From the ashes of war rise the secrets of its darkest hearts…
the wake of the Battle of Waterloo, Paris is a house divided. The
triumphant Bourbons flaunt their victory with lavish parties, while
Bonapartists seek revenge only to be captured and executed. Amid the
turmoil, British attaché and Intelligence Agent Malcolm Rannoch and his
wife, Suzanne, discover that his murdered half-sister, Princess Tatiana
Kirsanova, may have born a child—a secret she took to the grave. And
Malcolm suspects there was more than mere impropriety behind her
As Malcolm and Suzanne begin searching for answers, they
learn that the child was just one of many secrets Tatiana had been
keeping. The princess was the toast of Paris when she arrived in the
glamorous city, flirting her way into the arms of more than a few
men—perhaps even those of Napoleon himself—and the father must be among
them. But in the melee of the Napoleonic Wars, she was caught up in a
deadly game, and now Malcolm and Suzanne must race against time to save
the child from a similar fate…
“Unravel the secrets and lies at the heart of an almost impenetrable mystery…thrilling!” --New York Times
bestselling author, Deanna Raybourn
and turns galore, swashbuckling adventure and suspense throughout..for
readers in search of smart historical mysteries.” –Tasha Alexander
loved this book! No one else can combine page-turning suspense,
fascinating mystery, a palpable sense of time and place, with such
unforgettable and masterfully-drawn characters. Superb!” --Deborah
Crombie, New York Time
s bestselling author
1. Compare and contrast the marriages of Suzanne and Malcolm,
Cordelia and Harry, Rupert and Gabrielle, Paul and
Juliette. How do secrets affect each marriage?
2. How does the solution to the mystery of Tatiana’s child parallel
the issues in post-Waterloo France?
3. Discuss the different ways in which issues of inheritance
drive various characters in the book.
4. Did you guess who was behind Antoine Rivère’s death? Why
or why not?
5. How are Malcolm and Suzanne similar to a modern couple
struggling to balance family and the demands of careers?
6. Which new characters in this book do you think might play
roles later on in the series?
7. How do you think Malcolm and Suzanne’s relationship will
change if they move to Britain?
8. What did Suzanne gain in giving up her work as a French
spy? What did she lose? Without that work, is she more or
9. How do you think Paul and Juliette and the Lacloses will resolve
the question of Pierre’s inheritance?
10. What do you think lies ahead for Rupert, Bertrand, and
11. How do the events of the book change Malcolm, Suzanne,
Harry, Cordelia, Wilhelmine, and Dorothée? How do the relationships
among them change?
12. What do you think Gui will do after the close of the story?
13. How has the outcome of the battle of Waterloo shaped the
choices faced by the various characters?
14. Discuss how both Talleyrand and Raoul O’Roarke have influenced
Malcolm in the absence of a strong relationship
with his own father.
15. Suzanne says, “Sometimes honesty can make things worse.”
Malcolm replies, “Than living a lie? Difficult to imagine.”
Would their situation improve if Suzanne told Malcolm the
truth? Or would it make it impossible for them to go on living