Banquet of Lies by Michelle Diener

November 1st, 2013 Kimberly Review 51 Comments

1st Nov
Banquet of Lies by Michelle Diener
Banquet of Lies
by Michelle Diener
Series: Regency London #2
Genres: Historical Romance, Mystery
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

A Secret Treaty and a Secret Life. LONDON, 1812: Giselle Barrington is living a double life, juggling the duties of chef with those of spy catcher. She must identify her father’s savage killer before the shadowy man finds her and uncovers the explosive political document her father entrusted to her safekeeping. Posing as a French cook in the home of Lord Aldridge, Giselle is surrounded by unlikely allies and vicious enemies. In the streets where she once walked freely among polite society, she now hides in plain sight, learning the hard lessons of class distinction and negotiating the delicate balance between servant and master. Lord Aldridge’s insatiable curiosity about his mysterious new chef blurs the line between civic duty and outright desire. Carefully watching Giselle’s every move, he undertakes a mission to figure out who she really is—and, in the process, plunges her straight into the heart of danger when her only hope for survival is to remain invisible.

Michelle Diener is one of my favorite authors for historical suspense with a dash of romance. I adored the Emperor’s Conspiracy and her newest book Banquet of Lies was absolutely incredible. The tale is filled with the colorful characters and a suspenseful plot that kept me reading all day. Mini review: suspenseful, engaging and flows effortlessly.

We meet Giselle Barrington while she is attending a party with her father in France. When he steps outside for a meeting and, doesn’t return she steps into the garden to search for him and unwittingly is witness to his brutal murder. In her pocket is a document meant for the crown and the reason for her father’s death. Giselle is forced into hiding until she finds someone she can trust to turn over the document to the intended party. The tale that unfolds is charming, suspenseful and filled with mystery. Diener weaves in a side dish of romance that will make you swoon and laugh.

Giselle is absolutely delightful and is quite clever thanks to her unusual upbringing. I love strong heroines who are feisty, a little snarky, and book smart. She is not afraid to handle the task at hand. Giselle was brave, even when she wanted to hide and I enjoyed watching her escapades. Lord Aldridge is kind to his servants and happily assists the government. He is quite fetching and clever. I loved watching Giselle completely unravel him. The two had a lovely chemistry in this slow building romance that took back stage to the suspenseful plot. Other characters included characters we meet in previous books added to the tale and kept me flipping the pages.

Banquet of Lies delivers a suspenseful mystery that kept me engaged. Diener effortlessly spun this tale and literally swept me up with the colorful characters, and engaging plot. I could smell the bread rising, see the sneer on the head servants face, and taste the danger as Giselle fled through the streets. While the romance was a welcome thread and added both humor and excitement to the tale. The characters felt genuine from the servants to the villains and I appreciated how even secondary characters were memorable. Diener is brilliant at clean, romantic suspense especially in this era. I am hoping she continues to deliver more of these tales. She skillfully weaved historical details into the tale making it feel authentic all while keeping it light and engaging.

Fans of the Emperor’s Conspiracy and historical mysteries will find Banquet of Lies a pure delight. Michelle Diener is on my auto buy list, and I happily stalk her.

Four and half cups of coffee out of five
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

51 Responses to “Banquet of Lies by Michelle Diener”

  1. Cyn

    Yay! I’m so excited! I just got hold of a copy, so I’ll hopefully get it in soon! I haven’t read Emperor’s Conspiracy but it sounds like I need too! Awesome review (:

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I loved them both and they are standalone, but some characters appear in book two which I loved!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I loved it Pamela, she writes such good suspense and mystery and with colorful characters.

  2. Lark

    I can’t wait to read this! It’s been on my e-reader for months; I just haven’t had time to get to it. But it’s on my list for COYER! Great review; you’ve heightened my interest.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh yes Lark, I think you will enjoy this. You and I share similar tastes.

  3. Heidi

    I love the cover of this book. I have had this author on my list for awhile to try. I think this would be the perfect book to get my feet wet with. I want to read it soon, loved your review! Happy weekend.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes Heidi this or the Emperor’s Conspiracy. While they aren’t part of a series..some of the characters are mentioned in Banquet of Lies and I got a kick out of it.

  4. Michele

    I love it! I think this is the one I need to re-enter the historical romance genre with — I love the suspense aspect. Everything about this sounds like a read I would enjoy. Thanks so much for sharing this great review! Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      The romance is totally served, light and clean on the side..and the characters, even secondary ones are good. Ooo I hope you try it!! Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  5. Debbie Haupt

    Great review Kimba, I’m not a big historical fan but I love one with a mystery like Amanda Quick.
    Thanks it looks like this might be one I like.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh lord, if you like Quick you will loves these same pacing and suspense/mystery feel!

  6. Giselle

    Teehee well I have to read this and I think we all know why >.< The characters sounds very well developed though which is a must! I also kind of adore the cover!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      bwahaha…hmm let me guess..LOL The cover is adorable and you will like Giselle.

  7. Dani

    Great Review! I had not heard of this book before so I am happy you brought it to my attention! 🙂

  8. Lauren

    I really don’t read many stories that successfully blend history with romantic suspense, but this sounds wonderful! Giselle sounds like a great heroine who I could easily root for, and I’m thrilled to hear that the characters are authentic and the details were so vivid the story swept you up in it. Lovely review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was so good, granted the romance is very much a side dish but it all works together wonderfully.

  9. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Okay, I’m so adding this one to my wishlist! I love the same kind of characters and I am loving the romantic suspense in an historical setting. I even like the sound of the romance. Total WIN for me!

  10. Victoria (aka Zemfirka)

    Wonderful review! I’ve read a few reviews of Michelle’s books so far, and I haven’t read any of them yet, so they are at the very top of my list. Really want to check it out! Thanks.:)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ooo I hope you do. I prefer her historical suspense novels 🙂

  11. Tanja

    I’m not big on historicals but I haven’t found the right one I think. This one sounds like it might be it. It’s amazing that mystery is really mysterious here. Great review Kim 🙂

  12. Annie

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one as much as you did, I could definitely get on board with ” a lovely chemistry” and a “slow building romance”! That’s my kind of book. Of course the rest of the plot sounds good too… lol. Awesome review, thanks for bringing this one to my attention. It’s not a novel I’d heard of before.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      So glad I could introduce you to it and the author. This was such a wonderful read, and the characters were great. Thanks so much Annie 🙂

  13. Candace

    This sounds fantastic! Historical suspense with a touch of romance sounds perfect and Giselle sounds like my kind of character!

  14. Ellen

    I haven’t read anything by Michelle Diener before. Banquet of Lies sounds really interesting and so does Giselle’s character. I like suspenseful mysteries. Great review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was good, I love when a book flows wonderfully and the next thing ya know you are 50% done and it feels like a few minutes have gone by.

  15. Jenny

    “I love strong heroines who are feisty, a little snarky, and book smart.”

    ME TOO KIM! Giselle sounds like my kind of girl for sure. And this is an author I’m unfamiliar with, but anyone you happily stalk is definitely someone I feel like I need to read! And of course your mention of a romance that will make me both swoon and laugh is more than enough to make me want to read this:) Wonderful review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love this author’s historical suspense she weaves wonderful tales.

  16. kindlemom1

    Oo a historical suspense? Loving it!

    One day I really am going to read all these fabulous books you recommend every day!

    I hope you have a fantastic weekend Kim!!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, when we invent some sort of time stopping device that will let us suspend time and read for hours!

  17. Mary

    I read this title with extra emphasis on the LIES bit…not sure why but it seemed to need it. Yay for a good historical mystery!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Jeann, I really did. I love when a book sweeps you away 🙂

  18. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    Giselle seems like a really likeable character! I don’t read much historical suspense but I think I ought to since I am in the mood for either lighthearted contemps and thrillers lately.

    Fab review, Kimba! <33

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was fun and well paced, I hope you decide to try it:)