Friday, November 05, 2010

The Betrayal of the Blood Lily by Lauren Willig

The Betrayal of the Blood Lily is the sixth (I think, I've lost count) in Lauren Willig's romance/chick-lit/mystery series that follows a series of spies named after flowers. The action has decamped from the British Isles and has arrived in India during the Napoleonic Era.

Lady Frederick Staines, born Penelope Deveraux, has found herself and her husband sent to India after their forced marriage. Neither is really fond of the other, but she must follow her husband, Lord Wellesley's special envoy to Hyderabad. They are escorted by Captain Alex Reid, who has spent his entire life in India. Suffice it to say, they run into danger, death threats, snakes, people who look like snakes, adultery, twisted family relationships, and more stupid flowery spies.

I'm going to be honest. I bought this book off the bargain pile. In fact, I have bought the entire series off the bargain table. I had bought this one full price, but God told me that I was being stupid because I got home and found out that the book's binding was severely damaged. So I took it back. And guess what I found on the bargain table? That's right. This book. This infuriating book.

I don't get the title, because there is no Blood Lily involved, just a French spy called The Marigold. Then there's an Indian spy called Frangipani. In fact, Blood Lilies are native to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, not India. I'm just tired of the spies. How long is this going to go on? It has ceased being creative and has now turned to a joke. "I wonder what flower is going to be used next? Ha ha."

Willig seems to have hit the "spy as romantic hero" trend on its way down. It's tired. It has been done. A lot. In fact, these books shouldn't even be hardback but straight to mass market due to the quality.

And I'm especially tiring of Eloise and Colin's love story that has been the thread among all these books.