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The Masque of the Black Tulip

(Pink Carnation #2)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  10,320 ratings  ·  665 reviews
Modern-day graduate student Eloise achieved the academic coup of the century when she unmasked one of history's greatest spies, the Pink Carnation, who saved England from Napoleon. But now she has a million questions about the 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 answer ...more
Paperback, US / CAN Edition, 453 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by NAL (first published December 1st 2005)
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Hannah Givens Most of them feature supporting characters you're meant to recognize from previous books, but the plots themselves generally stand alone, so you…moreMost of them feature supporting characters you're meant to recognize from previous books, but the plots themselves generally stand alone, so you should be able to jump in anywhere. (less)

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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,320 ratings  ·  665 reviews

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Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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
A colorful cast of characters is the highlight of this historical drama with doses of comedy typically tied into romance.

Great voice acting by Kate Reading.

Jan 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
A rollicking yarn, well told. Willig's writing is a cut above many HR authors, but for me this is only a two-star read for two reasons -
1) Lauren Willig adopts the same approach to each of the "Pink Carnation" books: there are two stories - the "main" (historical) one, and a modern one where Eloise researches the historical story and slowly develops a relationship with Colin (a descendant of the historical characters). This approach really doesn't do it for me: every time I get caught up in the
Aug 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Keilani Ludlow
Jun 28, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Oct 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, romance
It was probably a good four years after reading 'the Secret History of the Pink Carnation' that I ordered this book. Uni and life got in the way of my reading, unless it was a set text for a literacy unit. When I finally got back to picking whatever I wanted to read, I got back I to this series. Remembering that I didn't think it was the best writing I had ever read, I also remembered having an absolute blast with the story and the characters. Nothing changed with this one. The characters are fu ...more
Jan 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
well, there was no bodice ripping (though there was shift ripping =])!

I liked that Ms. Willig had a parallel story line going on with the researcher and her subject- though she's now sucked me into reading the next novel to see what happens with the researcher and her potential love interest...

It was fun, a nice flouncy romp (if those can be flouncy) through regency England and it's nest of spies and potential, those spied upon.
Jan 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
10/25/2014--just finished a re-read in keeping with the Pink for All Seasons challenge in honor of book 12 coming out August 2015. I thoroughly enjoyed this, and had forgotten what an adorable and likable couple Miles & Henrietta are! I actually changed the rating from 4 stars to 5 because it was so delightful. I am looking forward to next month's read of book 3... :D
 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.
Lynn Spencer
I liked The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, but I absolutely loved reading this installment in the series! I've been rereading the first few Pink Carnation books before I go on to finish the series, and while I remembered that this one had been a favorite, I'd forgotten just how charming it was. I enjoy the slowly unfolding tale of Eloise and Colin, but in this installment, the historical tale just sparkles.

Henrietta has known her brother's friend Miles forever. And now, in the midst of al
Beth Levitt
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This series is a magnificent romp - historical intrigue meets current day academics with a frisson of romance.
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
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
Sandy Vaughan
Jul 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: listened
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
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
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)
Jan 29, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Jacqueline J
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
Mar 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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
Jan 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
There was a lot going on in this book & I loved it! Like the first book, I wanted more of the present day storyline, but I really can't wait to see where this storyline goes next.

This book took me a lot longer yo read but I think it's because there was a lot going on &. Because the romance took forever to happen. That being said I did love Hen & Miles.

I think one of my favorite secondary characters was the oblivious Turnip Fitzhough. I hope there's more of him in other books becaus
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
Jul 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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Lauren Willig is the New York Times bestselling author of nineteen 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 History at Harvard before leavin ...more

Other books in the series

Pink Carnation (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • 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)
  • The Mischief of the Mistletoe (Pink Carnation, #7)
  • The Orchid Affair (Pink Carnation, #8)
  • The Garden Intrigue (Pink Carnation, #9)
  • The Passion of the Purple Plumeria (Pink Carnation, #10)
  • The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla (Pink Carnation, #11)
“Patience is only a virtue when there is something worth waiting for.” 162 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...” 16 likes
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