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The Masque of the Black Tulip: A Novel Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (December 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525949208
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525949206
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,169,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Willig picks up where she left readers breathlessly hanging with 2005's The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. After discovering the identity of the Pink Carnation, one of England's most successful spies during the Napoleonic wars, modern-day graduate student Eloise Kelly is hot on the trail of the Black Tulip, the Pink Carnation's French counterpart. While researching the archives of dashing-but-grumpy Colin Selwick (a descendant of the Selwick spy family), Eloise learns that spy Purple Gentian (Richard Selwick) safely retired to the countryside; meanwhile, the Pink Carnation continues her mission with the help of Richard's younger sister. Spirited Henrietta Selwick discovers that the Black Tulip has resurfaced after a 10-year silence with the intent of eliminating the Pink Carnation. Miles Dorrington (Richard's best friend) works for the War Office and is directed to unearth the deadly spy. As he and Henrietta investigate, they try to deny their attraction for each other—and avoid becoming the Black Tulip's next victims. Hero and heroine can be quite silly, and there are overlong ballroom shenanigans aplenty; like last time, Eloise and Colin's will-they-won't-they dance isn't nearly as interesting as what takes place in 1803. No matter. Willig knows her audience; Regency purists may gnash their teeth in frustration, but many more will delight in this easy-to-read romp and line up for the next installment. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

'Romance, mystery, and adventure. Pure fun!' Meg Cabot --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Lauren Willig is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen works of historical fiction. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages, awarded the RITA, Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards, and chosen for the American Library Association's annual list of the best genre fiction. After graduating from Yale University, she embarked on a PhD in English History at Harvard before leaving academia to acquire a JD at Harvard Law while authoring her "Pink Carnation" series of Napoleonic-set novels. She lives in New York City, where she now writes full time.

Customer Reviews

I really enjoy her two stories in one style, and her characters are intelligent and witty.
K. Downer
I just would have liked the book better if there was something compelling the progression of the book's build-up to its climax.
Meagan
This book is great for those of you who love historical romance, but will also have some fiction fans as well.
Alena

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas' Mom on May 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The Masque of the Black Tulip is the second in what I hope will be a long series. I know a few reviewers thought this installment was weaker than the first novel (The Secret History of the Pink Carnation), but I don't agree. The only thing the first book offered that this one doesn't is the benefit of being the first. Everything was new and exciting and interesting about the writing and the story precisely because it was new. But to my mind, The Masque of the Black Tulip is just as enjoyable a read as The Secret History.

Just as with the first book, this novel is a blend of regency romance, humor, history, clever allusions to popular culture and historical events, and spy intrigue. As the order of those descriptions suggest, this is primarily a romance novel, and a wonderful one at that. I see Lauren Willig as a cross between Julia Quinn and Helen Fielding and the result is a very readable book that rises above the mediocre romance novels and chick lit that's published every year.

This installment follows Miles and Henrietta, two friends who suddenly find themselves attracted to each other. There's a little less of the heavy-duty spy stuff than in the first, but that was fine with me. The plot rolls along, the romance unfolds, the Eloise/Colin interludes break up the story here and there (but in an enjoyable way, I thought) and it's all a joy to read. Lauren Willig has a distinctive, truly witty voice and knows how to deliver a satisfying read.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys regency romances, chick lit, or fun beach reads with a historical twist.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Alena on March 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
These books (The Masque of the Black Tulip and The Pink Carnation) are great books. I love fiction and romance, so I am very impressed with Willig's witty novels. Her characters are actually funny yet interesting and the books are long enough to develop the characters as well.

This is the second installment of the series. This is the story of Harriet and Miles who find love while trying to stop the Napoleonic invasion of England by France. They are both out to find the elusive and dangerous Black Tulip. This book is great for those of you who love historical romance, but will also have some fiction fans as well.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By merecudda on March 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you like slightly silly romantic historical fiction (as I do) then you will probably be very satisfied by this book. It's not the kind of book you're going to brag about reading at a party; yet it is a quick read. I read it in a few hours; and enjoyed it just as much as the first one. The parallel story with the narrator is slightly better than in the first book; but can still be an unwanted interruption. Overall- a guilty pleasure.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CathyB on May 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As with my review of The Pink Carnation, I also used this book as a cleanser of the mind. The plot is similar to its predecessor, making me think that Ms. Willig has come up with a formula to her writing - only time will tell. There is danger, romance (opposites falling in love) and the quest to find a secret agent, the Black Tulip. I recommend for those who wish to escape for a time, read the previous book or are interested in historical romances.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RE Krause on October 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Usually Willig's books are fun, light reading for me but this one was a bit much. The plot followed her usual romps with Eloise, the graduate student studying spying activities during the English/French war with Napoleon at the head of his troops. And, of course, Eloise falls for her host, Colin Selwig, hoping for a romantic adventure. However, all this is normal for this series. What bothered me was some of the dialog. I doubt that women of this period used the phrase, "Chop, Chop!" In addition, the sappy conversation between Henrietta and Miles during and after their fight with the Marquise de Montval and her men was downright silly. I almost put the book down at this point but continued to the end. In fact, I enjoyed the story as a whole but it's hard to forgive the author for that conversation. One final comment and I'll quit. the last chapter seemed like an afterthought to me. I thought the book should have ended with the previous chapter. I did enjoy her historical notes at the end where she explains while her spies did not exist there were operatives who bore floral names. However, I have read others in the series that I enjoyed more. You may agree.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bookmagic VINE VOICE on May 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the second in the Pink Carnation series and I am finding these books very enjoyable. While they have romance, they also feature female adventurers, intrigue, and quite a bit of humor. These aren't meant for someone looking for a serious historical read or pure romantic fiction. These books are like delicious junk food that must occasionally be indulged in. I'd probably be bored if I read them straight through so I am saving them for when i need something light to cheer me up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Joyce on August 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
This was the first book I read in the series, as I did not know it was a sequel. I normally do not enjoy romance-laden novels, but this was written in such a humorous and adventurous way that I could not help but fall in love with it. The characters are well drawn and incredibly life like. Henrietta's frustrations reflect those in most women, while Miles is charmingly clueless both in love and in spying.

The parallel story set in modern day is fun as well. Being a research bug myself, I completely relate to her and enjoy the shared frustrations of researching :)
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