Written by Eleanor Updale
There's no way around it. The truth has to be faced. The triumvirate that has lasted for so many years, and overcome so many tragedies and hardships, is broken. Lord George Fox-Selwyn is dead. He's been shot by Moretti, an Italian anarchist plotting to assassinate the Italian King. Montmorency and Dr. Robert Farcett are on their own.
But as Christmas comes and goes, Montmorency begins to realize that he has lost not one friend, but two. Farcett has become obsesses with cleanliness, bathing and washing his hands over and over, for hours at a time, trying to get rid of dirt that only he can see. The fact that he knows he's ill doesn't help his compulsion at all, and the once energetic doctor has become a desperate man Montmorency hardly recognizes.
Then, six month's after George's death, Inspector Howard of Scotland Yard arrives at the Fox-Selwyn estate in Scotland with a request that Montmorency and his friends can't turn down. Queen Victoria is dying. Funeral arrangements are being made, and there are rumors that the anarchists George has chased across Europe are going to attack the royal family during the funeral. And since royalty from all over Europe will be there, they will be in danger as well. Montmorency and George's nephew Frank are among the few who can recognize the men they've been chasing for years.
Montmorency comes up with a convoluted plan that includes helping the doctor, protecting Frank by keeping his identity as a Fox-Selwyn a secret, protecting the royal family, and getting his own personal revenge on the man who murdered his best friend. Identities are exchanged, life histories are created, secret codes for messages are invented, and Scarper, Montmorency's old alter ego, shows up again.
Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but Montmorency's thirst for it is hot and raging. Will he be able to control himself until he reaches his goal?
This booktalk was written by university professor, librarian, and booktalking expert Joni Richards Bodart.