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A Poisoned Season (Lady Emily) Hardcover – April 10, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 145 customer reviews
Book 2 of 10 in the Lady Emily Series

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Editorial Reviews

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Series: Lady Emily
  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: WilliamMr (April 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061174149
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061174148
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #632,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tasha Alexander is the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Emily series and the novel ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE. She attended the University of Notre Dame, where she studied English and Medieval History. Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. She and her husband, novelist Andrew Grant, divide their time between Chicago and the UK.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tasha Alexander's second book, A Poisoned Season, in her series about Lady Emily Ashton is as charming as the first installment, And Only To Deceive. Lady Emily Ashton is a woman with sensibilities ahead of her time, with interests in antiquities and learning Greek. She is also a young widow with fortune and means to pursue her interests despite societal pressures otherwise. Fortunately, her love interest, Colin Hargreaves, is also ahead of his time, with less interest in taming her than capturing her heart and working beside her in their mutual interests. This time the mystery centers around the descendants of the French monarchy with plenty of twists and turns to keep mystery readers entertained.

With nods to the Ton and the Season, Queen Victoria and other standards of the era, this series is light enough for a pleasure read, but still has some intellectual 'oomph', including references to Greek texts. It reflects Lady Ashton's own tastes for reading popular fiction as well as Homer in Greek. The cast of supporting characters is also appealing with the butler Dixon becoming a personal favorite.

Especially recommended for fans of historical mysteries and historical romances, the book should appeal to fans of Victoria Thompson, Anne Perry and Georgette Heyer. It's rated PG, although there is sufficient sexual tension to please romance fans. Emily and Colin's relationship is also moving along at a pleasingly brisk--but not too fast!--pace for a mystery series instead of the tendency of other historicals to leave obvious attraction in a holding pattern for countless books before hinting at any progression.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I seen to be going through a mystery phase lately. When I was about nine years old I was all about mystery novels-Nancy Drew (of course) some Mary Higgins Clarke (I was precocious) even a little Lawrence Block. It was something I had common with my father, whose bookshelves are filled with nothing but mysteries and books on music. But like any evolving young reader I went through stages, mystery to old fashioned books, like Anne of Green Gables, to fantasy, to contemporary fiction (chick lit mostly) and then to historical fiction. Now, with the recent publishing boom of historical mysteries, I seem to have come full circle.

"A Poisoned Season" is the sequel to "And only to Deceive", in which we met the recently widowed Emily Ashton, who lives in London in the late Victorian age. Emily fell into the business of solving mysteries as she languished in mourning, and took the time to learn more about her deceased husband, who she barely knew in their short marriage. While reading his journal she stumbled across possibly stolen art ring and eventually, the truth of her husband's death. Along the way she found a love of Greek, especially the Iliad and ancient Greek art and began to know-and perhaps love-her husband's best friend Colin Hargreaves. She also develops an attitude towards society that could be described as unconventional at best, given the times.

In "A Poisoned Season" Emily returns, back from her villa in Greece, accompanied by her new friend Cecile de Lac to face the London society season. This season has some spice added to it not only with the introduction of Charles Berry, who claims (and is believed by society) to be the heir of Marie Antoinette, and if the monarchy still existed in France, the rightful king.
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Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: There are several things one can depend upon during the London Season: an overwhelming barrage of invitations, friends whose loyalties turn suspect, and at least one overzealous suitor.

Lady Emily Ashton is through the period of mourning for her husband in time to join London's social season. A new face on the scene is Charles Berry who claims to be heir to the French throne in this post-revolutionary time. Although he is courting a friend of Emily's to be his future Queen, he wants Emily as his mistress. Is he the one sending Emily anonymous poems written in Greek? And who is stealing treasures of the late Marie-Antoinette? But most important, who poisoned society member David Francis? Although her maid has been arrested, Mrs. Francis asks Emily to prove her maid innocent.

Ms Alexander combines history, society and a dash of romance into a first-rate read. She has taken three threads; who committed the murder, who is the thief and who is trying to ruin Emily's reputation, and combines them into one very interesting, intriguing story. Emily is a great character; smart, independent and resourceful. There is a romance, but she doesn't depend on him to save her. Her depiction of Victorian England is delightful, while very much the upper class. It does show the intrigues and intricacies of live among the social elite. The plot kept me going and I didn't expect the ending at all. While it didn't have the emotional pull of her first book, "And Only to Deceive." this was a very good read.
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Format: Hardcover
Her first book And Only to Deceive I picked up at an airport and found myself finished by the night I landed. While I found her first effort very exciting and sort of a modern take on a historical story, I felt this one offered not a lot new and felt formulaic. The story is still interesting, but I found her searc h for information about her deceased husband in the first book, far more interesting than her search for a thief and a mysterious admirer. This felt much less personal. Do not get me wrong, if you want a good read that will last you a day or a weekend, then this is a great choice. It woudl be the perfect story for a summer beach read. But stick with the first if you want to be truly engrossed.
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