Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Pink Carnation Series

The Pink Carnation stories are a lot of fun. These are silly books for the most part, but I still like them. They tell the story of a modern day historian looking for the elusive Pink Carnation, a spy in the mold of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Lauren Willig goes one step further and creates an entire garden of flower named spies doing their skulduggery during the Napoleonic years. Which we see through the standard plot device of a hidden cache of documents revealing all secrets for our hero to find.

I have been listening to the audio books of the Pink Carnation Series and the reader, Kate Reading does a great job of giving voices to a large and ever growing cast of odd characters with all kinds of accents. Her American hero sounds, for the most part, like an American, and her modern Londoners sound like modern Londoners. I have no idea what English sounded like a couple of hundred years ago, but Kate Reading's take on it sounds good to me.

I'm listening to the Seduction of The Pink Carnation at the moment, which is spending a lot more time in Modern London and making a lot of fun of the American expat historian for not knowing such things as Working in The City means Working on Wall Street. The modern London story is a romance and a mystery, while the world of the Pink Carnation is pretty much a romance and a mystery with a touch of espionage tossed in for good measure. There are a lot of characters and I would advice that anyone tackling the series start at the beginning. The Secret History of The Pink Carnation was the first book.

These are fun books, neither pure romance nor pure cloak and dagger. Many of characters like to speak in a very refined and very round about manner and it can be fun to try and figure out what exactly they mean by what they are saying. The cast remains more or less the same and as with all series, that's just as it should be.

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