My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won’t find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could’ve been better or what worked or didn’t work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it’s here I probably think it won’t injure your brain if you read it.
Meg Fellowes is an extraordinarily gifted actress, able to memorize large chunks of narrative and repeat it back with astonishing accuracy. The only thing holding her back from an amazing career is the fact that women aren’t allowed on the stage in Elizabethean England. Instead, Meg becomes her acting troupe’s thief, working the crowd during their performances and lifting anything she can in order to supplement the troupe’s income.
But fate has her picking the pocket of a court official, and she’s hauled in front of Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster with an offer – come work for them, or see her troupe destroyed. Meg is plunged headlong into court intrigue, all while trying to keep up with her lessons on how a lady should behave. Her fellow spies – the genius, the psychic, the assassin, and the flirt – aren’t all overjoyed at their new companion, and she soon learns that she’s not a new addition to the group… she’s a replacement.
The girl before her was murdered after becoming too involved with the Spanish contingent at court. And while Meg can repeat verbatim anything the dashing Count Rafe says while she follows him through the dark corridors, she doesn’t speak Spanish, and doesn’t know if the translation she receives is true or not. The people Rafe meets seem shady, but her heart is starting to take precedence over her ears, and Meg isn’t so sure she wants to know the truth anymore.