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Refuge for Masterminds: A Stranje House Novel    by Kathleen Baldwin order for
Refuge for Masterminds
by Kathleen Baldwin
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Refuge for Masterminds is the third - following A School for Unusual Girls and Exile for Dreamers in Kathleen Baldwin's exciting YA Stranje House series, set in an alternate history version of early 1800s Europe.

The first book introduced talented young scientist Georgiana, exiled by her frustrated parents to Stranje House, where Headmistress Emma Stranje undertakes to mould such unusual girls into young ladies acceptable to society.

However that turns out to be not at all her real purpose - rather she trains and applies their talents in England's cause against Napoleon and his spies (the latter include one previous Stranje girl, the infamous Daneska who works closely with British traitor Ghost). Georgie befriends Lady Jane, Sera, Tess and Maya at Stranje House.

The second book told Tess's story - she hates her prophetic dreams of what might ensue, but they are needed to save those she loves. And, as in the first episode, Tess found romance as well as adventure. We expect the same for mastermind Jane this time as she struggles with her attraction to uncivilized young American inventor Alexander Sinclair, which happens to be mutual.

This time, the villains are after the steamship invented by Alex's uncle. Alex is about to sail the prototype to London for a demonstration to the British Admiralty, but can he get it there without it being hijacked or destroyed? Of course, Lady Jane finds a way, but the bad guys always have at least one backup plan.

Though normally the planner, Jane is pulled into peril, up close and very personal, this time around, as she seeks desperately to save those she loves and foil the sinister plans of Napoleon's agents. Like the previous episodes, Refuge for Masterminds offers great entertainment and will leave series fans anxious for more.

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