The Passion of the Purple Plumeria

Written by Lauren Willig
Review by Elena Maria Vidal

Lauren Willig’s dazzling series about spies of the Napoleonic era has just been enriched by the addition of her latest offering, The Passion of the Purple Plumeria. A novel replete with hilarity as well as intriguing historical detail, there is really no comparison of Willig’s historical fiction mysteries with any other works of the genre, past or present.

The staid spinster Gwendolyn Meadows is in actuality an agent of the famed League of the Pink Carnation, and Talleyrand himself cannot predict when and where she might turn up next. When Gwen encounters the roguish Colonel William Reid in their mutual search for two missing schoolgirls, sparks fly between them, opening up a perilous new path of adventure and romance. Their odyssey includes a hunt for fabulous legendary jewels, an encounter with a dangerous cabal known as the Hell Fire club, and an unforgettable night at the opera. In the meantime, they are pursued by an enemy who will stop at nothing to hinder their quest. The greatest mysteries, however, lie within the hearts of the protagonists. Only an immersion in Dickens, Austen, and Doyle could result in a novel as witty, amusing, and suspenseful as The Passion of the Purple Plumeria.