From Publishers Weekly
When Lady Emily Ashton, an unconventional young widow, comes to London for the social season at the start of Alexander's highly enjoyable late Victorian novel of suspense (the sequel to And Only to Deceive), a presumptive heir to the French throne and a slew of robberies by a thief obsessed with Marie Antoinette soon become the talk of the town. The stakes rise after the murder of one of the thief's victims. As Emily risks her reputation to solve the crimes, she must contend with a mysterious beau, who woos her in Greek. The author deftly works in background material pertinent to Emily's life as well as period detail that never slows the narrative. Emily sometimes behaves in unlikely ways (e.g., visiting a man at his bachelor residence, getting on a first-name basis with a woman after a brief acquaintance), but readers looking for a lighter version of Anne Perry will be well rewarded. (Apr.)
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Blending romance and historical mystery, Alexander has delightful fun with both genres. Rich, young widow Lady Emily Ashton occasionally has tea with the queen, but she isn't exactly a perfect Victorian lady. Pretty and poised though she may be, her preference for port and cigars, her devotion to both "popular" novels and classic Greek literature (which she reads in Greek), and her involvement in solving the mystery of her husband's death (And Only to Deceive, 2005) have made her the subject of plenty of gossip. Her forthright opinions stir up chitchat once again when she becomes curious about the theft of several items once owned by Marie Antoinette and about a new gentleman on the social scene, who claims to be an heir to the throne of France. Alexander's witty treatment of the trivial pursuits of the aristocracy, coupled with an engaging mystery and a deliciously flirtatious romance between Emily and handsome Colin Hargreaves, makes for entertaining reading for those who like historical mysteries that don't take themselves all that seriously. Stephanie Zvirin
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