Wednesday, November 2, 2011
A Crimson Warning by Tasha Alexander
"Newly returned to her home in Mayfair, Lady Emily Hargreaves is looking forward to enjoying the delights of the season. The delights, that is, as defined by her own eccentricities—reading The Aeneid, waltzing with her dashing husband, and joining the Women’s Liberal Federation in the early stages of its campaign to win the vote for women.
But an audacious vandal disturbs the peace in the capital city, splashing red paint on the neat edifices of the homes of London’s elite. This mark, impossible to hide, presages the revelation of scandalous secrets, driving the hapless victims into disgrace, despair and even death.
Soon, all of London high society is living in fear of learning who will be the next target, and Lady Emily and her husband, Colin, favorite agent of the crown, must uncover the identity and reveal the motives of the twisted mind behind it all before another innocent life is lost."
(from the publisher)
Sadly, I think this series has run its course for me. I am a big fan of the first three books, And Only to Deceive, A Poisoned Season, and A Fatal Waltz, and I was very much looking forward to the evolution of this elegant and sophisticated Victorian sleuthing couple. However, I've been underwhelmed with the last few books and I'm finding that the now-married Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves have lost their luster. Of course, they are a devoted and charming couple, but the relationship (which was such a highlight in the beginning) has faded to the background. The mystery of the splashed crimson paint upon unsuspecting victims' doorstep was intriguing -- the red paint indicated that there was a scandal soon to be revealed to society -- but the race to find clues led Emily on a search through the British museum (ho hum) and the conclusion was rather anticlimatic.
I'm sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but I think it's time for Tasha Alexander to try her hand at something different -- perhaps a stand alone with new characters and a completely different setting. I truly enjoy her very elegant writing style, and her recreation of Victorian society is charming, but I'd like to see her try a new direction.
Title: A Crimson Warning
Author: Tasha Alexander