Imperial Scandal is the best written book in the Charles and Melanie Fraser series. (known as Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch under a new silly publisher) The mystery keeps you guessing and several of the couples in the story actually end up happy, something that rarely happened in the previous novels. The novel even ended with an optimistic tone. I still don't understand why Ms. Grant chose to write her stories in random order. Much of Melanie's tension at whether Charles will find out that she's a spy is dissapated if you've read "Daughter of the Game" (aka "Secrets of a Lady")and know how he does react when he does find out. I have to say some of the plot holes I mentioned in my review of "Vienna Waltz" were filled in further explainations in this story. But I still don't know why Tallyrand didn't seem to know who Melanie was. Some things, too, in this story wouldn't make as much sense if you had't read the previously written (but later in the timeline)stories. For instance, knowledge of Raoul O'Roarke's true relationship with Charles informs his actions like nothing written in this book does. My final beef is with the articulate-beyond-their-years genius children in this story. Though 3 and 1/2 year old Livia might possibly talk in the manner and about the concepts she does in the story, it's doubtful that just turned 2 year old Colin would even be speaking in full sentences, let alone about the concepts he does. And as for less than 2 year old Robbie--it's doubtful he'd even remember a cousin he had't seen in several monthes, let alone the fact that she didn't seem to have a father. And I don't think he would understand the concept of death--Mummy just went away and he wants her. But by and large I enjoyed this book and hope that Ms. Grant writes more adventures for Charles and Melanie and that "The Mask of Night" is soon published in book form.