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Trouble befalls Lord John Grey (fresh from minor roles in Gabaldon's bestselling Outlander novels) when he accidentally discovers that the Hon. Joseph Trevelyan, his cousin's betrothed, may have what those in 1757 termed "the pox" or "the French disease" syphilis. Before he can figure out an appropriate way to handle this delicate matter, he becomes involved in the investigation of the mysterious and grisly murder of a military colleague suspected of being a spy. Gabaldon (The Fiery Cross; Drums of Autumn; etc.) stitches these two plots together into a compelling narrative that also offers a wealth of juicy details about 18th-century London, especially its homosexual underbelly. Lord John, who reminisces about his dead lover, Hector, and the "lean, hard body" of an old flame, learns that Trevelyan may be traveling from one house of ill repute to another of a different sort: at the Lavender House, both buyers and sellers are men. Among his various trials and tribulations, Lord John must discern the identity of a mysterious figure in a green velvet dress spotted in both of these establishments and investigate the mysterious death of a similarly attired man, found with his face bashed in. Grey is a competent and likable sleuth, and Gabaldon's prose is crisply elegant. Her many fans will be happy to learn that this is the first in a series about the travails of Lord John Grey.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
After accidentally observing a spot on Joseph Trevelyan's "privy member," Major Lord John Grey finds himself in a devilishly difficult position because Trevelyan is about to marry Grey's cousin, who has no idea her fiance is infected with the pox. As he searches for a discreet way to confirm his suspicions, Grey is dragged into a different kind of investigation. British Army requisition papers have vanished in Calais, and Grey must find out if there is some connection between their disappearance and the recent murder of a possible spy Sergeant Timothy O'Connell. Grey, who has a secret of his own to protect, begins an investigation into O'Connell's death, which, interestingly enough, leads to Trevelyan and a mysterious woman in green velvet whose identity may provide answers to all of Grey's questions. New York Times best-seller Gabaldon promotes Grey, a popular secondary character in her Outlander series, to a starring role in this thoroughly entertaining and wonderfully witty historical mystery set in the richly detailed, occasionally bawdy world of Georgian England. John Charles
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Love the story love the book Diana Gabaldon is my favorite author and she as done justice to this book as to all that we writes. Great price, great service. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Annie
What a disappointment.
I am a huge fan of the original series and found this book to be a waste of time and money. Read more
A long-time fan of Gabaldon, I pre-ordered the book before it was available on-line. What I got for my money (and much was spent) was a very different book from what I was... Read morePublished on May 25 2004 by "morguene"
Having enjoyed Ms. Gabaldon's other novels I found this one to be lacking in character and plot. Granted, the novel is extremely interesting in the historical sense, but it looses... Read morePublished on Feb. 26 2004 by Book Smart
I was a little leery of this Gabaldon offering, having been so thoroughly bored by The Fiery Cross, but she does know what a plot is, after all. Read morePublished on Nov. 10 2003
I enjoyed Lord John's character in this novel much more than in the Outlander series. I finally see him growing up from the terrorized teenager found in the woods during Cullodeen. Read morePublished on Nov. 10 2003 by Amazon Customer