Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Fatal Waltz by Tasha Alexander

Book description from the publisher:

"At her friend Ivy's behest, Lady Emily Ashton reluctantly agrees to attend a party at a sprawling English country estate of a man she finds odious.

But the despised Lord Fortescue is not to be her greatest problem

Kristiana von Lange, an Austrian countess once linked romantically with Emily's fiance', the debonair Colin Hargreaves, is a guest also. And a tedious evening turns deadly when their host is found murdered, and his protege', Robert Brandon--Ivy's husband--is arrested for the crime.

Determined to right a terrible wrong, Emily embarks on a quest that will lead her from London's glittering ballrooms to Vienna's sordid backstreets--and into a game of wits with a norotious anarchist. But putting Colin in deadly peril may be the price for exoneraing Robert--forcing the intrepid Emily to bargain with her nemesis, the Countess von Lange, for the life of her fiance'."

My thoughts:

A Fatal Waltz by Tasha Alexander is the third book in the Victorian-era mystery series centering around the love story and adventures of Lady Emily Ashton and Colin Hargreaves. I was very impressed wth the elegant writing style in And Only to Deceive and A Poisoned Season, and the third installment is a well-crafted story as well.

The plot takes Lady Ashton outside of London to Vienna...and while she has her share of meetings with European royalty and opulent balls, she plunges into the underground world of assassins, anarchists, and dangerous liasons that could have fatal consequences. It is necessary to suspend disbelief here and just go with the story, even though it seems highly improbable that would-be terrorists and assasins would meet an English woman who is investigating their covert operations.

The most intriguing conflict of the story is the interaction between the beautiful Kristiana, the Countess von Lange, who was Colin Hargreave's former love interest and Emily. She is a political confidante of her government and shares professional secrets with Colin -- and knows she has a power that Lady Ashton can never have. The tension and rivalry between the two women is a high-class cat fight -- it kept me turning the pages to see how this would all play out!

Another charming adventure from Tasha Alexander.

4 stars = very good, worth reading

Title: A Fatal Waltz
Author: Tasha Alexander
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
303 pages


septembermom said...

I read A Poisoned Season and And Only To Deceive. I loved them both. Emily is really a wonderful character to follow. Ms. Alexander's prose moves along so nicely and her characters are rich. Colin is one of my favorites. I enjoy reading those small scenes between Emily and Colin where they are vulnerable and playful. Emily is a resourceful detective too! Thanks for the great review. I can't wait to read this one too!

Joanne said...

Hi, Septembermom -- I'm so glad I found Tasha Alexander's books. Her latest Emily and Colin book is due out in September, and I'm looking forward to it. Glad you enjoy them, too!

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