Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

The Emperor’s Conspiracy

Thursday, February 7, 2019

The Emperor’s Conspiracy (2012) Michelle Diener

Set in England in 1811.

Lord Edward Durnham works for the crown in secret, and has been asked to look into gold being smuggled to France. Edward is also somewhat of an ass.

(W)hy is she staying with Miss Raven and not you?”

Edward laughed. “Apparently I’ll figure it out eventually.”

Dervish gave him a strange look. “Told her you told her so, did you?”

Edward was about to give an indignant denial, and stopped, mouth half open like a fool.

Charlotte Raven has secrets. First and foremost is her history–she was rescued from the streets by the woman who became her guardian, Catherine, Lady Howe. But not only did Lady Howe rescue her, she allowed her to keep parts of her old life.

“Stop that.” Catherine drew her farther away from the dance floor.

“Stop what?”

“That pitying way you have of looking at me, when you think I’m being foolish in protecting you. You deserve the same respect and protection as every other woman here. Never forget that.”

Catherine is marvelous. It does take a bit to accept that she might take in street child, but everything she does and says in the book backs up that one action.

This is not a boinking book, but it also doesn’t shy away from sexuality.

When you had to earn your living like an adult, go to prison like one, too, then you behaved like one in all areas of your life. Even if you were only twelve or thirteen.

Edward is a complete ass to his sister at the start of the book, but it quickly becomes clear he is just unthinking, and will recognize when he screws up.

“You are right. What I said is inexcusable. I should have more control over my temper and I apologize.”

Aside from the initial surprise at Lady Howe’s willingness to take on a street child, it’s a very good story, and the mystery is built around events that actually happened.

Publisher: Gallery Books
Rating: 8/10

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