Saturday, July 11, 2009
A Poisoned Season by Tasha Alexander
"London's social season is in full swing, and Victorian aristocracy can't stop whispering about a certain gentleman who claims to be the direct descendant of Louis XVI and Marie Antionette. But he's not the only topic of wagging tongues. Drawing rooms, boudoirs, and ballrooms are abuzz with the latest news of an audacious cat burglar who has been systematically stealing valuable items that once belonged to the ill-fated queen.
Light gossip turns serious when the owner of one of the pilfered
treasures is found murdered, and the mysterious thief develops
a twisted obsession with Lady Emily Ashton. It will take all of
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 her late
husband's best friend, the dashing Colin Hargreaves."
Tasha Alexander's second novel featuring the independent Lady Emily Ashton was a treat! She expertly weaves multiple mystery storylines into a seamless plot in A Poisoned Season while entertaining the reader with the fascinating details of the Victorian London social season: high society dinners and dances, balls, the opera, high teas, parading through Hyde Park in carriages, and designer fashions. What's not to love? It is a faster paced plot than her debut novel (And Only to Deceive) and is a compelling, multi-faceted mystery.The reader is kept guessing as we attempt to piece together the puzzle: Who is the cat burglar targeting aristocrats with French treasures? Who is respsonsible for the murder of a prominent London gentleman? Who is Emily's anonymous admirer...and later threatening her life? Has a true descendant of King Louis XVI come forward to claim his rightful title in France? As the saga continues, Colin Hargreaves and Lady Emily, in true Victorian style, keep their obvious attraction to each other in check, and you can cut the physical tension between them with a knife. He's smart enough to give Emily the room she needs to be independent and pursue her intellectual interests while courting her in a way that will make Emily (free spirited and not ready for remarriage) want to change her mind. Surprises all around at the end, with lots of promise for things to come.
I enjoyed this past faced story from start to finish. Tasha Alexander has a very charming and elegant writing style that I admire, and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, A Fatal Waltz.
Title: A Poisoned Season
Author: Tasha Alexander