Book Review : Mademoiselle At Arms
A Georgian Romance
By Elizabeth Bailey
Threatened with a pistol by the young lady discovered in a deserted mansion, Major Gerald Alderley is instantly intrigued. Who is the beautiful intruder? And why does she disguise herself as a nun? What circumstance has thrust her into an enterprise both foolhardy and dangerous? The girl’s French accent places her with the émigrés from across the channel, except that Mademoiselle insists she is English.
Set on unravelling the mystery, Gerald begins a relentless pursuit, hunting down every possible clue – much to the indignation of Mademoiselle. When her life proves to be in danger from the villainous émigré Valade, Gerald has his work cut out. For Mademoiselle Melusine, engaged in a desperate battle to prove her true identity, believes she is well able to take care of herself and is determined not to be rescued. (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
I don’t usually think of a Georgian romance as being fast paced, but the running pace of Mademoiselle At Arms left me breathless. I think I would have enjoyed a few more romantic descriptions of clothes, landscapes and conversations during dances (in the style of Jane Austen). Grounding the novel during the French nobility’s escape from Madame Guillotine worked well for the confusion and possibilities of subterfuge essential to the plot.
Mademoiselle Melusine is spunky, exasperating, strong-willed and resourceful. I particularly like Major Gerald Alderley because he is intrigued and mystified by Melusine’s behavior rather than throwing her in jail. I wonder if I would be friends with Melusine if she popped into my house. If so she would be the zanniest. Listening to her miscommunicate, and say things she didn’t really mean was funny in a book, but would get annoying in real life. Emigré Valade epitomizes the ideal villain. He cloaks his background mystique, he is ruthless and cunning.
I enjoyed Mademoiselle At Arms for a light read. It was clean and would be appropriate for anyone who likes historical fiction. It will mostly be enjoyed by girls.
3.5 out of 5 stars
- the Mother
If you liked this one try Moonraker’s Bride by Madeline Brent (an old one, but so fun), Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Fitzwilliam Darcy Gentleman, An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan and as an author to investigate look at Victoria Holt.