Some birthday parties just aren't meant to be fun. It's not that Elissa Paroskolos, at 25, is too old to enjoy the lavish weeklong festivities her wealthy husband Niki has prepared for her on the Greek island of Kerouli; it isn't even that Gregory Crowne, former Crown Prince Gregorius von Hirtenstein, has never much liked his spoiled, overbearing childhood companion. No, the deposed prince turned concert impresario (Farewell Performance
, not reviewed) is sure that there's something different about Elissa. Of course she's still grieving the accidental death of her father in a boating accident and still shaky from a life-threatening bout of meningitis. But none of that would explain why she's required the exclusive services of nerve specialist Dr. Tonio Donati for an entire year; why her nurse, Trudi Weber, will scarcely let her out of her sight; or why she's so terrified by a mysterious dream of snakes. With the help of his girlfriend Liz Blair, a dress-designing commoner who drives his aristocratic family to distraction, Gregory eventually discovers what most readers will have suspected for much longer; and with the help of half a dozen convenient government operatives only too happy to assist any member of a one-time royal family, he uncovers crimes past and future and brings the miscreants to book.
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