Review: The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla by Lauren Willig

Description (from cover):

‘In the latest Pink Carnation novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig, rumors spreading among the ton turn deadly as a young couple unites to solve a mystery..
In October of 1806, the Little Season is in full swing, and Sally Fitzhugh has had enough of the endless parties and balls. With a rampant vampire craze sparked by the novel The Convent of Orsino, it seems no one can speak of anything else. But when Sally hears a rumor that the reclusive Duke of Belliston is an actual vampire, she cannot resist the challenge of proving such nonsense false. At a ball in Belliston Square, she ventures across the gardens and encounters the mysterious Duke.
Lucien, Duke of Belliston, is well versed in the trouble gossip can bring. He’s returned home to dispel the rumors of scandal surrounding his parents’ deaths, which hint at everything from treason to dark sorcery. While he searches for the truth, he welcomes his fearsome reputation–until a woman is found dead in Richmond. Her blood drained from her throat.
Lucien and Sally join forces to stop the so-called vampire from killing again. Someone managed to get away with killing the last Duke of Belliston. But they won’t kill this duke–not if Sally has anything to say about it.’

My thoughts:

I adore this series. I have been reading and loving every book in this series for years. I love how the author switches back and forth from historical settings to the present. This is one of those series when a new book is released, I have to have it immediately. I love this author’s writing style and yes, it does have some romance in it. But it is tastefully done. I normally can’t stand a book that is too mushy, but this author gives me enough mystery, historical fiction and romance to make this reader a very happy one. Willig has a way with words that sucks me in from page one and I spend most of book hoping to never get to the end. 
In this book, we get to learn about Sally Fitzhugh, Turnip’s younger sister and we deal with the vampire craze that has taken the English society by storm. Mysterious Lucien, the Duke of Belliston, has returned from America to claim his birthright. Of course, this sets off a firestorm of gossip and everyone is speculating that he is a vampire. Only Sally doesn’t listen to the gossip and sets out to discover more about this elusive Duke herself. While doing so, they stumble over a dead body. What reader doesn’t love a murder mystery with spies? 
I will say that this book doesn’t focus much on the spies as the other books in this series. That in itself was a little disappointing. What was even more disappointing, was learning from the author’s afterword that the next book released in this series will be the last. Woe is me..How will I ever live without more Pink Carnation books? This is a travesty. I look forward to the newest release every year, but I am hoping the next book will be a grand finale to a phenomenal series.

Overall Rating: 4

Title:  The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla
Author:  Lauren Willig
Series:  Pink Carnation #11
Publisher:  NAL Trade
Publication Date:  August 5, 2014
Pages:  496
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was purchased by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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