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A Crimson Warning: A Lady Emily Mystery (Lady Emily Mysteries) Paperback – Bargain Price, August 7, 2012

77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"At the start of Alexander’s enchanting sixth late Victorian novel of suspense (after 2010’s Dangerous to Know), news of a fire in Southwark prompts British intelligence agent Colin Hargreaves to leave Lady Londonderry’s ball, to his wife Emily’s dismay. Colin returns home to Mayfair that night to announce that Michael Dillman, who ran a successful export business, has been cruelly burned alive in his warehouse by an unknown perpetrator. The week before, according to Michael’s fiancée, someone threw red paint on his front door. The Sanders family receives similar treatment shortly before the rumor breaks that daughter Polly’s mother was, in fact, a maid impregnated by her father. Subsequently, other respectable London families find red paint splashed on their houses, presaging some scandalous revelation in each case. Can Emily help Colin solve the crimes without risking her reputation—or becoming a target herself? Alexander keeps readers guessing to the very end."
-Publishers Weekly

About the Author

TASHA ALEXANDER attended the University of Notre Dame, where she signed on as an English major in order to have a legitimate excuse for spending all her time reading. She and her husband, novelist Andrew Grant, divide their time between Chicago and the UK. Please visit her website at

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Product Details

  • Series: Lady Emily Mysteries (Book 6)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250007186
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #767,508 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By OLT TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia is a lady sleuth of the peerage in Victorian England. In her first book Silent in the Grave Lady Julia becomes a widow and teams up with her future second husband to find out what had happened to said first husband. (Murder most foul?) In Tasha Alexander's first Lady Emily book in 2005 And Only to Deceive (Lady Emily), her protagonist is also a recently-widowed lady of the peerage in Victorian England who teams up with her deceased husband's best friend (and later to be her second husband) to find out what happened to her first husband.

I suppose if we're going to call anyone a copycat, it must be noted that Alexander's book came out first, but each series has its own special personality and flair and a reader can enjoy both, without feeling that one is imitative of the other. That said, I must confess that I was on Team Lady Julia as to which series I preferred, but I'm switching. The more books written in each series, the less I am admiring Lady Julia's character, personality and behaviour and the more admiring I am of Lady Emily. She has become an admirable woman, an amateur sleuth and scholar (with studies of ancient artifacts, Greek, and Latin) without losing her dignity, common sense and with her behaviour as much in line with Victorian times as an independent thinking woman's can be.

In this entry, someone is disturbing Victorian peerage's peace of mind by splashing red paint on various houses and threatening to reveal secrets and scandals of those living within.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Arianne on February 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read all of these Lady Emily books. I've also read the Amelia Peabody series, I've read Anne Perry's Charlotte and friends mysteries (both of which are also set in the Victorian time period and whose characters I assume Lady Emily is somewhat modeled after). I'm sorry to say that Tasha Alexander's books aren't anywhere near in the same league. They lack the wit and depth of knowledge of Elizabeth Peters (and NO ONE can replicate Amelia Peabody), they lack the exquisite detail of research that marks Anne Perry's books.

By comparison, I find Alexander's characters superficial as tin foil, especially Lady Emily whose most daring deviation from the norm is to drink port (she spends an inordinate amount of time drinking something or another). She isn't clever, she's a bull in a china shop, whose insistent clumsiness often gets people killed. I find her merely self absorbed and not the least endearing.

Least satisfying is the author's lack of ability to take the many fragments of her stories and piece them into a coherent whole. Occasionally she comes up with a clever device (after the fashion of Dan Brown), but she simply lacks the ability to weave it into the story effectively. I spend most of my time with Alexander's books marking up the margins with outraged commentary on the general incoherence of the plotting, the superficiality of the characters and research, the ridiculous, often incongruous dialogue...and I could go on, but I don't care to become cruel. I do, after all, keep reading them.

They're light, they're fluff, they have exotic locations, everyone's rich, the women wear pretty dresses. I suppose I'll have to call them, for me, a guilty pleasure.
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Format: Hardcover
There's something fun about discovering an author for the very first time. When I finish the new find, I'm always happy to know that more is waiting for me. This is how I felt after reading A CRIMSON WARNING by Tasha Alexander. I enjoyed the book, and learning that it's part of a series made me happy to know that I would have more chances to peek in on Lady Emily Hargreaves's Victorian London.

Lady Emily is anticipating the delights of the season: the balls, her involvement in lobbying for the right to vote, and, of course, time with her favorite Greek books. At one of the season's first events, Lady Emily is happily dancing away the evening with her husband Colin, looking for an opportunity to sneak out so they can spend some time alone when a fight breaks out among two men. It turns out that an affair has been exposed, and they are arguing over ladies at the party. Suddenly, Colin, an agent of the crown, is called away on urgent business. Emily heads home with friends to discuss the eventful evening. When Colin arrives, it is with sad news: a well-known businessman has been murdered. His fiancée is devastated, but it's when she starts receiving threatening notes from the person who claims to have killed her soon-to-be husband that Emily and Colin start investigating.

Days later, red paint is found splashed on the homes of some of London's most well-to-do. The paint is a warning, and secrets are revealed shortly after, leaving some in London to revel in the disclosures, and others to fear for their lives and what will be revealed about them. When two of society's ladies are kidnapped, the season that held so much promise for fun is now filled with fear.

Lady Emily is far from the standard lady of the day.
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