and the result was a plausible and highly entertaining novel.

The novel, which is the fourth in the series, is set in Gibraltar and Spain during 1791. It centres on the mysterious disappearance of the mistress of Prince Edward, George the III’s fourth son. Giovanni Bresciano, acting in the role of detective on behalf of the acting governor, is a likeable character. In fact all the characters are believable, and dovetail perfectly into the story, from Mr Whitmore with his artistic aspirations to Bresciano’s seriously ill and elderly father. However, for me, Coniglio, the prince’s major-domo, was particularly memorable because of his anger and arrogance, which made him both obnoxious and pitiable.

It was refreshing to read a novel with a different setting, and the descriptions were both interesting and in harmony with the content. The authors have created a vivid sense of time and place. This novel is well worth reading, and so don’t be put off by the cover!

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12 of the best stories selected from the 2012 Historical Novel Society Short Story Award







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