Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Double Dealing on the French Riviera

THE ADVENTURESS (Lady Emily #10)
Tasha Alexander
St. Martin's Minotaur
October 13, 2015

Lady Emily's latest adventure takes her along with her husband, Colin Hargreaves, to the French Riviera on what should be a happy occasion. Her childhood friend, Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge is to be married at last to Amity Wells, an American heiress. The Wells family has invited all of Jeremy's friends and relations to a celebration lasting two weeks in Cannes. Amity's marriage to a Duke is the culmination of all her mother's ambitions for social prominence. Emily should be happy for Jeremy, who has been using a supposed infatuation with her to avoid marriage for years. However, having met Amity, she is a little uneasy. Everything goes awry when a close friend of Jeremy supposedly commits suicide. Everyone, including Colin, accepts the coroner's verdict; everyone but Emily that is. The gathering descends into a morass of suspicion, ugly pranks directed at both Emily and Amity, another death and tension. Just what is going on?

The Adventuress is told from the alternating viewpoints of Emily and Amity. Since Amity is anything but a reliable narrator, it kept me guessing throughout; not so much the who but the why and how. Tasha Alexander is a wonderful storyteller, bringing Cannes in the Victorian era to vivid life. I have followed this series from the beginning and liked some books more than others. The Adventuress was a single-sitting read for me. I needed to find out the answers to the puzzle. I was particularly charmed by the reference to "an eccentric lady and her even more eccentric archaeologist husband". The Adventuress is the second book that brought Amelia Peabody to mind this month. She is gone but decidedly not forgotten.

I highly recommend The Adventuress for readers of mystery and historical fiction. Thanks to St. Martins/Minotaur and for an advance copy in return for an honest review.

RATING- 4 Stars

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