A POISONED SEASON (Amateur Sleuth-Emily Ashton-England-Victorian) – VG
Alexander, Tasha – 2nd in series
Wm. Morrow, 2007, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780061174148
First Sentence: There are several things one can depend upon during the London Season: an overwhelming barrage of invitations, friends whose loyalties turn suspect, and at least one overzealous suitor.
Lady Emily Ashton is through the period of mourning for her husband in time to join London’s social season. A new face on the scene is Charles Berry who claims to be heir to the French throne in this post-revolutionary time. Although he is courting a friend of Emily’s to be his future Queen, he wants Emily as his mistress. Is he the one sending Emily anonymous poems written in Greek? And who is stealing treasures of the late Marie-Antoinette? But most important, who poisoned society member David Francis? Although her maid has been arrested, Mrs. Francis asks Emily to prove her maid innocent.
Ms Alexander combines history, society and a dash of romance into a first-rate read. She has taken three threads; who committed the murder, who is the thief and who is trying to ruin Emily’s reputation, and combines them into one very interesting, intriguing story. Emily is a great character; smart, independent and resourceful. There is a romance, but she doesn’t depend on him to save her. Her depiction of Victorian England is delightful, while very much the upper class. It does show the intrigues and intricacies of live among the social elite. The plot kept me going and I didn’t expect the ending at all. While it didn’t have the emotional pull of her first book, “And Only to Deceive.” this was a very good read.