Barbara’s Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Series: A Spy In The Ton #3
Publication Date: 07/24/17
This is my first book by Alyssa Alexander. After looking at reviews of the other books in this series, I may go back and read them.
I seem to be all over the place with this book. I love spy stories and I think code-breakers are some of the unsung heroes of war. This book has both and the premise of the story was a good one. I just felt that it frequently moved too slowly.
Maximilian Westwood is a second son who makes his living doing translations in the several languages he speaks. He is also a retired code-breaker for the crown. He is taciturn, growly, frowning and totally engrossed in his translations. Max is the most honorable man you could ever want to meet. That is his nature and it is also to contrast his disreputable older brother.
Vivienne Le Fleur is a British spy. She has been trained since she was a child in all of the skills to become the consummate spy. She is superb with all weapons – pistols, knives, swords, etc. The Flower is an opera dancer and the mistress of Henri. She is also totally immersed in the persona she had to adopt in order to facilitate her spying. She is so immersed that she no longer knows where that persona ends and where the real ‘her’ begins.
Henri is the handler for Vivienne, The Flower, and I won’t say much about him other than to say that he’s a real jerk.
A French spymaster known as The Vulture wants to recruit the Flower and turn her into a double agent by any means – fair or foul – mostly foul. When she won’t turn, he kidnaps her sister to force her to do her bidding.
Flower worked with Max when he was a government code-breaker and she trusted him – at least as much as she trusted anyone. So, when she needed to have the Vulture’s coded messages deciphered, she went to him. They end up working together to solve the mystery.
What I really didn’t like really didn’t have much to do with the story – Max’s brother was really detestable and I would have loved it if something irreversible had happened to him. He could die or he could go insane or . . . Well, I just didn’t care, but it would have been nice for Max to take over the title or at least the management of the estate.
I also didn’t like that there was no real, lasting punishment for Henri. Somebody other than the Flower should have taken him on!
“I requested and received this book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”