Mar 3, 2010
And Only to Deceive
Series : #1 Lady Emily Mystery
Author : Tasha Alexander
Rating : * * * *
Characters : Emily Ashton is a newly widowed woman who got married to get out from under her mother’s thumb, but when her husband Phillip dies on safari just a few months after they were married she finally has the chance to really get to know him. Cecile du Lac is a Parisian woman of age who quickly forms a close friendship with our heroine. Phillip has two best friends: Colin Hargreaves and Andrew Palmer, both of whom try to steer Emily while she tries to work out her husband’s death.
Setting : Victorian England
Basic Plot : Emily's desire to learn more about her late husband, who she hardly even knew, takes her to the quiet corridors of the British Museum, where, amid priceless ancient statues, she uncovers a dark, dangerous secret involving stolen artifacts from the Greco-Roman galleries. Widowhood agrees with Emily as she is now freer than she was as a wife and daughter, but she wasn’t a wife for long. To complicate matters, she's juggling two very prominent and wealthy suitors, one of whose intentions may go beyond the marrying kind. Her search to solve the crime leads to surprising discoveries about the man she married and causes her to question the role in Victorian society to which she, as a woman, is relegated.
Comments : I loved this book from its introduction to its conclusion. It has a brilliant mix of stolen antiquities, betrayal, and murder. We have a wonderfully stubborn protagonist who slowly works her way into independence and courage. The period detail is so rich and elegant you will feel like you just dropped into the Victorian Era with their lavish modesty. It truly is an entertaining debut and it comes highly recommended.
Similar : The Temptation of the Night Jasmine (Lauren Willig), Tears of Pearl (Tasha Alexander)