Friday, April 20, 2012

The Flower Reader by Elizabeth Loupas

Rinette Leslie of Granmuir is given a silver casket by the dying  Mary of Guise, with strict instructions to give the casket to Mary's daughter, Mary Queen of Scots, upon her arrival in Scotland. Rinette, anxious for her home and loved ones, quickly returns to Granmuir with the casket and marries her childhood sweetheart, to whom she shows the casket. When Mary Queen of Scots arrives in Scotland, Rinette is ready to discharge her duty, but her beloved husband is assassinated. Demanding justice and protection in exchange for the casket, Rinette begins her own search for her husband's murderer. Betrayed by her dead husband and with no help, she allies herself with Mary's mysterious French Secretary, Nicolas de Clerac. The only thing Rinette can depend on in the mercurial Mary Queen of Scot's court is the flowers, which scream warnings of impending danger.

Rinette, the spunky heroine makes this book. Like Loupas' Barbra of Austria, Rinette is driven by self preservation  and a determination to protect her family and home. This determination puts her at risk from the Queen herself and many others who want the casket's prophecies from Nostradamus.  Mary Queen of Scots could make the most patient of people lose their temper, but she made the story more interesting. Her  hardheartedness forced Rinette to face danger may times. Rinette has a very developed second sense that helps her avoid pitfalls as she tries to unravel the secrets behind the casket and her husband's murder. Loupas does a wonderful job of mixing revenge, love, loss, lust and mystery into this wonderful story. This book is a must read!!

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