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Read a full summary of Foul Lady Fortune, book #1, in Chloe Gong’s Foul Lady Fortune series. This page is full of spoilers, so beware. If you are wondering what happened in Foul Lady Fortune, then you are in the right place!

Chloe Gong

4.4 stars on Amazon
4.32 stars on Goodreads
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Foul Lady Fortune Series Recaps:
#1 Foul Lady Fortune
#1.5 Last Violent Call (synopsis)
#2 Foul Heart Huntsman (synopsis)

***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****

Special thanks to Anne Clarence for providing this recap! You can check her out on her blog, thereadinglifeblog.com, Instagram, TikTok, Goodreads, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.

What happened in Foul Lady Fortune?

The book begins with a prologue in which a scientist injects a red substance into a subject’s skin, causing pain and a sense of being unmade. The scientist whispers the word “Oubliez,” meaning “Forget” in French.

In September 1931, the protagonist, Rosalind, approaches a train compartment and presents a Chinese vase as a gift to Mr. Kuznetsov, a Russian merchant. Rosalind is actually a member of the Scarlet Gang, and her true mission is to disrupt communist funding. Mr. Kuznetsov reveals that he knows her real name, Rosalind Lang, and brings up rumors about her cousin Juliette’s sacrifice. During their conversation, Rosalind’s throat is slit, but she survives and reveals herself as Lady Fortune, an immortal assassin. She kills Mr. Kuznetsov and his bodyguard.

Rosalind finds herself on a train hurtling towards an explosion. Miraculously, the train passes through the fading flames unharmed. She overhears conversations about the Scarlet Gang and the involvement of the Japanese. At the Shenyang station, she is falsely accused of colluding with the Scarlet Gang but manages to escape. She decides to continue her journey to Shanghai.

Meanwhile, the focus shifts to Orion, a member of the Hong family. He discovers his brother, Oliver, who has defected to the Communists, in their father’s office. They argue about their conflicting political beliefs and their father’s actions.

In another part of Shanghai, a killer follows a target into a dark alley and administers a lethal injection. The bustling city continues its vibrant existence.

Rosalind returns home to her small apartment in the French Concession. She reflects on her lonely existence and her decision to align herself with the Nationalists for redemption. She desires to find her own purpose and break free from her past. With determination, she sets off on a journey of self-discovery in the ever-evolving city of Shanghai.

Rosalind enters the Golden Phoenix restaurant, where her handler, Da Feng, introduces her to Orion Hong. They are assigned to infiltrate Seagreen Press, a Japanese company suspected of spreading propaganda. To maintain their cover, Rosalind and Orion pose as a married couple named Janie Mead and Hong Liwen. They will live together and work closely to gather intelligence and identify potential threats.

Meanwhile, Celia, Audrey, Oliver, and Millie work at a photography shop that serves as a front for Communist agents. Celia is concerned about Oliver’s involvement with an assassin known as Priest and fears for her sister’s safety. Audrey questions Celia about Oliver, but Celia remains secretive, emphasizing the need for secrecy within their cell.

Rosalind and Orion find themselves living together in an apartment in Shanghai. Rosalind becomes increasingly annoyed by Orion’s behavior and contemplates poisoning him but decides against it. Orion reveals that he has to leave for undisclosed operative matters, leaving Rosalind curious. She discovers a hidden message in a golden rooster figurine and seeks answers from her landlady, Lao Lao.

Orion and Silas visit a restaurant to gather information, discussing Oliver’s suspicious actions and Orion’s new marriage cover. Orion’s sister, Phoebe, delivers a note from Da Feng, alerting them to being followed. Orion chases after the person while Phoebe and Silas remain behind.

Rosalind wakes up to find Orion outside her apartment, annoying her with his disheveled appearance. They discuss their code names and the need to work together. They arrive at the newspaper agency where they will work undercover, and Rosalind encounters Jiemin, a skeptical co-worker.

Rosalind, using the alias Ye Zhuli, meets Alisa, who is planted in the department. Rosalind questions Alisa about her purpose and the terror plot, but Alisa feigns ignorance. Orion arrives with Phoebe, his sister, and Rosalind receives a note from Da Feng through Phoebe. Suspecting Phoebe’s hidden intentions, Rosalind also learns that Silas is an auxiliary agent.

Phoebe and Silas observe Seagreen Press from outside, witnessing suspicious activities. They encounter a crowd gathered around a body found near the company but are unable to chase a suspicious car that had left the scene. Meanwhile, Rosalind and Orion engage in a public display of affection to maintain their cover.

The story then focuses on Celia’s discovery of a discrepancy in her map and her subsequent investigation with Oliver. They explore a warehouse and find a bloodstained operating table with scientific formulas. The purpose and faction behind the warehouse remain unknown.

Then the story cuts to Orion and Janie going to work at Seagreen Press. Orion reminisces about his mother and wonders about Janie’s background. They encounter their colleagues at the office, and Janie reveals a confrontation with a colleague named Zilin, accusing him of being a traitor. Their conversation turns tense when the topic of propaganda films arises. Janie abruptly leaves for a meeting with Ambassador Deoka, and Orion follows her, trying to understand her conflicting feelings.

After this, we cut to Alisa Montagova, a spy for the Communists, who reflects on her family’s involvement with the White Flowers gang and reminisces about her cousin Benedikt and his husband, Marshall. Alisa works at Seagreen Press and is assigned to retrieve a leaked intelligence file. She overhears two Nationalist agents and gets excited about the possibility of a mission. Alisa rushes out, annoying her downstairs neighbor, to investigate.

Rosalind Lang, disguised as Janie Mead, enters the Peach Lily Palace dance hall. Her partner, Orion, leaves her abruptly, but she decides to proceed with their mission. Rosalind observes a group of former performers from the Scarlet club and tries to gather information from Yōko, Tarō, and Tong Zilin. She mentions her fear of leaving the house that day, hoping to start a conversation. Rosalind eventually meets Alisa at the dance hall, and they discuss moving Zilin’s body to make it look like a chemical killing.

Orion confronts his father, General Hong, expressing frustration over his absence and his brother Oliver’s actions. General Hong seems unaware of Oliver’s activities and tells Orion to report any sightings. Rosalind and Alisa execute their plan to move Zilin’s body. Rosalind disguises herself as a showgirl and creates chaos in the dance hall by shooting at the chandelier. She and Orion change back into their original attire and leave the hall, pretending to be a couple.

Celia and Oliver find themselves in a tense situation when they encounter Nationalist soldiers near their shop. They secure the shop and discuss their suspicions about the warehouse in the forest. Celia discovers a newspaper from Seagreen Press, leading her to suspect a connection to Alisa. They decide to investigate further and witness strange behavior by the soldiers at the warehouse. They narrowly escape and have an argument about Oliver’s secretive actions.

Rosalind continues her work at Seagreen Press and becomes curious about the intelligence file. She discovers a Communist flag in the trash can and questions the secretary about it. Rosalind overhears a conversation in the break room about Zilin’s disappearance, realizing the people involved might be part of the terror scheme. She proposes a collaboration with Alisa to retrieve the file. Orion questions their actions, and Rosalind realizes their plan may be compromised.

Phoebe receives a church pamphlet asking for orphanage donations, which catches her attention. Rosalind confronts Alisa about her past association with Dimitri and discusses the mission. They suspect a mimicry by either the Communists or Nationalists and decide to investigate further. Tong Zilin is found murdered, and Rosalind deflects suspicion onto Alisa by mentioning seeing Liza Ivanova talking to Zilin. The police take Alisa for questioning.

Orion asks Phoebe for a favor while he and Janie are busy with a Seagreen fundraiser. Rosalind and Orion prepare for the fundraiser and discuss their progress. They encounter General Hong, who questions Orion’s capabilities and warns Rosalind for her own protection. Rosalind witnesses Orion flirting with a Frenchwoman and confronts him about his behavior. The chapter ends with Rosalind and Orion leaving the event.

Alisa finds herself in a holding cell, accused of a crime. Phoebe and a boy she recognizes from an underground Communist meeting rescue her, claiming to be her saviors. Meanwhile, Rosalind and Orion are attacked in their car but manage to escape. They steal an enemy vehicle and navigate through alleys to lose their pursuers.

Phoebe and Silas interrogate Liza Ivanova, pretending she is their captive. They discuss her motives and involvement in Tong Zilin’s murder. Janie Mead and Orion arrive, revealing Liza as a suspect. Janie offers Liza a deal to clear her name in exchange for her assistance in the investigation. Liza agrees and leaves.

Celia visits a rural marketplace and suspects new shoppers to be agents. She reflects on her strained relationship with Oliver and her encounter with soldiers at a warehouse. Celia investigates the misdelivered box of newspapers, learning that soldiers were taking Japanese newspaper deliveries and reassigning them. She shares her findings with Oliver, who reveals that his brother is involved in investigating the Japanese. They plan to leave for the city to uncover the truth.

Orion arrives at the office, where there is a flurry of activity. He recalls his conversation with Janie about her secret and confronts her about it. Orion meets with Haidi, who tries to seduce him. Suspecting Haidi is testing him and that Janie is suspected, Orion fakes a nosebleed and finds incriminating items in Haidi’s purse. He leaves the hotel, discarding the towel he used.

Rosalind returns home worried about Orion’s whereabouts. She discusses the day’s developments with him and learns about their colleagues’ potential involvement in a terror plot. Orion leaves to request a new handler and address the Seagreen Press situation. Phoebe visits Silas, who is investigating a person called Priest. They both leave to monitor anti-Japanese riots near Seagreen.

A mob gathers near an apartment, and two mission agents discuss the situation. They suspect infiltrators with hidden motives. The girl hears screams and rushes off. The agents discover dead bodies with similar wounds and a vial of green liquid near one of them.

Rosalind returns to work and meets with Ambassador Deoka. She notices mysterious crates and investigates further. She discovers Seagreen Press is involved in transporting more than just newspapers. Phoebe convinces Silas to join her on a mission to find Liza.

Alisa prepares for a meeting with Nationalists, planning to create a distraction using firecrackers. Disguised, she heads to a Communist liaison brothel, instructing Phoebe and Silas to lead the Nationalists away. Alisa sneaks into an office, gathers information, and makes a call to gather intel. She learns about the halted pursuit of Orion and Rosalind and discovers an address for an operation in Taicang. Alisa informs Phoebe and Silas, who are confused but decide to investigate. Alisa also provides Phoebe with an address related to her missing brother.

Rosalind and Orion suspect they are being followed and devise a plan to shake off their tail. They enter a mysterious residential building, encounter a Japanese-speaking man, and find crates filled with glass vials. They grab a matching vial but hear soldiers approaching and flee, facing the risk of being caught.

Orion tends to Janie, who was poisoned and expresses his concerns for her well-being. Janie wakes up and takes an antidote. Rosalind wakes up next to Orion, feeling terrible but closer to completing their mission. They discuss their cover and Orion’s strange behavior. Rosalind questions his actions as she sits alone in the bedroom.

Phoebe confronts Orion about Silas’ mention of someone called Priest. They discuss Silas’ mission to secure weapons for the Kuomintang and suspect Haidi as the top suspect in the murders. Rosalind and Orion ponder a vial’s connection to a past epidemic. They receive a fruit basket filled with durians, leaving them puzzled.

Silas, Rosalind, and Orion meet their new handler, Jiemin, who reveals his undercover investigation and the link between the chemical compounds and the killings. They plan to close the mission at an upcoming function. Alisa visits Mrs. Guo, confirming details of her testimony.

Rosalind and Orion search for evidence at Seagreen Press but are interrupted by a late-night visitor. They encounter Oliver arguing with Phoebe and learn about a warehouse linked to the chemical injections killing people in Shanghai. They discuss the civil war, the Japanese terror scheme, and the possibility of a weapon. Celia suggests the experiments in Warehouse 34 aim to perfect a chemical weapon, piecing together the puzzle.

Celia contacts Alisa, instructing her to deliver crucial information to Rosalind about their mission. Alisa receives the message, collects developed photographs, and heads out to find Rosalind. While going through the pictures, one photo shocks Alisa, causing her to drop them in disbelief. Orion receives a call to visit the local Kuomintang headquarters, prompting Rosalind to embark on her journey to Burkill Road alone. They agree to meet there later if their meeting ends early. Rosalind carries poison-coated pins, remaining vigilant and positioning herself near a residence on Burkill Road. A figure dressed in black emerges, and Rosalind gives chase, trying to catch a glimpse of their face while maintaining distance. The figure leads her through alleys until a confrontation occurs involving an injection. Rosalind intervenes but is overpowered by the masked killer. During the struggle, she manages to unmask the killer, revealing a shocking identity.

The killer receives instructions to continue their deadly tasks, acting alone and following specific routes to avoid detection. However, Rosalind recognizes the killer as Orion, someone she knows. In a moment of recognition, Orion stabs Rosalind before snapping out of his trance. Rosalind keeps him at bay while Alisa sedates him. They discover a photograph confirming Orion’s role as the killer. Alisa reveals that the killings were experiments for a prototype weapon, each vial containing an imperfect formula. They decide to take the injured man to the hospital while Rosalind deals with Orion.

Rosalind secures Orion in her apartment and receives a call from Silas, lying about finding Haidi and implicating her as the killer. Troubled by Orion’s crimes, Rosalind rushes to a lab to analyze the green liquid in the syringe. The scientist recognizes her as Lang Shalin, the person who provided the substance that made her immortal. Meanwhile, Jiemin is preoccupied with his thoughts in a hotel lobby.

Rosalind confronts Orion after he regains consciousness, accusing him of stabbing her and being responsible for the killings. Orion claims to have no memory of his actions. Rosalind shows him evidence linking him to the crimes. Suspicious yet intrigued by Orion’s claim of memory loss, Rosalind points her gun at him. Orion expresses his love for her and his desire to fix his actions. Before she can decide, Silas and Phoebe arrive, interrupting their conversation.

Rosalind and Orion arrive at Cathay Hotel, a grand building in Shanghai. They enter the hotel, surrounded by familiar faces and colleagues. Rosalind anxiously ponders whether to protect Orion or turn him in. They make their way to the main banquet lounge, where Ambassador Deoka is surrounded by other attendees. Rosalind realizes that there are individuals on their list present, but the number differs from her expectation. They discuss their search plans, with Rosalind deciding to sweep the building herself while Orion covers the upper floors.

During her search, Rosalind encounters Alisa, who is working as a waitress. They discuss Orion’s situation and the possibility of his loyalty. Rosalind encounters Yōko and reassures her while reflecting on her own resentment toward the empire. Alisa informs Rosalind about her missing handler and the vanished man they saved. Reuniting with Orion, they wait for reinforcements and dance together to avoid suspicion. They discuss whom to trust when the Nationalists arrive, arresting suspects and causing tension in the room.

In a distressing turn of events, Phoebe receives a distressing message through her wire that Hong Liwen and Lang Shalin (Orion and Janie) have been arrested for serious crimes. The roads surrounding the Cathay Hotel are blocked, indicating that the authorities have taken them into custody. Phoebe discovers that Janie’s real name is Rosalind Lang, associated with the Scarlet Gang. She realizes that much of the information they received from Rosalind, including Haidi’s guilt, was false. Silas and Phoebe plan to rescue Orion and Rosalind.

Rosalind and Orion find themselves locked in a cell with Ambassador Deoka. With the help of Alisa, they escape and learn about chemical experiments at Warehouse 34 that they aim to stop. On their way to the warehouse, they encounter Japanese soldiers who have been altered, leading to a fierce battle.

Rosalind and Orion confront Lady Hong, Orion’s mother, who reveals her involvement in turning Orion into a living weapon. Rosalind destroys the cure for Orion’s condition, resulting in a confrontation between her and Orion under Lady Hong’s control.

Alisa confronts her brother, Oliver, about his knowledge of Orion’s involvement in the killings. Oliver admits that he recognized their mother’s work at Warehouse 34 but chose to protect her instead of investigating further. Feeling betrayed, Alisa decides to protect a glass vial and disappears from everyone’s radar.

How did Foul Lady Fortune end?

In the final chapters of the book, Rosalind finds herself weakened and injured, leaning against a tree. Jiemin helps her and questions why she was unable to heal from the bullet wounds. Rosalind explains that the bullets were made of a peculiar material that hindered her healing abilities and reveals Lady Hong’s involvement and the destruction of the vials at Warehouse 34. She confronts Jiemin for not informing her about his actions, but he explains that the information came from a questionable source with connections to both the Nationalists and Communists. Rosalind realizes arguing is futile and focuses on rescuing Orion.

Rosalind discloses that Orion has been captured and is under his mother’s spell. She insists they go after him with Nationalist forces, but Jiemin firmly opposes the idea, stating it’s not their mission. Rosalind passionately argues against abandoning Orion, but Jiemin explains that Hong Liwen’s memory has been erased, making him a liability. Rosalind, outraged, declares she will go after Orion alone, but before she can finish her sentence, she collapses and loses consciousness.

In the next chapter, Rosalind wakes up in the hospital with Celia, her sister, by her side. They discuss the events at Warehouse 34, the revelation of a double agent named Dao Feng, and Rosalind’s identity as Lady Fortune. They ponder the consequences of her identity being exposed and Alisa’s disappearance. Celia leaves, and Rosalind contemplates her love for Shanghai and her longing for Orion. A nurse delivers a message offering help to find Orion, signed by “JM.” Rosalind decides to seek out JM in Zhouzhuang.

In the epilogue, Phoebe Hong, burdened by her family’s reputation, visits an orphanage and interacts with a toddler named Nunu. She discusses her brother’s situation with Sister Su and expresses confidence in his strength. Phoebe decides to stay at the orphanage and encounters Dao Feng in the kitchen, who was presumed dead. They have a conversation about Orion’s involvement and Phoebe’s presence during the events. Dao Feng acknowledges Phoebe’s intelligence, and they shake hands, referring to Phoebe as “Priest.”

There you go! That’s what happened in Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong. We hope you enjoyed this Foul Lady Fortune summary with spoilers.

Special thanks to Anne Clarence for providing this recap! You can check her out on her blog, thereadinglifeblog.com, Instagram, TikTok, Goodreads, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.

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