Assassin’s Mask: A Palace of Spies Novel, 3

Written by Sarah Zettel
Review by Francesca Pelaccia

It’s 1716 in England, and life is turning around for seventeen-year-old Margaret “Peggy” Fitzroy. By day Peggy is maid of honour to her Royal Highness, Caroline Princess of Wales. By night she is a confidential agent, or spy, in the service of the Crown. When a mysterious veiled woman shows up at her aunt’s home, Peggy’s life begins to unravel, and she doesn’t know who to trust: her father who has just come back from the dead and may be a double agent; her mentor, Lord Tierney, aka Mr. Tinderflint, who may not be her greatest ally; her seemingly innocent Aunt Pierpont; or various lords and ladies of the court, with their own motives and aspirations against the royal house. With the threat of a Jacobite invasion, Peggy finds herself a pawn in everybody’s plots and schemes. To get to the truth she has to rely on her wits, on subterfuge, and on the only two people she explicitly trusts: her cousin, Olivia, and her paramour, Matthew. Assassin’s Masque is the third installment of the Palace of Spies young adult series. Peggy is a typical adolescent of any time period, prone to outbursts, long-winded “what if” scenarios, rashness, and sentimentality. But she is also endearing, smart and witty.

This is a light, breezy, and entertaining novel, involving a plot against the royal house, the inadequate spy, and her equally inept cohorts who try to prevent it.