Maria Elmvang's Reviews > The Scarlet Spy

The Scarlet Spy by Andrea Pickens
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's review
Sep 20, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2008, 5-stars, arc, historical-fiction, owned-physical-book
Read in September, 2008 , read count: 1

Sofia feels the loneliness of being the only one of her and her three roommates still staying at Mrs. Merlin's Academy for Select Young Ladies. Why hasn't she received a mission yet? Is she not as qualified as the two others. Sofia is interrupted from these reveries when Lord Lynlsey arrives to the academy, with an assignment more vague, and therefore potentially more dangerous, than any of the others faced.

Disguised as a widowed contessa from Italy, Sofia's task is to infiltrate the Society of Town in order to discover who killed the grandson of Duke Sterling and why... and what other nefarious deeds The Scarlet Knights are guilty of. In order to enter into Society and receive the right invitations, Lord Osborne - a friend of Lord Lynsley who doesn't know about his work for the academy - is asked to take "Contessa Sofia" under his wing and make the proper introductions. However, it doesn't take long for either to realise that there's more to the other than meets the eye, and if Sofia is to survive this mission, she may have to forget that "Merlins always work alone" and trust this man... as well as her feelings for him.

The Scarlet Spy takes the reader back to 18th century England with all the strict rules of the Society of that time, as well as the ever-shadowing threat of Napoleon's advanced towards England and Russia. The atmosphere is consistently depicted and the characters true to their time.

As the third book in the series of the lady spies from Mrs. Merlin's Academy, The Scarlet Spy offers the same tone as the two previous books, and just as eloquently combines the action of a spy novel with the love and intrigue of a regency romance. It is in no way necessary to have any knowledge of the earlier books though, as each one has a different "Merlin" as the main character and references are well explained. While I enjoyed her previous books, there can be no doubt that Andrea Pickens has surpassed herself in The Scarlet Spy. She is now well on her way to becoming the 21st century's Georgette Heyer.
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