Kate Parker is my guest today and she is here to tell us about her favorite escape and her new book, The Royal Assassin, that was released July 7.
Thank you, Lori, for asking me to talk about my favorite escape.
I’ve always been a fan of French Impressionist painting, and several years ago I had the opportunity to visit Paris. One of the first places I had to see was the Musee d’Orsay. In a gallery on the top floor was a display of Renoir’s paintings. I walked around a corner and BAM! I saw Dance at The Moulin De La Galette in person for the first time.
To say I was struck by the power of that painting is an understatement. I felt as if at any second, I’d be able to hear the music and the laughter and see these people start to move. All this from paint daubed on a 4 foot by 6 foot canvas.
At that moment, I knew I wanted the words in my stories to come alive like the people in that painting.
Also on display that day was Dance in the Country, the most erotic painting I’ve ever seen despite the fact both characters are fully clothed. From the expression on his face and the positioning of his body, you just know what’s on his mind.
And then there was the painting of Julie Manet. When I first saw it, I thought she didn’t like Renoir, perhaps was even afraid of him, and he captured that in the painting. Later I learned her father had just died and her mother was dying when this portrait was painted. Renoir caught her sadness and fear perfectly.
When I wrote The Royal Assassin, I knew my Russian Princess Kira would be a talented painter with knowledge of French Impressionism and skill in painting in that style. I made painting an important part of her makeup and her desire to paint influences much of what happens in the story. Painting is her passion and her escape.
In that, Princess Kira and I have something in common. The three paintings mentioned above could well have been viewed when she traveled to Paris before the start of The Royal Assassin and are still as powerful today. Unlike me, the princess could have met Renoir and not just admired his legacy.
Berkley wisely used Princess Kira’s talent for painting on the cover of The Royal Assassin. I find it one of the most beautiful book covers I’ve ever seen. Take a look and see if you don’t think so too.
Escape with Princess Kira and the Russians in late Victorian London as an assassin follows their trail, and Georgia, the duke, and the rest of the Archivist Society try to stop the killing. so curl up in your favorite easy chair with The Royal Assassin and raise your cup of tea to the giant talent that was Pierre Auguste Renoir.
Kate Parker is the author of the Victorian Bookshop Mysteries and a lover of all things late Victorian, including French Impressionist art.
The Royal Assassin
(A Victorian Bookshop Mystery)
3rd in Series
Historical Cozy Mystery
Setting – England
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (July 7, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Ilustration by George Long
Cover Design by Teresa Fasolino
Trade Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00OQS4EV8
From the author of The Vanishing Thief and The Counterfeit Lady comes an all-new Victorian mystery featuring antiquarian bookseller Georgia Fenchurch, who doubles as a private investigator for the secret Archivist Society…
When the Duke of Blackford enters her bookstore, Georgia knows the Archivist Society is in need of her services. The Tsar of Russia and his family are visiting Queen Victoria on the auspices of the engagement of the Russian princess Kira to the son of the Queen’s cousin. When Kira’s bodyguard is found dead on a train returning from Scotland, the Queen calls on Blackford to discreetly protect the princess and prevent an international incident.
The Russian royalty refuses help in finding the murderer, suspecting anarchists and demanding every extremist in London be hanged. But that is far from the English way. To get the job done, Georgia must go undercover as Kira’s English secretary. She soon discovers that anarchy isn’t the only motive in the case—and that someone is determined to turn royal wedding bells into a funeral dirge.
The Russians are coming in this 3rd Victorian Bookshop Mystery and the Archivist Society puts Georgia Fenchurch right into the middle of the chaos. Russian Princess Kira is engaged to the Queen’s cousin and she has come to town to spend some time getting to know him better. Or has she? It seems the princess may have another mission in mind. Her bodyguard has been killed and the Queen is worried for her safety. Georgia is placed in the home undercover to protect her and to try and find out who is behind the recent murder. She is also trying to figure out Princess Kira’s real reason for her visit.
Kate Parker does it again. I stayed up late to finish this story because I could not put it down. I absolutely love Georgia. She goes wherever she is asked putting herself in danger time and time again. He relationship with the Duke of Blackford is very complicated and frustrating. Georgia is a commoner meaning she cannot marry the Duke if he wants to keep his title. Her dear friend Emma is also a brave soul and is in a complicated relationship herself with the Duke’s right hand man. Lady Phyllida Monthalf is worried about all of them.
The Archivist Society is quite a group. The devise a plan and follow through with excellent results. The Duke of Blackford is a key member and even Sir Broderick in his disabled state is a force to be reckoned with. His logistics are a big part of their success.
This author does an excellent job blending the history and the mystery. She peppers it with just the right amount of romance and humor too. I felt like a birdie on Georgia’s shoulder traveling about London, from her home, to her shop, to the East End, and everywhere in between.
I am anxiously awaiting and very excited about the next book in this series. I am truly hoping that the next adventure shows the Duke that he can’t live without Georgia and the author finds some way for them to be together.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”