The Abyssinian Proof – Jenny White
The Ottoman Empire is plagued by thefts of antiquities from mosques and churches that, within days, appear for sale in Europe. Among them is a reliquary, presumed lost for four hundred years and around which an elaborate and mysterious sect has grown.
In Istanbul, magistrate Kamil Pasha is under pressure to break the smuggling ring amid rising tensions between Christians and Muslims. He confronts a mysterious adversary who will stop at nothing to get the reliquary first. With the Balkans aflame and Kamil’s personal life in upheaval, the search into the old neighbourhoods where Istanbul’s crime rings reside may cost Kamil not only his position but also his life.
The Secrets of Jin-shei – Alma Alexander
A sweeping epic set in medieval China; it is the story of a group of women, the Jin-Shei sisterhood, who form a uniquely powerful circle that transcends class and social custom.
They are bound together by a declaration of loyalty that transcends all other vows, even those with the gods, by their own secret language, passed from mother to daughter, by the knowledge that some of them will have to pay the ultimate sacrifice to enable others to fulfil their destiny.
The sisterhood we meet run from the Emperor’s sister to the street-beggar, from the trainee warrior in the Emperor’s Guard to the apprentice healer, from the artist to the traveller-girl, herself an illegitimate daughter of an emperor and seen as a threat to the throne. And as one of them becomes Dragon Empress, her determination to hold power against the sages of the temple, against the marauding forces from other kingdoms, drags the sisterhood into a dangerous world of court intrigue, plot and counterplot, and brings them into conflict with each other from which only the one who remains true to all the vows she made at the very beginning to the dying Princess Empress can rescue them.
The Trader’s Wife – Anna Jacobs
Singapore in the 1860s is exotic and yet terrifying for a penniless Englishwoman, alone and vulnerable after her mother’s death. Too pretty to obtain a governess’s job, Isabella Saunders accepts an offer from a Singapore merchant to teach him English and live with his family.
Two years later Bram Deagan arrives in Singapore, determined to make his fortune as a trader. Mr Lee sees a way to expand his business connections and persuades Isabella to marry Bram.
Bravely, she sets sail for a new land and life. But the past casts a long shadow and together they face unexpected dangers. Will they find a way to achieve their dreams of a successful trading business?
The Orchid Affair – Lauren Willig
Laura Grey, a veteran governess, joins the Selwick Spy School expecting to find elaborate disguises and thrilling exploits in service to the spy known as the Pink Carnation. She hardly expects her first assignment to be serving as governess for the children of Andre Jaouen, right-hand man to Bonaparte’s minister of police. Jaouen and his arch rival, Gaston Delaroche, are investigating a suspected Royalist plot to unseat Bonaparte, and Laura’s mission is to report any suspicious findings.
At first, the job is as lively as Latin textbooks and knitting, but Laura begins to notice strange behaviour from Jaouen – secret meetings and odd comings and goings. As Laura edges herself closer to her employer, she makes a shocking discovery and is surprised to learn that she has far more in common with Jaouen than she originally thought…
As their plots begin to unravel, Laura and Jaouen are forced on the run with the children, and with the help of the Pink Carnation, they escape to the countryside, travelling as husband and wife. But Delaroche will stop at nothing to take down his nemesis. With his men hot on their trail, can Laura and Jaouen seal the fate of Europe before it’s too late?
The Passion of the Purple Plumeria – Lauren Willig
Colonel William Reid has returned home from India to retire near his children, who are safely stowed in an academy in Bath. Upon his return to the Isles, however, he finds that one of his daughters has vanished, along with one of her classmates.
Having served as second-in-command to the Pink Carnation, one of England’s most intrepid spies, it would be impossible for Gwendolyn Meadows to give up the intrigue of Paris for a quiet life in the English countryside—especially when she’s just overheard news of an alliance forming between Napoleon and an Ottoman Sultan. But, when the Pink Carnation’s little sister goes missing from her English boarding school, Gwen reluctantly returns home to investigate the girl’s disappearance.
Thrown together by circumstance, Gwen and William must cooperate to track down the young ladies before others with nefarious intent get their hands on them. But Gwen’s partnership with quick-tongued, roguish William may prove to be even more of an adventure for her than finding the lost girls…
A Crimson Warning – Tasha Alexander
Secrets prove deadly in this new novel from Tasha Alexander featuring Lady Emily Hargreaves. Some very prominent people in London are waking up to find their doorsteps smeared with red paint, the precursor to the revelation of a dark secret – and worse – by someone who enjoys destroying lives.
Newly returned to her home in Mayfair, Lady Emily Hargreaves is looking forward to enjoying the delights of the season. The delights, that is, as defined by her own eccentricities—reading The Aeneid, waltzing with her dashing husband, and joining the Women’s Liberal Federation in the early stages of its campaign to win the vote for women.
But an audacious vandal disturbs the peace in the capital city, splashing red paint on the neat edifices of the homes of London’s elite. This mark, impossible to hide, presages the revelation of scandalous secrets, driving the hapless victims into disgrace, despair and even death.
Soon, all of London high society is living in fear of learning who will be the next target, and Lady Emily and her husband, Colin, favorite agent of the crown, must uncover the identity and reveal the motives of the twisted mind behind it all before another innocent life is lost.
Vienna Waltz – Tracy Grant, Teresa Grant
Nothing is fair in love and war. . .
Europe’s elite have gathered at the glittering Congress of Vienna–princes, ambassadors, the Russian tsar – all negotiating the fate of the continent by day and pursuing pleasure by night. Until Princess Tatiana, the most beautiful and talked about woman in Vienna is found murdered during an ill-timed rendezvous with three of her most powerful conquests. . .
Suzanne Rannoch has tried to ignore rumours that her new husband, Malcolm, has also been tempted by Tatiana. As a protégé of France’s Prince Talleyrand and attaché for Britain’s Lord Castlereagh, Malcolm sets out to investigate the murder and must enlist Suzanne’s special skills and knowledge if he is to succeed. As a complex dance between husband and wife in the search for the truth ensues, no one’s secrets are safe, and the future of Europe may hang in the balance. . .