GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Book Review: The Secret Service of Tea and Treason (Dangerous Damsels #3) by India Holton | I Smell Sheep

Monday, April 17, 2023

Book Review: The Secret Service of Tea and Treason (Dangerous Damsels #3) by India Holton

The Secret Service of Tea and Treason (Dangerous Damsels #3)
by India Holton
April 18, 2023
Genre: historical, fantasy, Victorian
One of Buzzfeed's Romance Books To Look Out For In 2023!

Two rival spies must brave pirates, witches, and fake matrimony to save the Queen.

Known as Agent A, Alice is the top operative within the Agency of Undercover Note Takers, a secret government intelligence group that is fortunately better at espionage than at naming itself. From managing deceptive witches to bored aristocratic ladies, nothing is beyond Alice’s capabilities. She has a steely composure and a plan always up her sleeve (alongside a dagger and an embroidered handkerchief). So when rumors of an assassination plot begin to circulate, she’s immediately assigned to the case. 

But she’s not working alone. Daniel Bixby, otherwise known as Agent B and Alice's greatest rival, is given the most challenging undercover assignment of his life— pretending to be Alice’s husband. Together they will assume the identity of a married couple, infiltrate a pirate house party, and foil their unpatriotic plans. 

Determined to remain consummate professionals, Alice and Daniel must ignore the growing attraction between them, especially since acting on it might prove more dangerous than their target.

The Dangerous Damsels series is back with its third installment The Secret Service of Tea and Treason. This novel series combines historical fiction, romance, and the supernatural. Much of the action swirls around the misdeeds of the Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels, a league of house-flying pirates, their allies and enemies. This series is hilariously fun with razor-sharp wit. In this third installment, Alice Dearlove (Agent A) and Daniel Bixby (Agent B) pose as domestic servants for London’s elite when in reality, they are operatives for the spy agency AUNT (Agency of Undercover Note Takers). Alice and Daniel are assigned an undercover operation wherein they must pose as a married pirate couple, infiltrate a weekend party at a notorious pirate estate, and foil a purported plot to assassinate the queen. What ensues is a rollicking good time, complete with a simmering romance between the two no-nonsense agents who must choose between duty and passion.

Alice and Daniel are a delightful pair. Their romance deliciously unfolds against the backdrop of piratical lunacy. Couples from the previous installments make appearances throughout and are a nice addition to the story.

This series is hella quirky. If you’re looking for something smartly entertaining and completely outlandish, look no further. India leans heavily into humor and satire with carefully crafted, take-no-prisoners female leads. The world Holt creates is wholly self-aware and embraces its own ridiculousness: “ ‘One can hardly own a properly decent Gothic castle without keeping an Attic Lunatic. We also have a Mysterious Scar-faced Man lurking in the cellar, and the famous medium Mrs. Zhu comes in quarterly to refresh our ghosts.’ ” I must admit, however, the reference to Leonard Cohen in a Victorian novel threw me a bit.

I absolutely love how Holt reclaims all things traditionally feminine, rebranding the domestic sphere as something altogether vibrantly fun and ferociously dangerous. This series is fresh, exciting, and fiercely feminist. While this series has been a recent favourite, I liked this installment the least of the three. I didn’t quite connect with Alice in the same way as the previous two heroines. The Secret Service of Tea and Treason was nonetheless a great read. This installment seems to have a finality to it, and I’m not sure how Holton could top these shenanigans, but if given the chance, I’d dive in again and again.

Review: The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels (Dangerous Damsels #1)
Review: The League of Gentlewoman Witches (Dangerous Damsels #2)

Four Sheep

Bianca Greenwood

About the Author:
India resides in New Zealand, where she's enjoyed the typical Kiwi lifestyle of wandering around forests, living barefoot on islands, and messing about in boats.

Now she lives in a cottage near the sea, writing books about unconventional women and charming rogues. Think slow burn with sudden explosions.

India's writing is fuelled by tea, buttered scones, and thunderstorms.

No comments:

Post a Comment