Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Comments on The Cocoa Conspiracy by Andrea Penrose

The Cocoa Conspiracy is the second installment in the Regency historical series featuring Lady Arianna and Saybrook. It's author Andrea Penrose writes these mysteries in the grand old tradition of cozy mysteries, but set in Regency England.

The central interest binding the two protagonists, Lady Arianna, Countess of Saybrook and the Earl of Saybrook is a deep-abiding interest in chocolate, in its medicinal and culinary properties, its biology, and its various edible forms. The stories include many recipes of baked goodness. Andrea has a brief history of chocolate on her website. For a more in-depth look at the history of chocolate, visit Chicago's Field Museum site.

I enjoyed reading Andrea's debut book Sweet Revenge, so I've looked forward to the release of The Cocoa Conspiracy. And it did not disappoint. The book launches right away into the storylines that have far-reaching effect into the Congress of Vienna in 1814 organized to parcel out Europe in the wake of Napoleon's exile to Elba. Leading from British diplomatic circles, the conspiracy whirls around French, Russian, German, and Austrian diplomats in layers of intrigue. Andrea has the writing chops to put the reader right in that maelstorm of emotions and skullduggery. Swashbuckling action and the changing relationship of the protagonists adds a fun dimension to an otherwise serious story.

Click HERE is read an excerpt of The Cocoa Conspiracy.

[Disclosure: I was sent a print copy of the book by a senior editor at New American Library, Penguin.]