One of the best things about the entire series is that it totally captivates you – both emotionally and intellectually. I always learn so much history right along with solving a complex, convoluted, and twisted mystery. I would say this is one of the best books in the series, but you wouldn’t believe me because I say that about each new book! It is truly a wonderful read and I devoured each and every word of it. It was so bittersweet with Sebastian finally finding his mother and then getting so little time with her. Sebastian and Hero have grown so close to each other and they are so loving and supportive – I just love that part of the story.
It is March of 1815; Napoleon has been exiled to Elba for a year; The Bourbons have been restored to the throne of France; Ex-Pats have returned to France; There is a conference being held to determine the future of France, Europe, and Napoleon. Unrest among the French citizens is also quietly present – they aren’t openly opposed to the Bourbons nor are they openly supportive of a return by Napoleon – but they are tired of the way they are being treated. Sebastian, Hero, and the two boys have traveled to Paris during these turbulent times so Sebastian can search for his mother, Sophie.
As a melancholy and frustrated Sebastian walks near the Seine, he finds a very badly injured woman – a woman he recognizes – his mother. She recognizes him immediately – but can only utter his name before he picks her up and rushes her to his leased home. When she dies from her wounds without saying anything else, Sebastian and Hero vow to solve the case – no matter where the evidence leads. And goodness does it take some strange twists and turns. Was his mother involved in espionage? Where had she been on her recent trip – and what was its purpose? Is she involved – directly or inadvertently – in Napoleon’s escape from Elba? Oh! What a tangled web of intrigue and deception for Sebastian and Hero to work through before they finally discover the truth.
I highly recommend this book and hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. The writing is superb, the characters are unique, interesting, and compelling, and the mystery will keep you guessing until the very end. Then, if you add in all of the very descriptive historical details, you’ll feel as if you are right there with the tensions rising as Napoleon escapes Elba and heads toward Paris. Truly an excellent read!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.