St. Martin's, Apr 2001, 24.95, 336 pp.
In the mid eighteenth century, rather than spend a lifetime with Gervaise Valerian after her mother tricked the noble into marrying her, Cordelia Stansbury flees London. She plans to join her archeologist father on his Egyptian dig. Instead, she is ship wrecked near the Cape of Good Hope and lives with African “savages” for the next year.
When Cordelia finally comes home to England, she switches identity with Mary who wants to marry Gervaise. However, Gervaise refuses to honor his commitment so Cordelia's new friend, her former fiancee's cousin Piers, offers matrimony as a matter of family honor. However, he soon learns that nothing is quite like it seems. Of course the real Cordelia could say same thing about Piers and his twin brother.
No one turns a Georgian romance into an adventuress romp better than the incomparable Patricia Veryan does. Her latest eighteenth century romance, THE RIDDLE OF THE SHIPWRECKED SPINSTER, is much ado about something as the fabulous tale is filled with a comedy of errors due to changing identities. The story line is fast-paced, filled with historical tidbits to anchor the period, and loaded with entertaining charcaters. Ms. Veryan has the talent to write novels that always seem to flow as readers like it.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner