Every Whispered Word
Karyn Monk has written another delightful historical romance, with a twist: half of the book is set en route to and in South Africa. Lady Camelia Marshall, like her father, is an archaeologist. After her father dies, she vows to continue his work searching for the Tomb of Kings, but, amongst other problems, the site is being flooded. She travels to London to find additional funding for the project, and to entreat the inventor Simon Kent to build a better pump. She (although perhaps not the reader!) is surprised to find that he is not the elderly man she imagined. Camelia is in London with an entourage: Zareb, her father’s friend and her protector, Oscar the monkey (who would have been lonely if left behind), Harriet the bird, and Rupert the snake (who curled up in Camelia’s trunk so he could come along). These characters, along with several of Simon’s old family retainers, as well as a purported curse on the archaeological site, create a delicious tale. While neither Camelia nor Simon care much for the conventions of society (the novel is set in 1885), Camelia’s suitor, Lord Elliott Wickham, does. It is primarily through his role that we get a sense of the historical period. While waiting for the author’s next book, I will go back and read several that I missed.