I enjoyed this sixth Scarlet Pimpernel slightly more than most of the others I've read during Project Finally Read All Those Pimpernel Books I Bought 7 or 8 Year Ago. (I'm still working on the project name. Even the acronym is unwieldy. Project RATPBIB7o8YA. Looks like a CDC virus classification or something. But I digress.)
It's funny how memories trick you. Some of these books are new to me, but at least half of them are re-reads, like this one, and I remember the Pimpernel getting more face-time in this series that revolves around his exploits. In actuality, he's hardly in them. In some cases, though his shadow looms over the whole narrative, he doesn't get more than a cameo or a bit part. That doesn't make these adventures less entertaining. It's just . . . funny that I didn't remember them this way.
As for this book in particular, I'm not actually sure why I enjoyed it just that little bit more. Maybe it's because of Josette, who is a strange mix of cunning and naive. Or maybe it's Maurice, who might be the perfect boyfriend because he has the patience of a saint. Or maybe I just find it adorable when Chauvelin thinks he's outmaneuvered the Scarlet Pimpernel for sure this time. So adorable! Or maybe it's because this book was written after Orczy had a few decades of experience under her belt and it's just all-around better quality than some of the earlier books.
Maybe it's all of the above.