Henrietta Jones, usually known as “Harry’, is outrageous and scheming, and charms everyone she meets, as she turns the world all around into chaos in 1870s Paris.
After infuriating Joules by rescuing him, she runs off to fight on the barricades in 1871 Paris, and when that doesn’t work turns to crime.
She becomes a successful criminal, and escapes back to Montmartre, with Joules chasing to try and protect her. After running amok in London and France, she plans a festival to save the Moulin de La Galette from development, and the mayhem begins.
She confronts the devious Fuickwit, the underhand Ministre, an assassin known as the Cockroach, and the President of France. She infuriates Disraeli, advises Renoir and Zola, and inspires Charles Worth, the founder of Haute Couture.
But somehow she changes the world for the better. Everyone is thoroughly managed, with help from the long-suffering Joules, the wicked sexy, pixie-like Apoline, and the man-hating Headmistress Miss Mactavish.
The bodies pile up, as criminals from all over Europe converge on the Moulin de La Galette and she is forced to become a crime Lord. She intimidates the criminals and manages the biggest festivale Montmartre had seen in years. Along the way she gives Paris back its smile, saves Europe from global conflict, and buys the Suez Canal!
Joules desperately tries to protect her, even though he hates the dreadful girl.
Harry could almost fall in love with stupid Joules if he wasn’t so slow. Finally she is forced to kidnap him. …
Henrietta Jones has the answer to everything and manages everyone. The moulin is finally saved, Paris smiles for the first time in years, and a statistically unlikely number of babies are conceived.
Only one thing is certain. Nobody escapes unscathed from Henrietta Jones
The book is strewn with contradictory but lovable characters.
Jowle and Finke desperately want to avoid the stress of torturing innocent victims, to open a flower shop on the Rue Rivoli. They rescue a baby orphan called Alphonse from the street because he is the only one who loves them.
Anastasia Isidore Mactavish is a fierce headmistress running a school teaching girls ‘life skills’to fight against nature’s second sex. She intimidates most of Europe’s politicians, but is secretly is in love with a bespectacled teacher of botany, hoping nobody will find out.
“Poor” Bernard is doing his best to burn down the Moulin, but is hopelessly inept and Harry sends him wine to help.
Sneaking around behind the scenes are Gabb and Gabb, bloody Crime Lords, terrifying everyone. Nobody knows who they are, but when seen, appear slim almost female, looking suspiciously like Harry and Apoline.
Then there are the not so nice characters. Fuickwit works for Sam Bartholomew Nero who runs a crime empire in London docklands,and turns those who fail into glue. He wants to enter a partnership with Gabb and Gabb. The Ministre is a devious career politician trying to destroy Montmartre for the good of France and lots of money, not caring if it hurts a few ‘peasants’. And an assassin called the ‘Cockroach’ kills at random desperately hoping one of the victims will be Gabb or Gabb.
The two girls Harry and Apoline, lead their two boys an agonising dance. Joules tries to keep Harry out of trouble. Apoline, impossibly sexy, falls in love with Lord Hawkhurst when he calls her his ‘gutter rat’. He wants to put her in prison, but before long would die to protect her.
And though it all Henrietta Jones, or Harry, manages everyone, and invariably knows what needs to be done. The only person she cannot manage is Joules, who is just too slow, and might need some help…