cover image The Mistaken Wife

The Mistaken Wife

Rose Melikan, Touchstone, $15 paper (432p) ISBN 978-1-4165-6090-6

Set in 1797, Melikan's entertaining third historical thriller featuring Mary Finch (after The Counterfeit Guest) takes the British spy to France, where she poses as the wife of an American artist. With England and France at war, spymaster Cuthbert Shy asks Finch to befriend U.S. envoys in Paris, to foster "disagreement, confusion, and enmity" between France and America and plant the seeds for an alliance with Britain, to whom the Americans are bound by "ties of kinship, language, history, and temperament." Shy insists that she keep this vital mission secret even from her significant other, Capt. Robert Holland, though Holland himself winds up across the Channel to look into reports that the French have invented an undersea weapon whose tests have led to reports of sea monsters. Melikan successfully captures the spirit of the period while rooting her suspenseful espionage plot in actual events. (Sept.)