Monday, October 12, 2015

Review: Banquet of Lies by Michelle Diener

Description (from cover):

'London, 1812: Giselle Barrington is living a double life, juggling the duties of chef with those of spy catcher. She must identify her father's savage killer before the shadowy man finds her and uncovers the explosive political document her father entrusted to her safekeeping.

Posing as a French cook in the home of Lord Aldridge, Giselle is surrounded by unlikely allies and vicious enemies. In the streets where she once walked freely among polite society, she now hides in plain sight, learning the hard lessons of class distinction and negotiating the delicate balance between servant and master.

Lord Aldridge's insatiable curiosity about his mysterious new chef blurs the line between civic duty and outright desire. Carefully watching Giselle's every move, he undertakes a mission to figure out who she really is--and, in the process, plunges her straight into the heart of danger when her only hope for survival is to remain invisible.'

My thoughts:

Over the years, I have loved reading Michelle Diener's books. They are always filled with intrigue and suspense and always have me on the edge of my seat. This book was no different. Giselle Barrington is in Stockholm with her father when she witnesses his murder. Her father has entrusted her with a very important documents and she is in fear of her life. She flees and returns to England. As she cannot return home, she becomes a chef in the household of Lord Aldridge. Giselle takes up her duties as chef in the Lord's household, but soon finds herself in the heart of danger. There is a strange man who has been following her and she is concerned for her well-being and for her secret to remain safe. Lord Aldridge is very taken with his new chef, but all isn't as it appears to seem. He soon finds himself following Giselle and watching some strange events happening. Who is this new maid of his and why does she keep finding herself in the midst of danger?

I really did like reading this book. I enjoyed the characters and the suspense was enough to keep the pages turning. The only part of this book that I didn't like was the ending. The ending felt a little rushed and all of the build up to the climax just kind of collapsed at the end. I was hoping for a little different ending or at least more of an explanation and have to say that it was a disappointing conclusion to an overall good book. If the ending had been different, I feel that I would have enjoyed this book more than I did. I kind of felt like there were loose ends that weren't tied up and I am not sure if it's because the author plans to continue with the story or just didn't feel like tying up those ends. 

I really hope that other historical fiction readers won't judge the author or her writing skills based on this one book. All of her other books have been utterly phenomenal and this book wasn't bad. I highly encourage lovers of historical fiction to read this author's books as some of them have been considered to be some of my favorites in the genre. While this book didn't live up to Diener's normal standard of books, please do not let this one book determine whether or not you will give this author a chance. 

Overall Rating: 4

Title:  Banquet of Lies
Author:  Michelle Diener
Series:  N/A
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Publication Date:  October 22, 2013
Pages:  352
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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