Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
Author Sarah Zettel has picked out an interesting and, I think, under-used era for her witty YA spy thriller set during the reign of the first of the Hanover Georges, when Jacobites still schemed to put a Stuart back on England’s throne. Sixteen year old orphan Peggy Fitzroy has been well educated, but she’s forced to accept a dubious offer of employment from a man claiming to have been a friend of her mother when her uncle throws her out of his house because she refused the odious marriage he arranged.
After a crash course in the complicated manners and politics of the royal court and with a copious application of court makeup to aid her disguise, Peggy is set up to masquerade as Francesca, a lady in waiting to Caroline, Princess of Wales. Her purpose is to gather information, but Peggy is not at all sure who she is working for. Hanover supporters? Jacobites? A criminal intending to blackmail? A royal court wannabe hoping to gain influence? Adding to the intrigue and danger, the Lady Francesca who Peggy is impersonating disappeared from court under mysterious, probably sinister circumstances and is likely dead, possibly murdered.
The idea that Peggy could successfully stand in for Lady Francesca among people who knew her well stretches credibility, but I enjoyed the story’s rich historical setting, lively first person narration, and risky, madcap adventures too much to care about that. The first of a series, I’ll be watching out for the next installment. I received an e-copy of this book from NetGalley; the opinions in this review are mine.