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A Foreign Affair Paperback – March 25, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Caro Peacock, who has written five previous Liberty Lane novels, is a pseudonym of Gillian Linscott the award-winning author of numerous crime novels, including the Nell Bray historical mystery series featuring the eponymous suffragette sleluth. She lives near the Welsh borders.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; First Edition edition (March 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061445894
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061445897
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,208,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After reading A Dangerous Affair by Caro Peacock for the HarperCollins First Look Program and the adventures of Liberty Lane, I decided to pick up the first in the series to see how Liberty's exploits began. Check out my review of A Dangerous Affair here. A Foreign Affair by Caro Peacock is set in England and France prior to the ascension of Queen Victoria to the throne of England. Liberty Lane is staying with family when she receives word from her father that he will be returning home from Paris shortly. Rather than wait for him to return, she runs off to Dover to meet him, but she soon learns of his death.

Liberty's impetuous nature leads her into dark alleys, a morgue, carriages with duplicitous men, and a household full of secrets as she attempts to uncover the truth behind her father's death. She refuses to accept the news that he died in a dual, and she is enlisted by men of influence to spy on the Mandeville household while feigning to be a governess.

Caro Peacock has a way with description. Readers will be thrust into cramped spaces with large, round scary men, like in the passage below:

"The man who called himself Harry Trumper had arranged things so that he and I were sitting side by side with our backs to the horses, the other man facing us with a whole seat to himself. As my sight cleared, I could see that he needed it.
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Format: Paperback
England, 1830s. Liberty Lane is a young woman who, as a little girl, has had romantic notions about duels. What could be better than a man or father fighting for a woman's honor? Her father doesn't see things that way and chastised her about the wrongness of duels when she was a child. So imagine her surprise when her father turns out dead, having lost a duel. She sees the unlikelihood of this. So she travels from London to Calais alone to confirm the body. She had run away from her overbearing aunt's house and has no intention of going back, especially now that she wants to uncover the real reasons for her father's demise. What transpires is a story full of political intrigue, one of espionage, secret agents and conspiracy, when Liberty is forced to pose as a governess at the home of a man who may or may not be plotting against Queen Victoria...

The novel is entertaining. The backdrop of political espionage during the Victorian era is interesting and insightful in some areas. The characters, though caricature at times, are also great, especially Liberty and Sir Herbert Mandeville. The suspense part of the story is well done and it kept me guessing all the way through to the end. So why am I giving it two stars? I thought Liberty is too modern for a nineteenth century-set heroine. The novel's language sounds too twenty-first century as well, and it threw me off while I read it. The historical aspect seems well researched, but the actual execution in its language and feel of the time fails miserably. I found it difficult to picture Liberty, a Victorian heroine, roaming the streets of Calais alone, looking for hotels her father may have stayed in. Not only was this difficult to imagine, but it set the tone for me for the remainder of the book.
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Format: Paperback
Murder, intrigue, and treason are but a few of the elements found in Caro's Peacock book A Foreign Affair. To discover the why and who of her father's murder, our female protagonist, Liberty Lane (Libby) must break away from the conventionalities of the Victorian Era, where women were often seen, not heard, and expected to accept fallacious accounts as facts.

A Foreign Affair has given birth to a new heroine, who not only resolves her father's suspicious death; but hinders a treacherous plot to overthrow queen Victoria from the English throne, and replace her with a caricature of a man proclaiming to be Princess Charlotte's son, cleverly saved at birth from the same people accused of poisoning her. This distortion of a king would be controlled by a group of power hungry men seeking their own interests and threatening to launch England into civil war.

In the process, Libby learns that thanks to her father's exceptionally unconventional upbringing, she has the discipline and the wittiness; she needs to survive an uncertain and harsh world. Although at first she yearns for her brother's support in her endeavors, she soon realizes that left to her own devices she is as capable as she is generous and caring as her father had been.

The alluring way, in which Caro Peacock's story captured and engaged me, it made it very difficult for me to put the book down, and when alas I turned to the last page it left me yearning for more, and feeling a sense of loss for my friend Libby.
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