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Sharpe's Assassin: Richard Sharpe and the Occupation of Paris, 1815    by Bernard Cornwell order for
Sharpe's Assassin
by Bernard Cornwell
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2021 (2021)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I've read (and watched) all of Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Tales and am a huge fan, but somehow missed his Sharpe series, though my father read every one he could get his hands on. I thought how much he would have enjoyed this one as I paged through the twenty-fourth in the series, Sharpe's Assassin.

Sharpe's earlier adventures ranged from England to Europe, British India and Chile. He was involved in the Peninsular War, the Battle of Trafalgar, and (in the previous episode) the Battle of Waterloo. He's known to both Napoleon and Wellington, and through the series, has risen in rank in the British Army from private to lieutenant colonel. Irish Patrick Harper has had his back all along, and continues to do so this time as well.

As this episode begins, Sharpe is summoned (from burying a friend killed in battle) by Wellington to Brussels. Sharpe is partnered with aristocratic Lucille, who has a farm in Normandy, and they have an infant, Patrick. Now the Duke sends Sharpe's battalion to take the citadel of Ham, to free a particular prisoner. He sends exploring officer Major Vincent with Sharpe. Lucille, Patrick and his nurse travel with the baggage train.

Sharpe takes the fortress and rescues the prisoner (art expert Alan Fox). He's then ordered to leave his battalion and accompany Fox to Paris (in advance of the English army), keep him alive, and work to foil an assassination plot against rulers and generals who fought Napoleon. Lucille gives him a task as well.He does succeed, though Fox is more hindrance than help, and an old enemy almost gets him killed.

I enjoyed Sharpe's Assassin very much and am now in the process of acquiring and absorbing all the previous books in this outstanding series. Don't miss it!

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