Did I, ever.
I first swooned for Loupas's talent when I devoured her debut, “The Second Duchess,” featuring a whip-smart Duchess of Ferrara heroine investigating the mysterious death of her husband's first wife. Gorgeous prose, a fabulous mystery, and one of the sexiest, scariest heroes around. (I got the chance to meet Elizabeth at my first Historical Novel Society conference shortly afterward—a lovely lady who listened to me rave about her Alfonso d'Este ad infinitum. He really is very rave-able.)
Sophomore novel “The Flower Reader” was another hit with me; a lady-in-waiting to a young Mary Queen of Scots, caught in a hellish court conspiracy. But “The Red Lily Crown” might just be Loupas's best yet—I devoured it in a matter of days. My review:
“Machiavelli meets The Brothers Grimm: a dark fairy tale with the addictive allure of a poison dream. Renaissance Florence springs to life in all its gorgeous, treacherous glory when a brave street urchin finds herself neck deep in Medici blood-lust. A dash of magic, a maze of murder, a heroine to root for, and a villain who needs to die--this is historical fiction at its most compelling.”
Buy this book. You will not regret it.