Call me old-fashioned, but I do marvel at cloak-and-dagger novels.
Small wonder, if you were raised by a loving grandfather who lulled me to sleep with the tales of the Three Musketeers of the Scarlet Pimpernel...
Consequently, when I could read myself, I went back to these novels and have read (nearly) every classic in this genre. My big favorites of then were d'Artagnan, Percy the Pimpernel, captain Fracasse and chevalier De Lagardere. All heroic men, who went from one adventure to another and saved the girl in the end.
As I grew up, I discovered other genres, and developed a liking for good thrillers and funny romances. But blood goes where it must and when I began to write myself I could only write this one genre: a historical novel, full of adventure, action, suspense and romance - just like these classics of old. Although I try to be original, my own books (Maria Gonzalez, The Haversham Legacy, Diamonds for the Devil and The Gold Crucifix) all some have points of resemblance with themes in these 19th century novels.
Today, as I was browsing through the Amazon kindle store, I discovered that some of my oldtime favorites were available as e-book! And so I purchased Captain Fracasse and The Hunchback (the story of chevalier De Lagardere) immediately. I don't mind the old-fashioned language, as it describes the scenes vividly. And what is even better, I don't have to read it in French, because some kind soul did a translation into English. I do understand French and can read it, but it's a pain to finish a novel when you don't fully comprehend everything written.