The Adventuress (Lady Emily)
by Tasha Alexander
Review by Mel Jacob
St. Martin's Griffin Trade Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781250092090
Date: 26 July 2016 List Price $15.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The eleventh in the Lady Emily Mystery series by Tasha Alexander, the Adventuress, pits Lady Emily against an unknown foe determined to kill her and her good friend Jeremy Sheffield. About to marry an American heiress, Jeremy hasn’t made any enemies likely to want him dead. Yet strange happenings threaten his life and reputation.
Lady Emily and her husband Colin Hargreaves are invited along with a party of others to Côte d'Azur to celebrate the engagement of the American heiress Amity Wells to their friend Jeremy Sheffield, Duke of Bainbridge. Amity's mother Bella Wells is a force of nature determined to wed her daughter to a duke and insists on an over-the-top week of celebrations.
The novel begins with a death of one guest. However, despite being found in Jeremy's room, the dead man is his best friend Chauncey Neville and not Jeremy. Initially a suspected suicide, it gradually becomes apparent the man was murdered.
The novel unwinds with a series of flashbacks of Amity's life intermixed with the events of the engagement celebration and entertainments. Soon, Lady Emily finds herself the object of someone determined to destroy her reputation if not her life. These happenings have all except her most steadfast friends questioning her behavior.
Some events also place Jeremy's life in jeopardy. Throughout Amity appears as a victim of nasty pranks engineered by someone to make others believe Lady Emily is the source.
The Lady Emily series of Victorian mysteries is popular and has many readers looking forward to her adventures. The ending will surprise some readers, but may leave others believing that Alexander hasn't played quite fair with them. Nonetheless, the novel is engrossing and offers enough potential culprits to keep the pages turning.