A Poisoned Season by Tasha Alexander (2007)
Description: London's social season is in full swing, and the Victorian aristocracy can't stop whispering about a certain gentleman who claims to be the direct descendant of Lois XVI and Marie Antoinette. 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 making off with precious 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 Emily. But the strong-minded and fiercely independent Emily will not be shaken. It will take all of her considerable wit and perseverance to unmask her stalker and ferret out the murderer, even as a brewing scandal threatens both her reputation and her romance with her late husband's best friend, the dashing Colin Hargreaeves.
Review: We join Lady Emily Ashton in the midst another one of London's social seasons. This season the ton is obsessed with the possible heir to the French throne. He is the envy of every hostess and mother trying to get her daughter married off. The season is not very promising for Emily as she is the butt of many rumors. When one of the few people that she socializes ends up dead after she suggested police involvement with a theft, Emily is determined to find out exactly what is going on, even if her own life is at stake.
Alexander really fleshed out the characters much more in this second installment of the Lady Emily Ashton series. I found it to be much more readable and a delight. Lady Ashton is an interesting character that finds herself in the most interesting of mysteries. While the notions and speech of a few characters seem somewhat out of place, this is a great historical novel set in the restrictive Victorian era. I was very pleased with this installment and cannot wait to read the next.
Score: 4 out of 5