A young noblewoman flees to London and poses as a servant to evade a murderer in this richly detailed and “compelling” (Publishers Weekly) historical novel.
Frightened for her life after her father, a British spy, is murdered, Giselle Barrington flees with the secret document her father gave her for safekeeping. Needing to hide from those now chasing her, and knowing that no one would look for a wealthy young society lady in a kitchen, she takes a job as a cook for a nobleman, determined to use her anonymity to uncover the murderer. Life below stairs gives her a new perspective on the hard realities of servants’ lives, even though she’s a highly paid one. And when her employer is drawn not only into her investigations, but also to her, they find themselves faced with the power imbalance between servant and master.
PARTICULARS OF THE BOOK :
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 352 with Reader's Guide
Author: Michele Diener
ABOUT THE AUTHOR :
Michelle Diener writes historical fiction. Her Susanna Horenbout and John Parker series starts with IN A TREACHEROUS COURT. Set in the court of Henry VIII, it features the real historical figures of artist Susanna Horenbout and Henry's Keeper of the Palace of Westminster and Yeoman of the King's Robes, John Parker. It was followed by KEEPER OF THE KING'S SECRETS, also featuring Susanna Horenbout and John Parker, and DANGEROUS SANCTUARY, a short story with the same characters, set between the two books, is currently available as an ebook only.
A new historical novel, set during the Napoleonic Wars in London in 1811, THE EMPEROR'S CONSPIRACY, was released on November 27th, 2012.
Michelle also contributed a short paranormal story to the ENTANGLED Anthology entitled BREAKING OUT. All the proceeds of the sale of ENTANGLED go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Michelle grew up in South Africa, and now lives in Australia with her husband and two children.
For more information, please visit Michelle's website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.
THE BOOKISH DAME REVIEWS :
Michele Diener's new novel "Banquet of Lies" takes us away to the proverbial Upstairs-Downstairs scenario, but this time it's fraught with a mystery and suspense that is adult and unexpected. I found nothing at all juvenile about this story, which was a pleasant relief from some of the historical fiction I'd read in the past. Ms Diener has a quick wit that leaves us wanting more.
Her main protagonists are real and accessible with problems that are strong enough to keep you guessing about the different characters they encounter. Giselle is a bright and independent girl for her time who doesn't let horrific circumstances stop her from finishing an important task set before her...even the attraction she has for her employer. And, the villains she comes across are truly worthy!
The women in this novel are many, and reflect the strong attachment women can have in this world, both domestic and "top of the stairs," as represented by Giselle. I was most impressed by the author's willingness to show this. I loved the group of strong companions who held together in their efforts to support each other against an often male dominated society.
Ms Diener is an accomplished author who knows how to keep your interest and writes a twisting novel of suspense. It never failed to keep my interest...to keep me guessing to the end with surprises. She's at the top of her game, and I look forward to what she has brewing for us in her next novel.
Recommended for all lovers of historical fiction with suspense and a thriller component!
Be sure to click here to check out some yummy recipes from the book!
4 stars Deborah/TheBookishDame
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