Ivy and Intrigue

Are you a Lauren Willig fan? Need a Pink Carnation fix for the holidays beyond The Mischief of the Mistletoe? Check out Ivy and Intrigue: A Very Selwick Christmas, a short and sweet little novella (or perhaps really just a longish short story?) posted on Willig's website that offers a Christmas glimpse at the ones who started it all -- Amy and Richard (along with the modern-day Eloise and Colin). Originally serialized for posting, the story features events that would fall after The Masque of the Black Tulip, but not before The Deception of the Emerald Ring in the whole Pink Carnation chronology. It's only a handful of chapters, following the original couple through a bit of marital miscommunication. While happy on the whole, each one has become increasingly concerned as a result of some small grumblings from the other that running a spy school doesn't have the same thrill as being an actual spy -- and each of them yearn a bit for the old days. Amy is worried that Richard resents her for playing a role in his unmasking as the Purple Gentian and Richard is worried that Amy feels her time in the field was far too short, cut off as a result of marrying him. It's something every nearly-newlywed couple goes through, I suppose... the questioning as to whether or not you've held back your spouse in their spy career.

Needless to say, things will be solved to Pink Carnation satisfaction and along the way, we get to interact with a number of favorite characters. If you missed Amy's not-quite-stealthy-but-still-quite-effective ability to bash people over the head, you'll be quite pleased, indeed. It's short and sweet and a nice little dose of holiday cheer -- though if you're reading The Mischief of the Mistletoe this season, you might hold off and save Ivy and Intrigue for next year's holidays. Just the same, it's always fun to revisit characters (and I feel like I actually remembered who everyone was as a result of Mischief), so fans of the series will certainly be amused.


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