Tuesday, January 6, 2009

And Only to Deceive (A Lady Emily Ashton Mystery)

And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander (2006)

Pages: 310

ISBN: 9780061148446

Description: Emily's desire to learn more about her late husband takes her to the quiet corridors of the British Museum, where, amid priceless ancient statues, she uncovers a dark, dangerous secret involving stolen artifacts from the Greco-Roman galleries. To complicate matters, she's juggling two very prominent and wealthy suitors, one of whose intentions may go beyond the marrying kind. Her search to solve the crime leads to surprising discoveries about the man she married and causes her to question the role in Victorian society to which she, as a woman, is relegated.

Review: Lady Ashton is in morning after losing her husband to illness on a hunt in Africa. She hardly knew her husband as they were only married for a matter of months before he left on his final expedition to Africa. As time goes on, Emily learns more and more about her husband and his love of all things Greek. She herself becomes quite the scholar and delves deep into the subject. As she does this, she learns more and more about her husband and eventually falls in love with him. Meanwhile, she has two of his friends, Colin Hardgreaves and Andrew Palmer are both after her affections. The more she learns about Philip (her husband), she discovers a mystery involving stolen antiquities and the British Museum. She lands herself in danger that can only result in scandal.

I was intrigued with the writing style of Alexander from the beginning. She makes it easy to keep turning the pages to read more. The characters were well written although somewhat unbelievable for the era (a bit too modern at times). For the most part the story was interesting and captured my attention; however, it lagged somewhat in the beginning. I also could have done without the mystery of Philip's demise (is he dead or not). All in all, a nice mystery with some spunky ladies and a slight hint of romance in the air. I will continue on with her second book, A Poisoned Season.

Score: 3 out of 5

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