'The Barbed Crown'
"The Barbed Crown," by William Dietrich. Harper, 348 pp. $26.99
Ethan Gage returns in another historical adventure. A spy for Sir Sidney Smith, Gage embarks on an adventure from London to France, accompanied by the beautiful Comtesse Catherine Marceau. Having recently lost his wife and had his son kidnapped, he wants revenge on Napolean, the man responsible for his loss.
He is consequently surprised when, after docking in France, his wife reappears with his son.
Before they can enjoy their reunion, however, the four are kidnapped by the French police. They've been following them around, and they know who Gage is. They know he is a spy, and they want him to spy for them. He must serve as a double agent.
"The Barbed Crown" is the sixth Ethan Gage novel. While occasionally too quippy, Dietrich's writing is fast-paced and entertaining. The fact that the novels are from a different time adds an interesting twist to an otherwise run-of-the-mill genre novel. Fans of revolutionary France and historical fiction will enjoy this book.