Since this is Pink Anniversary month, if you like The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, you’ll probably like….
— The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy: the original flower-named spy. His exploits are a generation earlier than those of the Carnation, during the Terror, but the same spirit prevails.
— Scaramouche, by Rafael Sabatini. Like the Pimpernel, this is set a decade or so before the Pink books, during the height of the Revolution, and has one of the best opening lines ever: “He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.” A true, old-fashioned, swashbuckling adventure.
— The Spymaster’s Lady, by Joanna Bourne. Moving into the realm of historical romance, Joanna Bourne writes the best Napoleonic spy novels out there, going deeply into what it really means to live in the shadows.
— To Catch an Heiress, by Julia Quinn and The Accidental Duchess, by Jessica Benson. For sheer, madcap comedy– with spies– you can’t beat these two Regency romances. Never was spy more beset. Or dialogue funnier.
— Speaking of clever dialogue… we can’t leave out Georgette Heyer. Among others, try Sprig Muslin, my inspiration for what I call “mob scenes” (i.e. comic scenes involving a lot of people talking at once). Or pretty much any Georgette Heyer, really.
— With This Ring, by Amanda Quick. This book provided the inspiration for Miss Gwen’s literary ambitions, as the heroine is a writer of horrid novels. It’s also very similar in tone to the first Pink book.
— Tracy Grant’s novels, starting with either Secrets of a Lady or Vienna Waltz. Tracy’s beautifully written mysteries feature a husband and wife spy team, a wonderfully different spin on the world of Napoleonic espionage.
— Deanna Raybourn’s Silent in the Grave and Tasha Alexander’s And Only to Deceive. While these are both Victorian rather than Napoleonic, Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia books and Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily books tend to be bundled with the Pink books as historical mysteries featuring strong heroines and tongue in cheek humor– and I’m so flattered to be in such amazing company!
— And while we’re talking historical mystery… Kate Ross’s four Julian Kestrel mysteries, featuring a Regency dandy (or perhaps something more?) turned sleuth, starting with Cut to the Quick.
— Moving back to the madcap, Gail Carriger’s steampunk Parasol Protectorate series, starting with Soulless. There’s a lot of Miss Gwen in there. Plus werewolves.
What would you recommend for fans of Pink I?