A Terrible Beauty (Lady Emily Series #11)
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A Terrible Beauty (Lady Emily Series #11)

by Tasha Alexander

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In this gripping new novel in the New York Times bestselling series, Lady Emily travels to Greece where a ghost from her past returns to haunt her amid the ruins.

On a quest to distract her lifelong friend Jeremy from his recent heartbreak, Lady Emily organizes a holiday in Greece. As a lover of all things Greek, she quickly finds herself occupied


In this gripping new novel in the New York Times bestselling series, Lady Emily travels to Greece where a ghost from her past returns to haunt her amid the ruins.

On a quest to distract her lifelong friend Jeremy from his recent heartbreak, Lady Emily organizes a holiday in Greece. As a lover of all things Greek, she quickly finds herself occupied with tours of ancient ruins, lively debates with Margaret, a devoted Latinist, and slightly more scandalous endeavors with her dashing husband, Colin Hargreaves. But the pleasantries are brought to an abrupt halt when a man long believed dead greets the party at their island villa. Lord Philip Ashton, Colin's childhood best friend and Emily's first husband, has returned. But can Philip really be who he claims, even if he has the scars and stories to prove it? Where has he been for all this time? And will his undying love for Emily drive him to claim what's his?

Intrigue mounts as Philip reveals that he has been plagued for the past few years by an illegal antiques trader who believes he is in possession of a piece of Achilles' helmet, a priceless relic that was stolen from him moments after he unearthed it on an archaeological dig. Emily must employ all of her cunning and expertise to thwart thieves who threaten not only her own safety, but that of those precious artifacts she holds so dear. A trail of overheard conversations, murderous assailants, and dead bodies leads her on a chase to uncover more than one buried truth.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Alexander’s agreeable 11th Lady Emily mystery (after 2015’s The Adventuress) finds Lady Emily Hargreaves and her husband, Colin, looking forward to a trip to Greece with friends. But their pleasant excursion becomes a nightmare when Emily’s first husband, long-believed-dead, shows up at the door of their villa on the island of Santorini. Is he really Lord Philip Ashton, who supposedly died so long ago in Africa? A decade changes a man, but he can relate details of their life together that only Ashton would know. When a ruthless dealer in black market antiquities sends an assassin to Santorini to retrieve a priceless relic he believes is in Philip’s possession, Emily is suddenly in danger of losing all she holds dear. The story falters at the unlikely way Emily manages to unravel Philip’s secret. Still, Emily is an appealing protagonist and a believable Victorian woman. Some interesting twists, a vivid setting, and engaging characters fill out a tale sure to please historical mystery lovers. Agent: Anne Hawkins, John Hawkins & Associates. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

“Author Tasha Alexander is one to watch--and read. . . . despite her cliffhanger climaxes and witty repartee, there's a depth of sensitivity which sets her apart.” —The Huffington Post on Dangerous to Know

“With wisps of darkness, shadows of a ghost story and embers of heightened Freudian themes, Dangerous to Know is the perfect novel to curl up with and chase away the world.” —Examiner.com

“Infused with wit and charm, with just the right amounts of danger, romance and detection blended in.” —Denver Post on Tears of Pearl

“[Tears of Pearl] will please readers of Anne Perry, Laurie R. King, and Deanna Raybourn seeking a new fan-favorite author.” —Library Journal on Tears of Pearl

“A thoroughly enjoyable adventure with both historical texture and emotional depth.” —Anne Perry, New York Times bestselling author on A Fatal Waltz

“Alexander's sweetly choreographed plot dances between her wonderfully drawn sleuth, Lady Ashton, and Victorian high society.” —Julie Spencer-Fleming, Edgar Award finalist and author of All Mortal Flesh on A Poisoned Season

“Alexander excels in depicting the social mores of a society uncomfortable with the independence of women, and deftly allows the plot to develop in tandem with Emily's growth.” —The Baltimore Sun on And Only to Deceive

Library Journal
The 11th book in Alexander's Victorian series (after The Adventuress) sees our heroine on holiday in her beloved Greece, along with husband Colin and longtime friends Jeremy and Margaret. Emily receives the surprise of her life when her first husband shows up at their villa, as he was presumed dead years ago in Africa. Philip offers various proofs of his identity, but why has it taken him so long to make himself known? One reason could be that he's having a hard time accepting that Emily has remarried, especially since Colin was his best friend. If the situation wasn't complicated enough, add in a dead body or two and a priceless fragment of Achilles's helmet that everyone wants to get their hands on. Poor Emily! VERDICT Descriptions of the gorgeous Santorini scenery will make readers long for their own vacation in the Greek Isles. Alexander remains a consistently good writer, allowing her characters to grow as she puts them in complicated emotional situations. A treat for longtime fans, but the title could also serve as a stand-alone for new readers. [See Prepub Alert, 4/10/16.]—Laurel Bliss, San Diego State Univ. Lib.
Kirkus Reviews
An unlikely visitor from the past throws the lives of an aristocratic couple into disarray.Lady Emily and her husband, sometime spy Colin Hargreaves, have traveled to Greece with their closest friends, Jeremy Sheffield and Margaret Michaels, to stay in the house on Santorini Emily inherited from her first husband, Philip, the Viscount Ashton, who died on safari soon after their marriage. Emily remembers him even less well than his old friend Colin. Before they leave, Emily gets a postcard addressed to Viscountess Ashton and thinks she catches glimpses of Philip on the trip, leaving her uneasy. Emily and Margaret, both interested in Greek and Roman history, are pleased to find an archaeological dig on Santorini. But Emily’s delight turns to discomfort when unexpected guests arrive, a man claiming to be Philip and a colleague badly injured in a fall. Although his physical appearance is changed by the 10 hard years since he allegedly died in 1888, the man seems to know so many intimate details of both Emily’s and Hargreaves’ lives that they’re hard-pressed to deny that he’s Philip. He claims to have been too ill and too poor to return until he found Emily married to his best friend. Philip, who’s decided not to claim his fortune, has been working at his passion, archaeology, and making extra money by selling items of trifling historical significance. Now he says he’s been attacked and threatened by the minions of a man who wants the tiny piece of a helmet he found that may have belonged to Achilles. The unsavory dealer doesn’t believe Philip’s claim that the relic has been stolen from him, and the threat has followed him to Santorini, putting the entire group in danger. As Emily struggles with her guilt, she resolves to find the truth about the helmet and come to terms with her mixed feelings. Not Alexander’s best mystery, but its continuing focus on the problems of mistaken identity (The Adventuress, 2016, etc.) provides many opportunities for information on Greece’s glorious past along with some difficult choices for her intrepid heroine.

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Lady Emily Series , #11
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

TASHA ALEXANDER attended the University of Notre Dame, where she signed on as an English major in order to have a legitimate excuse for spending all her time reading. She and her husband, novelist Andrew Grant, divide their time between Chicago and the UK. She is the author of the Lady Emily novels, a series of historical suspense, including Tears of Pearl and Dangerous to Know.

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