The Masque of the Black Tulip (Pink Carnation, #2)
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The Masque of the Black Tulip (Pink Carnation #2)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  7,743 ratings  ·  546 reviews
Harvard grad student Eloise Kelly achieved the academic coup of the century when she unmasked the spy who saved England from Napoleon. But now she has a million questions about the Pink Carnation's deadly French nemesis, the Black Tulip. And she's pretty sure that her handsome on-again, off-again crush, Colin Selwick, has the answers somewhere in his archives. But what she...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by NAL Trade (first published December 1st 2005)
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The Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoThe Alienist by Caleb CarrThe Historian by Elizabeth KostovaThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Best Historical Mystery
97th out of 967 books — 2,374 voters
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellThe Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Best Historical Fiction
435th out of 4,142 books — 17,568 voters

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Community Reviews

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Litchick (is stuck in the 19th century)
If you’ve never read a Historical Fiction/Romance revolving around espionage here's what you can expect:

• A heroine that stands above her peers. She’s schmart you see. She’s spechul. All the other debutantes are shallow, vapid young girls more concerned with title chasing and ribbons than the state of the nation. If you’re really lucky the heroine will have a few friends or a sister or two that are also spechul and you won’t be subjected to three hundred pages of the heroine’s lady boner for mis...more
My thoughts:

“With arrow slits,” I said wistfully. Arrow slits always conjure up images of Technicolor extravaganzas with Errol Flynn manning the battlements, and a fighting friar swigging ale somewhere in the background.

I read this just after I had read book one in the series. Book two turned out to be just as good if not better. I really fell for Miles and Henrietta as friends and as a romantic couple. There's something about two people who fall in love that have known each other most of their...more
Lisa Kay

★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Kate Reading narrates the audiobook perfectly! I can’t believe this one is even better than the first in the Pink Carnation series.

It’s not easy to pull off a “time warp” book, running two timelines in parallel, but Ms. Willig does it with aplomb. Not only that, but this novel is really two genres: historical romantic suspense (with a ton of humor), and a contemporary chick-lit romance. It is witty and clever and sophisticated. So much so, I had to get...more
OK, you've heard of the Scarlet Pimpernel and all that mess in France, right? Well, the Pink Carnation picks up where the Pimpernel stopped (due to the discovery of his identity). At the same time in the story, but taking place in the present there is a grad student finding decedents of the Pink Carnation with letters from and about that time in history.

If the story plot sounds complicated, it really isn't. While it jumps around, pulling you from character to character, making you wonder who mig...more
Another excellent book from the author of "The Secret History of the Pink Carnation". I loved being sucked back into the world of flower-named spies. The book had romance, mystery, plenty of wit, and even a high-speed carriage chase! I also enjoy the interludes with Eloise, the modern-day historian, doing research into these fascinating characters... but I wish she and Colin's thing would move juuuust a bit faster.
Diana H.
In my eyes, this is a mystery through and through. I think some readers would classify this as chic-lit because much of the story is written from a female point of view. I guess an argument could even be made for calling this a romance.
However, whatever genre you choose to put this book in, you need to read it!!!
As usual, I never did figure out who the French spy was until the author “spoon-fed” me the name. Willig tells a story so well that I had four different suspects right up to the end.
Keilani Ludlow
Specific to this book - I found the heroine much more enjoyable in this book than in the last. Her personality and character fit the story better to my personal point of view. Lovely book.

Since I will say nearly the same thing for every book in this series - this part will be the same in all of them. Fun regency mystery/romance. I’m not really much of a mystery reader, but these are more of an intrigue than a mystery and tied up with the regency style, they are delightful.

The author bounces us b...more
I listened to the audiobook, which kept me constantly amazed at the narrator's ability to switch between English and American accents and sound totally natural either way. I'm a sucker for the Dashing Hero's Steadfast Best Friend, whether it's B.J. from M*A*S*H or Ron from Harry Potter, so a book about Miles Dorrington, the steadfast best friend from The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, was more interesting to me than the first installment.

This is not Possession by A.S. Byatt. (I couldn't g...more
Second in the Pink Carnation series. I liked it. Maybe not quite as much as the first but close. I would have liked to see more of Eloise and Colin but I guess I'll have to continue the series to see how they do. This one is the romance between Lady Henrietta and Miles Dorrington. A friends to lovers theme, they have known each other since they were children. Miles was called upon to watch out for Henrietta and keep her out of trouble. Meanwhile, a french spy is loose in London and Miles is task...more
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
I will get the next book & most likely all (10) in the series. I enjoyed the writing & the characters. The mystery is well done. The humor is well placed.
I enjoyed this book quite a bit more than the first book in the series, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation.

I was a bit disappointed in the obviousness of the Black Tulip's secret identity. From the moment the character first came onto the scene I knew who they were. Finding out the motives behind the character that was not the Black Tulip was more intriguing then the unmasking of the spy.

I adored Miles and Henrietta. In the greater scheme of the Pink Carnation universe, they are the sidek...more
So, this was ridiculous. In a good way.

Probably really 3.5 stars, but I'm rounding up.

I really enjoyed Miles and Henrietta's banter. It was generally hysterical. I will say, I definitely enjoyed the first half of the book mroe than the second though.

All of the literary illusions were tremendous fun.

I'm really ridiculously invested in Eloise and Colin at this point as well.

However, (view spoiler)...more
Sandy Vaughan
Raise you hand if you liked the tripping back and forth in time with The Secret History of the Pink Carnation? OK, so I can only see two hands (my own and DH's), but they are waving enthusiastically!

What? You didn't?

OK, but you have heard of the Scarlet Pimpernel and all that mess in France, right?

Well, the Pink Carnation took up where the Pimpernel stopped (due to the discovery of his identity).

In the present there is a grad student (the present) finding decedents of the Pink Carnation with...more
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...more
Things to love about this novel? In chapter one, it picks up with the tale of its modern-day research, Eloise Kelly, who is off to the country with the dishy Colin Selwick for a look at his archives. (Insert eyebrow waggle here.) The Black Tulip also picks up with the lives of some of the characters introduced as secondary in the first book in the series, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. Amy and Richard, the main couple in the historical portion of the first novel, are seen and heard fr...more
The dilemma - I requested the 1st 2 books of this series from the library (in case I liked it and wanted to keep reading), read #1 and wasn't impressed but here was #2 looking at me. Having nothing else better to read at the moment... I read it... I suppose a literary version of: "I wanted a few potato chips and had enough but it seemed a waste to toss away the remainder"... okay, maybe that's just me.

I didn't think it possible for this books to be even less believable than #1 but it was. Odd th...more
I enjoyed this one more than the first book in the series, probably because it was being read to me and the narrator's lovely British accent felt so soothing yet droll in all the right places.

But I also liked Miles & Henrietta much more than Richard & Amy. Miles because he is a gruff dude who spends much of the book in a state of crankiness and/or bewilderment, and Henrietta because while she is flighty, she still seems somewhat sensible. Overall, less eyerolling and ridiculous leaps of...more
A thousand times better than The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, this book was written with better characters, characters I actually liked (I did not like Amy in Pink Carnation and I'm not a huge fan of Eloise), and better dialogue. Henrietta was a much more sensible character than Amy and even when she was doing something ridiculous (like hiding in the bushes with her friends while trying to spy on Miles and the marquise), she still had more brains than Amy. I also got a kick out of Turni...more
Christy B
Loved, loved, loved this book much more than the first installment The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. The Masque Of the Black Tulip was full of characters that did not irk me. I already loved Henrietta and Miles from the first book, along with the modern day heroine Eloise, but I even loved the smaller characters like Geoff and even Turnip; he was hilarious.

Some of the romantic bits made me want to gag, but there wasn't really a whole lot of them. This book was full of mystery that had m...more
Mais um livro que apareceu numa recomendação do BookDepository. Gostei da capa, gostei da sinopse, e resolvi arriscar.
Quando o comecei a ler percebi que é o seguimento de um outro, mas lê-se sem necessitar dele, e não consegui esperar.
Adorei! Aventura, mistério, espionagem, amor, e gargalhadas à mistura, tudo num estilo muito inteligente e divertido de escrever.

Another book featured in Book Depository. The beautiful cover and the synopses were enough to make me buy it. Realized in the meantime...more
Excellent read! Love that Eloise becomes a more prominent figure in this more love story to unfold! I just knew the BT would escape, I mean What was Miles THINKING?? REALLY!! But I feel kinda disappointed in the explanation of why the character that was unveiled as the Black Tulip became such...and doesn't it make the pink carnation more catch-able, if ya know what I mean?? Love the historical references to Henry Tudor and King Richard because of the books I just finished about them!...more
The historical parts of these books are so much fun. This one in particular had some great funny/silly/witty dialogue. I'm a fan of the "brother's best friend" trope because it believably creates conflict with the hero and heroine getting together without having them snipe at each other all the time. Miles and Henrietta are an appealing couple of ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances, while slowly coming to the realization that despite having known each other for practically thei...more
Susan (susayq ~)
I absolutely loved this! This picked up right where the first book in the series left off with Collin and Eloise; and while the identity of the Pink Carnation was known, this book focused on the Carnations French rival the Black Tulip and how Henrietta and Miles helped the Pink Carnation (and ended up together). There were several places I laughed so hard I had years in my eyes...when Henrietta and Miles finally caught the Black Tulip it read like a comedy of errors :)

I can't wait to read the n...more
2nd installment in the Pink Carnation series, which follows Eloise Kelly, a Harvard graduate student on a research year in London trying to find out more about the league of English spies in Regency England. The historical plot of this novel follows the story Richard's younger sister Henrietta and his best friend Miles as they undertake to unearth a French spy in London. Little known to both of them, this French spy is also actively trying to garner information from them.

Their story is fun, qui...more
This is the second book in the Pink Carnation series. I didn't like it as much as I liked the first book, although I see by reviews that most people liked it better. It took me longer to read this book than most books- a sure sign that it wasn't a favorite. That's not to say that it isn't a good book. The genre is historical romance, not really my genre. And it was easy to realize who the Black Tulip was as soon as the person was introduced so no surprise there.

This book continues the story of s...more
Adorable! Honestly reminded me of the second book in a lot of Nora Roberts trilogies, where the couple isn't necessarily the "power couple" of the first book and often includes somebody's sibling or best friend or whatever. But those always end up being my favorites, and Miles/Henrietta were no exception. I was kind of annoyed with Richard, and I felt like the end was a little messy plot-wise, but those are minor quibbles.

I'm gonna need for Colin and Eloise to make out soon, though.
It turns out this was the second book in Willig's series, but it stands perfectly well by itself. I found it entertaining, humorous and romantic and thoroughly enjoyed it. Most of the novel is set in 1803 during the Regency and French Revolution and has a very "Scarlet Pimpernel" quality to it. The other 20% is set in modern times and is the Story of Eloise, an American history scholar (as in a history scholar who is American, rather than a scholar of American history) who now lives in the UK, w...more
It was okay; certainly nothing I will devote precious real estate on my bookshelves to keeping against a future rereading.

I picked up the first five books in the series at a used book store and have not been sufficiently put-off as to leave the remaining volumes unread. (Such a move is unheard of for me -- to invest so much into a series without any prior recommendations, but the selections for historical fiction were slum pickings that day.) I liked the main characters (Henrietta and Miles) in...more
Enjoyed this regency book. The whole thing was light hearted and left me with a happy feeling after I finished. I didn't think the solving of who the spy was was as in depth as it could have been. Henrietta and Miles were just not all that good as spies or as spy catchers. That is what kept the novel from rating higher. I wasn't 100 percent fond of the two time lines either. I think the modern time line which seems to be there to carry the story from book to book is unnecessary.

The narrator on...more

I had liked the 1st book in this series but got
sidetracked and didn't read the 2nd until a good friend recommended it. The Napoleonic Wars, England, all the historical background combined with wonderful, likeable characters and the mystery and romance elements - loved
the novel.
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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 befor...more
More about Lauren Willig...
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (Pink Carnation, #1) The Deception of the Emerald Ring (Pink Carnation, #3) The Seduction of the Crimson Rose (Pink Carnation, #4) The Temptation of the Night Jasmine (Pink Carnation, #5) The Betrayal of the Blood Lily (Pink Carnation, #6)

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“Patience is only a virtue when there is something worth waiting for.” 133 likes
“Miles was still mourning the loss of his Romantic Plan. 'There was going to be champagne, and oysters, and you' -- he held out both hands as though shifting a piece of furniture -- 'were going to be sitting there, and I was going to get down on one knee, and...and...” 12 likes
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