"Don’t move, Mr. Franklin,” a woman’s voice commanded with a heavy French accent behind a theatrical mask that covered her face."

This highly imaginative piece of historical fiction begins in France, 1777, where Benjamin Franklin, Louis XVI, and Comte Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais (Louis’s right-hand man) ride through the streets of Paris. Franklin is being initiated into the high church of the Illuminati. He is also collecting a secret payment from France to build up the army against the British rule. The plot thickens when Marie Antoinette kidnaps Benjamin Franklin. She intends to use him as a bargaining chip against her own monarchy and the American War of Independence. Marie Antoinette and Benjamin Franklin, a man forty years her senior, fall in love. Thinking them both abducted, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr are tasked with recovering the secret lovers.

The author has created a whirlwind plot, turning well-known identities and personalities on their heads. Benjamin Franklin, for example, is painted as a traitor, while Marie Antoinette is depicted as a woman fighting for the poor and middle class. The dialogue is well-written and offers the necessary exposition to keep the reader up to speed in this complex and often satirical storyline. The author cleverly slips in many of Ben Franklin’s well-known quotes. (“Early to bed early to rise...” is but one example.) Franklin’s inventions and theories, such as the discovery of electricity, are also incorporated into this madcap romp across Europe. The author proves to have a masterful understanding of both European and American history. Many other famous and infamous characters are interwoven into the fast-paced, comedic storyline, resulting in an entertaining and captivating read.

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