In the Shadow of Vesuvius (Lady Emily Series #14)

In the Shadow of Vesuvius (Lady Emily Series #14)

by Tasha Alexander

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Overview

In skillfully intertwined storylines from the dawn of the twentieth century and the heyday of the Roman Empire, Tasha Alexander's In the Shadow of Vesuvius, the latest installment to her bestselling series, brings Lady Emily and her husband to Pompeii, where they uncover a recent crime in the ancient city.

 

 Some corpses lie undisturbed longer than others. But when Lady Emily discovers a body hidden in plain sight amongst the ruins of Pompeii, she sets in motion a deadly chain of events that ties her future to the fate of a woman whose story had been lost for nearly two thousand years.

Emily and her husband, Colin Hargreaves, have accompanied her dear friend Ivy Brandon on a trip to Pompeii. When they uncover a corpse and the police dismiss the murder as the work of local gangsters, Emily launches an investigation of her own. She seems to be aided by the archaeologists excavating the ruins, including a moody painter, the enigmatic site director, and a free-thinking American capable of sparring with even the Duke of Bainbridge. But each of them has secrets hiding among the ruins.

The sudden appearance of a beautiful young woman who claims a shocking relationship to the Hargreaves family throws Emily’s investigation off-course. And as she struggles to face an unsettling truth about Colin’s past, it becomes clear that someone else wants her off the case—for good. Emily’s resolve to unearth the facts is unshakable. But how far below the surface can she dig before she risks burying herself along with the truth?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250164735
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/07/2020
Series: Lady Emily Series , #14
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 21,165
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

TASHA ALEXANDER, the daughter of two philosophy professors, studied English Literature and Medieval History at the University of Notre Dame. She and her husband, novelist Andrew Grant, live on a ranch in southeastern Wyoming. She is the author of the Lady Emily mystery series, including And Only to Deceive and Uneasy Lies the Crown.

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In the Shadow of Vesuvius (Lady Emily Series #14) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous 6 days ago
It's 1902 and Lady Emily with her husband Colin Hargreaves are on holiday in Italy with their friends Ivy and Jeremy, the Duke of Bainbridge. The plan is to explore the ruins of Pompeii, destroyed by the eruption of Mt.Vesuvius in AD 79. While exploring, Ivy comments on the sideburns showing on one of the plaster casts, not exactly a feature of a first-century body! Upon chipping away at the plaster, Colin finds a much more recent corpse, no more than a month or two old. The police call it a local mafia crime, but when another death occurs on an archaeological dig, Colin and Emily spring into action. In the midst of their investigation, an unheralded visitor brings marital strife. Colin's previously unknown daughter, the product of an affair with his partner in espionage, now deceased, arrives in Italy. Not unexpectedly the daughter, "Kat", and Emily get off to a very rocky start, even though Emily tries her best. There is a secondary story being told as well and the narrative switches from 1902 to AD 79 and tells the story of a sixteen-year-old slave girl in Pompeii, who is also a gifted poet. I have enjoyed all of the Lady Emily mysteries to a greater or lesser degree, and I think In the Shadow of Vesuvius is one of the best of the series. I was much more invested in the slave girl's story that I had initially expected to be. The two storylines tied together very satisfactorily in the end. It's difficult to maintain the momentum in such a long-running series, but Alexander has pulled it off again. Thanks to Minotaur and NetGalley for an advance digital copy. The opinions are my own. RATING- 4 Stars
KristaS 15 days ago
I was really torn on the rating for this book. While I have had Tasha Alexander's books on my TBR list this is the first book I have read. I received it as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review, which is why I started with book 14 of the series. I know by starting with this one I missed the history and building of the characters and I'm hoping this is why I felt they fell a little flat, the book just didn't flow well for me. On a positive note, it is clear that Ms. Alexander really researches her subjects, even traveling to locations in her books. Lady Emily and her husband Colin are touring the ruins at Pompeii when they discover a body. One that doesn't belong, it isn't as old as the ones left after the eruption of Vesuvius. Someone is trying to warn them off the trail, but who is it, and why? There is also a surprise new character that promises to really add to future books.
Pokeybooboo 15 days ago
In the Shadow of Vesuvius is the 14th book in Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily Mystery series. It's the first book I've read by this author. A little late to the party, aren't I? Amazingly, book 14 stood alone perfectly; I didn't feel the least bit lost. Lady Emily Hargreaves and her best friend Ivy, escorted by Emily's husband Colin, are in Pompeii in 1902, visiting archaeological sites. While observing the plaster casts made of the victims of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius which occurred in 79 AD, Ivy realizes that one of the casts had sideburns. Sideburns? That wasn't right! When Colin pricks at the plaster with his pocket knife, he finds that there is a fresh body under the plaster. Emily and Colin begin to investigate the murder. In the midst of the chaos, a beautiful young woman appears, who apparently is Colin's daughter...one he didn't know he had. Juxtaposed with this story was one about a young freed Greek slave in Pompeii in the months leading up to the devastation from Mount Vesuvius. At first I was a bit annoyed with the story going back and forth between 1902 and 79 AD. However, as things progressed, I became totally immersed in both storylines. The one about Kassandra, a young poet, was especially enthralling. I became very attached to her, and it broke my heart just knowing the horror that was coming for her and Pompeii. I also enjoyed Emily's story; it was such a great mystery, one I just could not figure out! Every time I thought I solved it, I was proven wrong. The only thing that really irritated me was the way Colin's daughter Kat treated Emily. With the connection Emily and Colin so I obviously had, I was surprised he let Kat get away with her behavior. Besides that, it was an amazing story, one that was apparently meticulously researched. I'm eager for Emily's next adventure.I I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.
EileenHutton 18 days ago
Tasha Alexander brilliantly navigates between the world of Lady Emily (1902) as she and her husband and friends visit the ruins of Pompeii, and the world of a slave girl in that same city in 79 AD, the year it would be destroyed by Vesuvius. Emily and company tour the ruins, and view the horrors of the long dead encased in plaster to show the agony of their last moments. But closer examination shows that one is not like the others, and they realize that there is a fresh body hidden among the ancient. When the murdered man is revealed to have been an American journalist, Lady Emily and crew must sift through all of the possible villains to bring justice to the dead. The surprise appearance of a young woman claiming to be her husband's daughter adds another level of intrigue, as Colin swears he was never told of her existence. The situation is not made any better by the young woman's open hostility toward Emily, a state of which Colin appears totally unaware. Juxtaposing the mysteries in 1902, we alternatively travel back in time to the weeks before Vesuvius destroyed the bustling city of Pompeii. Kassandra is a young Greek slave, born in the Roman city and considering herself Roman in all but ancestry. When her father is able to buy their freedom, he takes her from a life lived next to wealth and luxury to a more middle class home. But she remains friends with her former mistress, and develops a forbidden relationship with the woman's husband. Kassandra is a gifted poet, and the husband talks her into secret meetings to read her poetry to him. He promises that he will present her to all the world as the author of the poetry that is taking Pompeii by storm. As each woman navigates the mores of her era, Tasha Alexander presents a picture that would indicate that a woman's status has changed little over the centuries. Both Lady Emily and Kassandra chafe at the restrictions placed on them by their gender, but only one will be unable to maneuver around them.
Noire 19 days ago
I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley to read in exchange for a fair review. In the Shadows of Vesuvius by Tasha Alexander is the 14th book in her delightful Lady Emily mystery series. It can be read as a stand-alone. The other books in the series are quite enjoyable so I do suggest adding them to your TBR list. Lady Emily Hargreaves, her husband Colin and her good friend Ivy Brandon have travelled to Italy to spend some time exploring Pompeii along side an archeological dig. Shortly after they arrive a body is discovered and since the local police seem uninterested in solving the murder Lady Emily and her husband and her friends set out to solve the murder. The chapters alternate between the present of 1902 and AD 79 following the life a young poetess in ancient Pompeii. The story is an intriguing mystery combined with some interesting points of history to make a story that you won’t want to put down. I enjoyed reading this book. Publishing Date January 7, 2020. #NetGalley #InTheShadowsOfVesuvius #TashaAlexander #StMartinsPress #MysteriesAndThrillers #bookstagram #HistorcalFiction @StMartinsPress
brf1948 19 days ago
I received a free electronic copy of this historical novel from Netgalley, Tasha Alexander, and Minotaur Books. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. I am pleased to add Tasha Alexander to my must-read list. She writes a tight, exciting tale with interesting characters and a great background of details that take you there. We visit various sites at the Pompeii archeological site at the base of Vesuvius, some in AD 79, beginning just hours before the lastest of the frequent quakes and eruptions of Vesuvius becomes lethal. In the later time frame of 1902, we travel with Lady Emily, her husband Colin Hargreaves as they accompany Emily's best friend Ivy Brandon to this historic site. Ivy was invited to visit the site by causal friends, who are both employed at the Balthazar Taylor Dig at Pompeii. Siblings, Benjamin and Calliope 'Callie' Carter, are young and rather wild, promising an interesting visit for Emily and Ivy who are childhood friends in need of some special together time. Colin is guilted into accompanying the ladies by Ivy's husband, because it's 1902 and ladies don't travel around Europe without an escort and security. Colin normally works as security for the English King. Four days in, Ivy comments on the fact that one of the plaster castings of the victims of the Pompeii tragedy is wearing impressive sideburns, which doesn't fit the profile of manly fashion in '79 AD. This modern corpse encased in plaster is about a month dead, and Emily and Ivy are right in the midst of the action. It is really good that they brought security. But is one man enough?
Pompie1999 19 days ago
Series: Lady Emily #14 Publication Date: 1/7/2020 Number of Pages: 304 *** 3.5 Stars Rounded up to 4 *** As with many of the stories in this long-running series, you get two stories for the price of one. The main story takes place in 1902 Pompei at an archaeological dig and the accompanying story revolves around a newly freed slave girl in AD 79 Pompei. For my part, I sort of liked the accompanying story better than the main story – mostly because you knew, as you read, what was going to happen to the characters. You wanted them to escape, but really knew they wouldn’t, so it was bittersweet. Lady Emily and her best friend, Ivy, hadn’t been able to spend much time together because – well – life got in the way. Ivy has six children who keep her busy and Lady Emily and her husband, Colin have children and travel a good deal – mostly because of Colin’s work for the crown. Ivy, Emily, and Colin have decided to make a trek to the digs at Pompei. Colin didn’t want to go, but Ivy’s husband persuaded him to accompany the ladies. Almost upon arrival, they discovered a dead body – encased in plaster in order to look like the other victims of Vesuvius. Colin and Lady Emily immediately take on the investigation to solve the murder because the local authorities would just let it go. They have lots of suspects with all of the archaeologists on the dig – many of whom are hiding secrets. Almost as soon as the investigation begins, the warnings start. The warnings are obscure and something that Lady Emily would recognize, but most others wouldn’t. Those warnings were meant to put them off the investigation but only made Lady Emily and crew more determined to find the killer. Tensions only increase when a second death occurs. Was it a murder or an accident? The investigation continues and many secrets are revealed, many suspects investigated and finally, the killer revealed in a most dramatic way. Also, right at the beginning, we get a new and previously unknown addition to the Hargreaves family. Colin’s method of dealing with this new addition caused me to lose respect for him. There was no excuse for his allowing this new addition to treating Lady Emily as she did. I have never had a great liking for Lady Emily – I’ve tried and just can’t get there. In my opinion, Lady Ivy would have made a much better heroine. Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge, is also seeming a little caricaturish to me. Seems to me it is time he begins to grow up. One thing that sort of bothered me was that there was absolutely no mention of Lady Emily’s and Colin’s children – given the circumstances, you’d think they’d be discussed at some point. The descriptions of the places and people in both stories made you feel as if you were right there in the scene. The mystery was a good one and the accompanying story was a lovely, but sad, tale. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Pompie1999 19 days ago
Series: Lady Emily #14 Publication Date: 1/7/2020 Number of Pages: 304 *** 3.5 Stars Rounded up to 4 *** As with many of the stories in this long-running series, you get two stories for the price of one. The main story takes place in 1902 Pompei at an archaeological dig and the accompanying story revolves around a newly freed slave girl in AD 79 Pompei. For my part, I sort of liked the accompanying story better than the main story – mostly because you knew, as you read, what was going to happen to the characters. You wanted them to escape, but really knew they wouldn’t, so it was bittersweet. Lady Emily and her best friend, Ivy, hadn’t been able to spend much time together because – well – life got in the way. Ivy has six children who keep her busy and Lady Emily and her husband, Colin have children and travel a good deal – mostly because of Colin’s work for the crown. Ivy, Emily, and Colin have decided to make a trek to the digs at Pompei. Colin didn’t want to go, but Ivy’s husband persuaded him to accompany the ladies. Almost upon arrival, they discovered a dead body – encased in plaster in order to look like the other victims of Vesuvius. Colin and Lady Emily immediately take on the investigation to solve the murder because the local authorities would just let it go. They have lots of suspects with all of the archaeologists on the dig – many of whom are hiding secrets. Almost as soon as the investigation begins, the warnings start. The warnings are obscure and something that Lady Emily would recognize, but most others wouldn’t. Those warnings were meant to put them off the investigation but only made Lady Emily and crew more determined to find the killer. Tensions only increase when a second death occurs. Was it a murder or an accident? The investigation continues and many secrets are revealed, many suspects investigated and finally, the killer revealed in a most dramatic way. Also, right at the beginning, we get a new and previously unknown addition to the Hargreaves family. Colin’s method of dealing with this new addition caused me to lose respect for him. There was no excuse for his allowing this new addition to treat Lady Emily as she did. I have never had a great liking for Lady Emily – I’ve tried and just can’t get there. In my opinion, Lady Ivy would have made a much better heroine. Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge, is also seeming a little caricaturish to me. Seems to me it is time he begins to grow up. One thing that sort of bothered me was that there was absolutely no mention of Lady Emily’s and Colin’s children – given the circumstances, you’d think they’d be discussed at some point. The descriptions of the places and people in both stories made you feel as if you were right there in the scene. The mystery was a good one and the accompanying story was a lovely, but sad, tale. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Anonymous 19 days ago
Tasha Alexander's historical mysteries take place early in the 20th century. In this entry, Lady Emily and her husband Colin are visiting Pompeii and Herculaneum where they become entangled in murder and chaos. The book also includes a novel within a novel that tells the story of a (freed) slave, a young woman poet and her fate. The strengths of this book include the settings and the characters with whom I wanted to spend time. The author has done significant research and her description of the excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum are filled with atmosphere, historical terms, and objects. Similarly, the world of the poet, Kassandra, comes vividly to life with its taverns, food stalls and homes both ostentatious and simple. I enjoyed the relationship of Emily with her husband, Colin, and close friend, a lord. Kassandra, Lepida (her former owner), Lepida's husband and Melas, a painter are all well drawn. Also, readers of the series will be interested to get to know Kat, but no spoilers here. I found the murder mystery itself to be less compelling and felt that the story could have been edited just a bit. Nonetheless, if you are curious about archaeology and enjoy historical mysteries, you might want to pick up this latest in the series. I also recommend this author's earlier title, A Death in St. Petersburg. Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for this title in exchange for an honest review.
Tangen 20 days ago
early-20th-century, first-century-ad, murder, murder-investigation, sleuth, lies, family-dynamics, friendship, archaeology, Italy, historical-research, historical-places-events, historical-fiction, historical-setting Two and a half stories in one! The main thread is in 1902 when the Hargreaves accompany a friend to an archeological dig at Pompeii, discover a murder covered up to appear as another of the plaster casts from the older eruption and investigate. The half thread regards the unexpected appearance of a previously unknown to them daughter from an affair long before their marriage, and she decidedly resents the stepmother. The other major thread is set immediately prior to the eruption that buried Pompeii. All of the characters are well done and I was not aware that there are so many earlier books. I loved it! At the end the author credits fact and acknowledges any adjustments for the sake of the story. I requested and received a free ebook copy from St Martin's Press / Minotaur Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
gypsygrandmatv 20 days ago
Pompeii is the background this latest installment by Tasha Alexander when a member of an archeological team is murdered. Lady Emily and Colin set out to solve the mystery of his death. Things get complicated when a surprise from Colin's past appears. As usual Tasha Alexander's research into the history of the area is meticulous giving the reader a fascinating look to the past. Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
DanieleK 20 days ago
3.5 stars IN THE SHADOW OF VESUVIUS takes protagonists Lady Emily and her husband Colin to Pompeii where they find a recently murdered journalist encased in plaster among the remains of the ancient city. Even though this is the fourteenth entry in the long running series, the characters are as fresh as ever. Author Alexander even introduces a new character that immediately shakes things up, and I am curious to see how the dynamic evolves in future books. Alexander continues her recent trend in writing dual narratives in two eras here. Lady Emily’s murder mystery takes place in 1902, and the alternate story revolves around a freed slave poet in the months leading up to the eruption of Vesuvius. The two stories are quite different, but they do share a setting and eventually become relevant to each other. I would prefer the story stay with Lady Emily, but Kassandra’s plight is interesting. Overall, I greatly enjoyed this impeccably researched historical mystery and look forward to many more adventures with Lady Emily and Colin. I received an ARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley and voluntarily shared my thoughts here.
sufue 20 days ago
I read and enjoyed several of the early Lady Emily books many years ago, and then just sort of lost track of the series over the years. So I was happy to get an ARC of In the Shadow of Vesuvius from the publisher/Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, with a few caveats… I unconditionally liked the descriptions of Pompeii and its environs. I’m a fan of archaeological mysteries, and this delivered nicely, both in terms of the setting/descriptions, and in the way the main mystery tied into the archaeology. I also liked the two threads to the story, the secondary one set in the time just before the eruption, and the main one set in Lady Emily’s time. It was interesting to try to imagine how these would eventually tie together, and in the end they did come together nicely. However, I am a bit of a wuss, and so I had a bit of trouble completely enjoying the secondary thread because it seemed pretty clear these characters were doomed – as they were. (Not too spoiler-ish – if you live in Pompeii in the days just before the eruption, you’re probably doomed!) But there was a bit of redemption (??? not sure of the exact right word ???) at the end that mitigated the doomed feeling somewhat. I find that usually when an author has two very clear, distinct threads to a story, I will like one a lot more than the other, and in this case, because of the eruption hanging over the head of the secondary characters, I liked the Lady Emily thread better. In terms of that plot, it was nice to see Lady Emily and Colin many years after the time that I had last caught up with them, and to see that things seemed to be working out well for them. There was a little surprise in the middle though, and although I could totally relate to Lady Emily’s reaction, I did have trouble imagining that Colin would react in the way he did – I would have expected his reaction to be more nuanced. So that was a minor irritant, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment of the book. And, it’s not totally clear just how well things will be working for Lady Emily and Colin in the next book – so that should be interesting. All-in-all, I liked this book a lot, and will probably try to go back and pick up some of the intermediate titles in the series that I haven’t read yet. I did think it helped a little bit to be generally familiar with some of the characters from my (much) earlier forays into this series, but I don’t think it would be absolutely necessary to have this background to enjoy this book. Thanks again to Edelweiss and the publisher for the ARC. And also please keep in mind that I try to fight “star-inflation” a little bit. I reserve 5 stars for a very few of my most favorite books, ones I’m likely to read and reread time-and-again, and 4 stars is a great rating from me.