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Banquet of Lies (Regency London #2)

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  227 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
A Secret Treaty and a Secret Life

LONDON, 1812: Giselle Barrington is living a double life, juggling the duties of chef with those of spy catcher. She must identify her father’s savage killer before the shadowy man finds her and uncovers the explosive political document her father entrusted to her safekeeping.

Posing as a French cook in the home of Lord Aldridge, Giselle is
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 22nd 2013 by Gallery Books (first published October 20th 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,690)
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Lady Vigilante (Feifei)

Alright. I probably just screwed up my chances of getting approved from NetGalley but whatever, here goes.

So. I didn't finish this. Stopped at 34%. Why? Here's a couple of reasons.

1. The heroine aka Giselle aka Gigi aka Madame Leveel aka The Cook <-- what a mouthful.

I got why she needed her vengeance, what drove her to move forward, but honestly? Her character was so spiteful I just couldn't find myself to like her. She has that whole I'm-better-than-you-and-I-know-it attitude going on.


My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

After Giselle witnesses the death of her father, she’s forced to go into hiding in order to find out more about the document for which he was killed for. The document that her father entrusted to her right before he died. She takes a position as a French cook in the house of Lord Aldridge yet she struggles in this position, not
Tara Chevrestt
This has to be my favorite Diener book and it's the third one I've read. I still have more to go...and I sincerely hope there is a sequel to this, perhaps a series. I sense Duke Wittaker may have a story. What an intriguing man.

But...let's talk about this one. I love the heroine. She doesn't crumble to pieces after witnessing her father's murder. No... Instead, she takes top-secret correspondence and attempts to find the man she needs to deliver it to, all the while posing as a chef, fighting wi
Sep 18, 2013 Kara-karina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh gods, I can't tell you how much I love this author! Every book is like pure gooey chocolaty indulgence!

Banquet of Lies is all about delicious food and strong women. In fact, you can always bet that Michelle Diener will write about a score of strong, admirable, brave women in her historical fiction. This is just how she rolls, ladies and gents.

Add to it Napoleonic era and a big spying intrigue, and you'll be as hooked as I am. Banquet of Lies is a continuation of The Emperor's Conspiracy in so
Feb 07, 2014 Maria rated it liked it
Favorite quote: "Her gaze followed his to the library. "Never trust a woman-hater, Lord Aldridge. There is something wrong with a person who hates half the human race.""

This book is number two in what appears to be turning into a series (yay!!!). Unfortunately, I read this one first, realized it was a series, and was lucky enough to have already checked out the previous novel during a library visit. Get on that, Goodreads. You failed me this time.

Things I am learning about Michelle Diener:

Frishawn Quinn
Nov 12, 2013 Frishawn Quinn rated it really liked it
Banquet of Lies is a delightful read, but not for all the obvious reasons. The things that make this such an enjoyable foray into fiction, are not the obvious intrigue and cloak and dagger spy play. While those aspects are important as plot drivers and an overall "raison d'etre", it is the interpersonal relationships between characters that makes this story delectable.

Madame Leveel
Though this character begins life as a ruse for Giselle, her crisp demeanor, eye for detail, and love of cooking soo
Nov 05, 2013 Darkphoenix rated it really liked it
I have no idea how Michelle Diener does it! She writes one book after another with an awesome plot, great characters and where the women are genuinely strong and not closet doormats. I am a huge fan. In terms of sheer quality Banquet of Lies was no different from her other works.

Banquet of Lies is about Giselle Barrington, who escapes Sweden after she sees her father murdered for an important diplomatic document. What the murderer did not know was that her father had entrusted the letter to Gig
Jenny Schwartz
Aug 25, 2013 Jenny Schwartz rated it it was amazing
I think I said it when I was talking about Michelle Diener's The Emperor's Conspiracy. She is a modern Georgette Heyer. "Banquet of Lies" just confirms it. Yes, there is more social consciousness than Heyer overtly showed, but that just makes things more interesting. And "Banquet of Lies" is plenty interesting. Enthralling.

The plot is tight, fast and yet the characters and setting are fully developed. The dialogue rings true. The food -- oh yum. Don't read this book if you're hungry. I had to st
Olga Godim
Dec 17, 2013 Olga Godim rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
I loved this novel – the characters, the tightly woven plot, the tension thrumming in the air, and the fast pacing. A historical thriller, set in 1812, the book also includes a romantic element.
In the beginning of the story, twenty-one-year-old Gigi, the only daughter of a famous British folklorist, is at a society ball in Stockholm. She witnesses her father’s murder by a traitor and knows the killer would be after her next, hunting for an important political document. Fleeing for her life, she
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Oct 29, 2013 Meg - A Bookish Affair rated it really liked it
"Banquet of Lies" is Michelle Diener's latest release. This historical fiction book follows Giselle, a brave young woman, who is trying to hide from the person who killed her father all while protecting an incredibly important document.

I've read a couple of Ms. Diener's books by now and one thing that I really have enjoyed about her book (and I've liked a lot of things about her books) is the great characters. I really, really liked Gigi. She is one brave lady. She also has a quick wit, which I
Aparajita Mukherjee
Nov 02, 2013 Aparajita Mukherjee rated it it was ok
The plot is interesting, spanning over countries. A man has been killed in Sweden over a politically sensitive document concerning the fates of England, France and Russia. But the murder has been witnessed by the man's daughter, Giselle, who has the document and now the murderer is looking for her. She escapes her pursuer, returns to England and takes shelter at the house of an apparently insignificant Lord Alridge as a French cook. And thus begins the wild goose chase. Well, this book could hav ...more
Oct 25, 2013 Deborah rated it really liked it

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
WHY DID THIS BOOK HAVE TO END? I vote this becomes a series if that isn't already part of the plan. Like now. Can I have the second book please?

Part spy drama, part victorian mystery, part historical romance - Gigi aka Miss Barrington aka Madame Lavéel sees her father murdered during a ball in Stockholm by a traitor searching for the confidential document - that she holds in secret. She's catapulted into hiding, pretending to be a cook in London and trying to find a person she can trust to pass
Apr 27, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it

This was my first encounter with Michelle Diener- and I wish I had known about her sooner! I read this book over the course of a lazy Sunday afternoon; it was the perfect way to spend the day. I am always a fan of historical fiction mysteries and Diener did not disappoint with this book.

Young Giselle Barrington is witness to her father's brutal murder over a political document he gave her for safekeeping. She is forced into hiding with the dual purpose of discovering who her father's killer
Apr 25, 2014 GlobalStorm rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicole Laverdure
Mar 30, 2014 Nicole Laverdure rated it it was amazing
If you are a lover of historical fiction with suspense, then this book will be perfect for you! I really enjoyed BANQUET OF LIES written by one of my favorites authors Michelle Diener. I loved this story filled with intrigues! I loved her heroine Giselle who was posing as a French cook Lord Aldridge’s home. The storyline was very well written and kept my interest until the end. A beautiful book to add to your TBR list!
Wendy Tavenner
Aug 05, 2015 Wendy Tavenner rated it it was amazing
Loved the book. I accidentally read the 3rd book in the series first, then I read this one which is the 2nd in the series. Giselle is in hiding from the person who killed her father. She was able to make it to London and in order to hide she pretends to be a French cook. Lord Aldridge has wanted a French cook so his butler hires her. Aldridge loves her cooking but knows something is up with her. He even thinks she might be a French spy. Giselle is trying to find who her fathers contact is so she ...more
Dec 06, 2014 Erin rated it liked it
Our story opens with Gisele Barrington witnessing the murder of her wealthy father. As she hears her father's killer whisper that he is out to find her, Gisele seeks the assistance of a friend of the family. Disguising herself as a French chef, Gisele takes refuge and a new identity in the home of a wealthy British viscount. Although a lot of what transpires is a little melodramatic and the romance a tad predictable, there is just something about Diener's writing that keeps me flipping the pages ...more
Kim Power
Jul 25, 2015 Kim Power rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Regency Mystery

I have enjoyed three books in this series. The mysteries are good, the characters well drawn, and each hero and heroine is an individual. No cookie cutter stereotypes here. The writing is excellent, the depiction of women's roles in Regency England is good is all the books, but this one looks a bit more closely at the vulnerabilities of servant women. The same characters appear in each book as appropriate, but each can be read as a stand alone story. More please.
French cooking, espionage, and romance: oh my! Banquet of Lies is a highly entertaining adventure through Regency-era London, featuring a young woman in disguise who manages to wreak havoc wherever she goes. With so much happening in this book, there was never a dull moment or boring chapter, and the end result was a fast-moving production of a novel.

Diener’s novel opens in Stockholm, as Gigi inadvertently witnesses her father’s murder. Reeling from shock and grief, she flees to London and goes
I did enjoy the historical and cultural details the author included into this book. The spy trade during this timeframe was fascinating, seeing the different countries jockey for position as seen through the eyes of our characters. Seeing the intimate way in which a big houses (well, semi-big I guess since the main setting was a smaller townhouse) was ran and the small details in the cooking and food were fascinating as well. I enjoyed seeing this view of Regency England come to life, a world hi ...more
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
Jun 01, 2014 Nidah (SleepDreamWrite) rated it really liked it
This one's a 4.5 for me. Also, forgot about one or two characters that were in this but then recalled where I heard their names from and was like, oh!

That's what happens when you read a book then find its a follow up or companion novel, whatever you want to call it, but haven't read that last one in a long time.

Anyway, this author is like one of my new favorite authors, that I've read all her books, or at least the ones available at the library.

You have Giselle "Gigi" Barrington, who after wi
Feb 24, 2014 Darlene rated it it was amazing
Oh let me count the ways in which I enjoy the writing of Michelle Diener. Her newest novel Banquet of Lies was fantastic! I expected no less though after reading The Emperor’s Conspiracy this past year and loving it as well. Michelle has a way of weaving a tale that takes place during a historic time with characters and a thriller type storyline that enthralls the reader.

The year is 1812 and Giselle Barrington up to this point has had a unique and interesting life traveling all over with her fat
Blodeuedd Finland
I finished the book in a day, I just read and read, and then I read some more. I almost did it in one sitting too if I had not had to go grocery shopping.

There is a lightness over the writing that makes the pages fly on by. And then there is the suspense/mystery/drama that just makes it impossible to put it down. Here it's cos the heroine, Giselle is hiding from the man who killed her father and she has important information too. It's a cat and mouse game, and it's thrilling.

If I compare it to t
Stephanie (Bookfever.♥)
Banquet of Lies is a fascinating, amazing book that I ended up devouring with every page. I couldn't stop reading and was so engrossed by it that I have to say this is definitely one of Michelle Diener's best books so far. Is it the best book? I can't pick a favorite with her books so it's impossible to say but it's definitely just as good as The Emperor's Conspiracy and everyone who knows me can tell how much in love I am with that book so Banquet of Lies has also definitely dazzled me.

In Banqu
CoffeeTimeRomance andMore
Oct 19, 2013 CoffeeTimeRomance andMore rated it really liked it
Following her father from country to country has given Giselle Barrington an education unlike any of her peers. Not without a price. Because of her father's work with the Crown, she now carries with her a letter that could result in thousands of deaths, her own included.

Very few people have confounded Lord Aldridge as much as his new cook. She is quite simply the most infuriatingly talented, beautiful and mysterious woman he has ever met.

Getting out of Stockholm and back to London is a feat in i
Amy R
When you decide to read Banquet of Lies by Michelle Diener, make sure you have cleared your calendar because it will consume you. Michelle Diener is one of the best story tellers. She could easily write in any genre and I would be captivated by her stories. Banquet of Lies is a historical fiction/romance but it I was so engrossed in the story I sometimes forgot that they couldn’t pick up the phone and call someone rather than go looking for them. I have not yet read The Emperor’s Conspiracy, but ...more
The Lit Bitch
Oct 24, 2013 The Lit Bitch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel was a very very fast read! It jumped right into the story which was refreshing. I loved that I didn’t have to read a few chapters before things got going, it immediately grabbed my attention and I wanted to know what happened next. The chapters were very direct and to the point….there wasn’t a lot of fluff going on which I also liked. It made things happen fast and the story clip along at a steady pace. I couldn’t believe I read almost the first half in one sitting!

Gigi was also fun a
Nov 01, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it
I have read several books lately where the main character is a chef and there are ample descriptions of foods – enough to make you hungry while reading it. This time we are treated to some fancy French cuisine that made me yearn for the French restaurant we visited on our cruise. Food is one of those things that connect a memory with an experience and it is interesting to see a book partially told through food.

Besides the food, this book has action from the word go. There was intrigue, a touch o
Sep 07, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, arc-copy
In 1812 London Giselle Barrington finds herself going to ground as a chef after the murder of her travelling academic/aristocrat/spy father. Her unusual upbringing means that although she's a society lady, she's also well prepared for a life undercover as she tries to uncover her fathers killer and deliver the important documents left to her by her father into safe hands. The novel is set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars; the war doesn't play a substantial role in the story itself bu ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 20, 2015 11:07AM  
  • A Year of Ravens: A Novel of Boudica's Rebellion
  • The Secret Diary of Lady Catherine Bexley
  • A Royal Likeness
  • Queen of Bedlam
  • By Royal Command
  • The Ripper's Wife
  • A Scandalous Proposal (The Little Season, #2)
  • India Black and the Rajah's Ruby (Madam of Espionage, #0.5)
  • A Dissection of Murder (Dr Dody McCleland, #1)
  • The Gilded Lily
  • The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte
  • Godiva
  • Jack Absolute  (Jack Absolute, #1)
  • Inspector of the Dead (Thomas De Quincey #2)
  • A Future Arrived (Passing Bells, #3)
  • A Day of Fire: A Novel of Pompeii
  • The Turning of Anne Merrick
  • To Live Forever: An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis
Michelle Diener writes historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy. Having worked in publishing and IT, she's now very happy crafting new worlds and interesting characters and wondering which part of the world she can travel to next.

Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa and currently lives in Australia with her husband and two children.

When she's not writing, or driving her kids
More about Michelle Diener...

Other Books in the Series

Regency London (3 books)
  • The Emperor's Conspiracy (Regency London, #1)
  • A Dangerous Madness (Regency London, #3)

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