Vienna Waltz – Teresa Grant

Vienna Waltz by Teresa Grant is 400+ pages, and, man, does it deserve that volume. This is the first novel in the Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch series, and it does an exquisite job introducing readers not only to the characters of Malcolm and Suzanne, but other, more minor, characters as well. Despite its length, each page of this novel kept me wanting to read more, and, as the plot developed/thickened/twisted, I didn’t want to put it down.

Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch are participating in the Congress of Vienna as attachés to the British delegation. Everyone in Vienna is gathering information for someone, and the Rannochs are no exception. When a prominent princess is found – by four people all summoned to her rooms at the same time – murdered, the Rannochs take up the investigation as they were two out of the four people who found her. Malcolm and Suzanne find themselves facing deception after deception, danger after danger, and endless secrets as they work together to solve this mystery.

What struck me about this novel was the dynamic between the husband-and-wife duo of Malcolm and Suzanne. As early as the first few chapters, it’s clear that their marriage is shrouded in mystery, and that both parties have a fair amount of secrets buried between them. Suzanne thinks that her marriage is more of a contractual nature, and Malcolm doesn’t think that he deserves his wife in the least. However, both ignore the chasm between them to deal in espionage quite successfully. It is clear from the way they work together that they each know the other has somewhat of a checkered past, but those past actions have helped make them into the successful spies they are today. In this novel, much is revealed about the couple – and both realize that perhaps these things should not have stayed buried for as long as the two years of their marriage.

Malcolm and Suzanne remind me of Amory and Milo Ames (of The Amory Ames series by Ashley Weaver). Similarly, they are a disconnected husband and wife, although for different reasons. At the Congress of Vienna, bed-hopping is normal, as are contractual (read: strategic) marriages, which can lead to complicated situations between spouses. Although the Ames’ marriage takes place in the 1900’s, a great while later, the bed-hopping isn’t any different among the upper classes, and even contractual marriages haven’t totally gone out of fashion. It’s very interesting to read and speculate about as we are in favor of marrying for love in the 21st century. 

All in all, this book was awesome. I really enjoyed getting to know the Rannochs, their friends and alliances, and imagining what the atmosphere of the Congress of Vienna was like. The plot for this book was spectacular as readers face twist after twist as the mystery deepens. Grant does a great job of writing from many points of view, and it wasn’t until halfway or ⅔ through the book that I began to understand why these POV’s were included. I have just requested the second book from my library and am excited to see what it holds!

Published by SamIAmReading

I am an avid reader and lover of historical mysteries and romances, but happy to take review requests and expand my horizons! All opinions in this blog are my own and have been given freely.

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