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The Mistaken Wife    by Rose Melikan order for
Mistaken Wife
by Rose Melikan
Order:  USA  Can
Touchstone, 2010 (2010)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In the autumn of 1797, relations between France and England are heating up and it appears as though war will begin. Mary Finch, an Englishwoman who has done undercover work before in both The Blackstone Key and The Counterfeit Guest, rises to the occasion once again in The Mistaken Wife, all three by Rose Melikan.

It is just after the French Revolution and the nation is in flux. Mary is asked by spymaster Cuthbert Shy to travel to France posing as an American's wife to bring back to England a man who has invented what he describes as an underwater boat. This would be a disastrous weapon against the English and the French must be thwarted in their decision to manufacture these boats.

This tale starts off a little dry but picks up momentum as the pages turn, becoming thrilling as well as suspenseful. A touch of romance also surfaces.

Historical fiction has always been a satisfying read for me. It's easier to learn what went before us with a story behind the facts. The Mistaken Wife is just such a book. I have not read much of this particular period and now I can imagine Paris as it was at that time, with the political unrest and fear that permeated the atmosphere - as well as the clothing, food and speech usage peculiar to the era.

The Mistaken Wife is a well-researched book with an imaginative story woven around the facts. Good historical reading.

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