Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Royal Likeness -Christine Trent

A Royal Likeness
Christine Trent
Kensington, Dec 28 2010, $15.00
ISBN 9780758238580

In 1803 Marguerite Ashby, heiress to the renowned Laurent Fashion Dolls and a former student of the late great wax artist Monsieur Curtius who died years ago, escapes Paris for London. She becomes a renowned London doll maker. However, rabble attacks her shop because of her Franch lineage. Her husband Nicholas dies during the anti-French assault. Marguerite escapes the city for Edinburgh.

Her friend and fellow French expatriate Madame Tussaud hires Marguerite to work with her waxworks exhibit. Tussaud proves an artistic genius but a financial failure at the mercy of her amoral business partner Paul de Philipsthal. When Paul dies, Marguerite opens her own waxworks. Meanwhile the Crown asks for her help with creating decoys just prior to the engagement at Trafalgar.

This is an engaging Napoleonic Era historical though there is some romance as two men (not counting Police of Chief Joseph Fouche) chase after the widow. The story line starts very slow as Christine Trent sets the stage in France , England and Scotland. Once established, the plot accelerates into a fun early nineteenth century tale culminating with an intriguing look at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Harriet Klausner

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