This story started out so promisingly--a young widow becomes increasingly obsessed with her dead husband, whom she never loved or really knew. The background and the era are well described, and the main character seems like an Austen heroine, with unsuspected depths. But the story seemed to founder halfway through, bogged down with two dull men vying for the widow's trust as she tries to solve the mystery of her husband's death. I wanted to like the book, but it really lost me partway through, and I ended up flipping to the end just to see how it all came out. Too bad.
A Victorian England period mystery/romance. I would rate it 3 1/2 stars. It keeps your interest, although the plot bogs down in places. If you have an interest in the Greek and Roman classics it will hold your interest more than if you don't. It involves mostly the English aristocracy (although the French, German and Americans were involved as well) and their looting and pilfering of classic Greek archaeological sites, which was certainly the case during this period.
This is book one in the Lady Emily Ashton Series. If you like books with strong female leads then this is a great series. Its got a little of everything, murder, mystery, romance, and action, all rolled up into high society during the Victorian period. I really in enjoyed this novel great read.
This book was the first I have read by Tasha Alexander, and I am impressed. I will be promptly seeing to adding more of her works to my TBR pile. She weaves an amazing story of a widow who is coming to terms with the loss of a husband she barely knew, with intrigue of what he possibly could have done. Lady Emily Ashton is a carefree character who was ever happy in a typical womans role. Agreeing to marry her husband purely to get away from her Mother, when he dies only months into their marriage away in Africa she finds herself able to be more as she wishes to be. This does not agree with society.
We meet a loveable bunch of characters in this novel, from Margaret the brash American socialite to Cecile, the eccentric French widow. The story unfolds in a plethora of twists and turns, and in the background there is just a hit of romance from the many suitors Emily finds at her door. Some are earnest and dont fully appear so, and some are not earnest at all. You will find yourself surprised at just how things all unfold and turn out to be sure. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, and some mystery. And if youre a woman who likes to see ladies going against societys rules, well pull up a glass of port and enjoy some time with Lady Ashton.
Very good book, took me awhile to really get into it though. About a widow who falls in love with her husband through his diaries. Good read.
This book was enjoyable, but I was drawn in by the quote on the back comparing it to something Jane Austen could have written. With that expectation, it was a bit disappointing. Rather than being like Jane Austen, I felt like it was written by someone who really likes Jane Austen. There were numerous phrases and lines that I thought were very, very close to lines from Pride and Prejudice.
I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more books with Lady Emily solving mysteries!
a good mystery set primarily in victorian england and then the setting spreads thru out europe and africa. the main character lady emily ashton is a strong, headstrong woman who decides to find out about her deceased husband and learns that he wasn't who she thought he was and what he thought of her. along emily's journey two men interest her, but who is the good man and who is the evil one. you'll enjoy reading tasha alexander's first book as i did and look forward to another book with lady ashton.
Fun, fast read. I enjoyed it.
This book was much better than I expected it to be and was a real eye-opener as to the manners and expectations of upper class Englishwomen in the late l9th century. It was delightful to see a strong minded woman work her will against those who wanted to run her life. I loved the ending. Genny Sikes
Although this book started out kinda slow, I really enjoyed the strong female characters and the references to artistic works. As the story picks up pace, it is easy to characterize this book as a who-dun-it as opposed to a romance (however there are some very nice romantic moments). I often found myself wondering how the story would turn out, especially towards the end where the plot takes several twists and turns. I was very excited to find out that there are two additional titles involving this main character, and I am planning on reading them in the near future! Highly recommended for anyone looking for a fast, easy read, and who enjoys the ins and outs of victorian society.
I found this at a yard sale and quite enjoyed it. The author is careful to create a truly Victorian protagonist - not a 21st-century woman in corsets and long skirts. A fun read.
A fun light read. Interesting comment on the period and treatment of antiquities from the Greece. I liked the heroinne and the introspection she goes through after her husband dies. While the plot was a bit slow, the characters were interesting and I enjoyed reading this book.
This was a great book showing how not all women in that timeframe wanted to be married or to re-marry. Shows the strength of a strong minded woman, wonderful intrique in the storyline of who might have done what and how. Very good read. Will read the next two books.
Fans of "The Secret History of the Pink Carnation" will also enjoy this novel set in the late 1890's but, with a much stronger main character. Emily Ashton bristles at the social mores she feels constrain her and marries mainly to escape her overbearing, socially conscious mother. Her husband's death early in their marriage leaves her wealthy and able to make her own decisions about the course of her life. Her interest in Greek antiquities is sparked by her husband's vast collection. But, the mystery involved is how he acquired them and if he was involved in defrauding the British Museum.
A decent mix of historical fiction and with chick-lit features
I enjoyed this book. I'd recommend it.
This book features a poignant, unique, storyline - about a woman who falls in love with her husband only after his death - and it evolves into a very satisfying tale! The author, Tasha Alexander, has a delightful ear for dialogue and you can hear the coquettish flirting or the dry sarcasm as friends tease each other, throughout the book. You grow to like the main heroine Emily Ashton very much as she makes discovery after discovery about her little-known late husband - most of them good, some mysteriously uncharacteristic of him -- and she puts it together like a Nancy Drew of the Victorian Age. The plot is only slightly transparent at places, but by the end you're cheering Emily Ashton on! I LOVED it and I'm looking forward to the rest of Alexander's novels!
A very good story. Looking forward to reading the next book.
I read this book as part of a book club and our dislike for it was unanimous. The plot is obvious and trite; what we thought would happen in the beginning, did indeed, happen in the end. The characters are not believable and their actions contradictory. There are factual errors and plot inconsistencies. I was more than happy to pass this off to someone else.
This is a somewhat dry attempt at historical fiction, it does not have the level of intrigue and thrills that a Philippa Gregory novel, but it was short and had a limited story line that kep tyou somewhat interested.
Good Victorian era mystery.
I thought for a first book it was a very worthy effort. I believe the writer is clever and will develop her characters more fully as she writes more books in the series. I appreciate how she has created a variety of women for the Victorian period. I am already reading the second book in the series.
This was a DELIGHTFUL book and I've already added the future ones in the series to my Paperback Swap wish list. I would highly recommend it as a well-written historical fiction (cum mystery) from the perspective of a woman who defies convention without being anachronistic. It made me THINK and kept me guessing.
Worst book ever published!