Title: Ivy and Intrigue–A Very Selwick Christmas
Author: Lauren Willig
Genre: fiction, chick lit
Length: 106 pages
Source: personal collection
Challenges/Resolutions: Personal Collection Resolution 2012
Reason for Reading: Willig self-published this novella, which supposedly takes place after the first book of the Pink Carnation series. But, because of character marriages–there is basically a marriage per book–I can tell you that it actually happens after the second book, The Masque of the Black Tulip. I read it because it is part of a series I love, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Summary (I’m writing this myself and I’ve never been good at summarizing without spoiling, so I apologize in advance):
It’s Christmas at Uppington Hall, historic seat of the Marquess of Uppington, aka Richard Selwick’s mother. Amy and Richard are newlyweds and still learning about one another. Richard feels Amy wishes she’d had more than a few months of espionage experience in France prior to their marriage–and he’s right. But as soon as he offers to let Amy go across the Channel by herself to live the life of a spy, she changes her mind. She’d rather be with him, not spying, than to be away from him, spying. On the side, Richard’s first love, Dierdre, is at Uppington with her mother for the Christmas festivities. Both Amy and Richard are uncomfortable with Dierdre there, but it just so happens they would not have found out she was in league with French spies.
My Thoughts: I liked this book, which was essentially a shorter version of a regular Pink Carnation novel. The quality of the book was not the best, as it was self-published–there were probably ten missing words throughout the book. But I don’t think that detracted from the quality of the story. There was less excitement in the historic parts of the book because it was so short and there wasn’t really a whole lot of gallivanting around, hunting down foreign spies. Similarly, there was less depth to the story because of its quick pace. These two things are the reason I gave it a 4/5 instead of a 5/5–probably a little harsh, since I compared it to a full length novel. But, on the other hand, I don’t think I would’ve found it all that interesting if I’d not read any of the Pink Carnation books.