I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
London's social season is in full swing, and Victorian aristocracy is atwitter over a certain gentleman who claims to be the direct descendant of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Adding to their fascination with all things French, an audacious cat burglar is systematically stealing valuable items that once belonged to the ill–fated queen.
But things take a dark turn. The owner of one of the pilfered treasures is found murdered after the theft is reported in the newspapers, and the mysterious thief develops a twisted obsession with Lady Emily Ashton. It takes all of Lady Emily's wit and perseverance to unmask her stalker and ferret out the murderer, while faced with a brewing scandal that threatens both her reputation and her romance with the dashing Colin Hargreaves.
What a lovely discovery! I’m very impressed with Tasha Alexander on the basis of this book. She will be a key-note guest at a writers’ conference that I’m attending next month and I try to read a little something by each guest before the event to help me know who I want to hear more from. Our public library didn’t have the first volume of her Lady Emily series, but this second book managed to allude to enough of the plot of the first book to get me into the loop and able to appreciate A Poisoned Season.
This is a historical mystery with a good splash of romance. Unlike so many current Victorian lady detective books, there are no paranormal events in this one, although Lady Emily does end up with one rather mysterious admirer. Her mother is still a thorn in her side—Emily thinks that, as a widow, she had the social license to remain single for a while and carve out her own place in society. Her mother could not agree less, and is already determinedly pushing her widowed daughter towards a second marriage. Thankfully, Colin Hargreaves seems like just the man for the job—now he must convince the independent Emily of that.
I will definitely be continuing on with this series—I even hope to read the next book before attending the conference in mid-August. Fingers crossed that the public library delivers it in a timely fashion!