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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Tasha Alexander returns to Victorian England in the sequel to her 2005 debut, And Only to Deceive, a historical whodunit that featured amateur sleuth Lady Emily Ashton, the spirited young widow of a wealthy viscount, who finds more than a few obstacles in the chauvinistic culture of late-19th-century London.
The high-society circles of Greater London are abuzz with gossip concerning Charles Berry, a decidedly ill-mannered gentleman who claims to be a direct descendant of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. The intrigue surrounding Berry is intensified when a thief begins breaking into the homes of the aristocracy and stealing only items that used to belong to the infamous French queen. Lady Ashton is drawn in when a mysterious suitor begins leaving strange gifts, including love poems written in Greek and a rare pink diamond that was once owned by Marie-Antoinette herself. When a man linked to Berry is found poisoned to death, Ashton's curiosity gets the best of her, and ignoring warnings from her love interest Colin Hargreave, she investigates…
Blending elements of historical fiction, Regency romance, and knotty amateur detective mystery à la Agatha Christie's Miss Marple saga, Alexander's Emily Ashton novels should appeal to readers who enjoy meticulously researched and vividly described historical whodunits, as well as those who are partial to mysteries featuring courageous and shrewd female protagonists. Fans of authors like Anne Perry and Clare Langley-Hawthorne in particular will thoroughly enjoy Alexander's lavish jaunt through upper-crust Victorian society. Paul Goat Allen