Friday, August 1, 2014

Blog Tour Book Review: The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla

The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla (Pink Carnation, #11)Author: Lauren Willig
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: NAL Trade
Series: Pink Carnation # 11

In the latest Pink Carnation novel from national bestselling author Lauren Willig, rumors spreading among the ton turn deadly as a young couple unites to solve a mystery....

In October of 1806, the Little Season is in full swing, and Sally Fitzhugh has had enough of the endless parties and balls. With a rampant vampire craze sparked by the novel The Convent of Orsino, it seems no one can speak of anything else. But when Sally hears a rumor that the reclusive Duke of Belliston is an actual vampire, she cannot resist the challenge of proving such nonsense false. At a ball in Belliston Square, she ventures across the gardens and encounters the mysterious Duke.

Lucien, Duke of Belliston, is well versed in the trouble gossip can bring. He’s returned home to dispel the rumors of scandal surrounding his parents’ deaths, which hint at everything from treason to dark sorcery. While he searches for the truth, he welcomes his fearsome reputation—until a woman is found dead in Richmond. Her blood drained from her throat.

Lucien and Sally join forces to stop the so-called vampire from killing again. Someone managed to get away with killing the last Duke of Belliston. But they won’t kill this duke—not if Sally has anything to say about it.

For all the rumors, up close, there was nothing the least bit incorporeal about the duke.

What manner of a man cloistered himself away from the world in a garden such as this?

In the hollow between the lace ruffle of her dress and the dark fall of her hair, the woman’s skin was a clear, pale white. Aside from the two red marks of her throat.

I have only been following this series for the past few years and this is only the third one that I have read. They are each, so far, just as intriguing as the last and the best part is that they all offer a little humor as well. This story is a little disconnected from the Pink Carnation spy plot that is the norm. In this installment a recent vampire craze is sparked when a book called The Convent of Orsino becomes suddenly popular alerting people to the mythical creature known as vampires. Sally Fitzhugh, our leading lady, is not riding the bandwagon on this latest outbreak. In fact, it is her ultimate mission to prove that Lucien, the Duke of Belliston, is not the vampire that he is rumored to be. After she meets him there is a murder and Lucien becomes the prime suspect. They must work together to prove that he is neither a vampire nor a murderer!

This book is full of humor and there is a little bit on every page. This is the most I have ever laughed at a book in the historical genre in my life. Lauren Willig really is a fantastic author and the best part is that she is able to have fun with her books. When I was first recommended this series that was one of the primary reasons that I decided to pick it up because I was promised that I would have a good laugh. The story just feels cozy and Sally and her two best friends are hoot when they are altogether. Lauren not only gives you plenty to laugh at but she also keeps the pace move quickly as well. There is plenty of action and adventure in this story!

Lauren’s books serve not only as humorous, witty, historical novels but as eerie mysteries as well. This would be a perfect book to read around Halloween because of the sheer spookiness it provides. These stories literally have something for everyone. The mysteries always make me think, nothing is handed to you and it is always fun trying to solve them before the main characters do. I read somewhere that the book that will release next year, The Lure of the Moonflower, will be the last in this series. I feel that Lauren’s writing gets better and better with each book and I do not want to see them end!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at NAL Trade in exchange for my honest review***

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