Archive for 'Alexander, Tasha'
AND ONLY TO DECEIVE is billed as a novel of suspense. Set in Victorian England, it is about a young widow named Lady Emily Ashton. To escape her annoying mother, Emily married the Viscount Ashton, about whom she knew little, and who died on a safari in Africa after they had been married just a few months. Although she didnâ€™t love him, she has mourned him as a proper Victorian lady should, and is preparing to re-enter society when one of her husbandâ€™s friends comes to call on her. He describes her husband, Philip, in such a way that she begins to realize she may not have recognized her husbandâ€™s better qualities. In particular, she is intrigued that he was something of a scholar of Ancient Greece and collected and donated antiquities to the British Museum. The more she learns about Philip, the more Emily appreciates him and sees that she should have gotten to know him better when he was alive.
Emily begins to shadow her husbandâ€™s interests and activities in his last few weeks of life. She finds unsigned letters among his things that may be threats or warnings, and learns that the pieces her husband donated to the museum are suspect and, in fact, Philip may have been trafficking in forged antiquities. While Emily is beginning to enjoy her newfound freedom as a widowed woman of means, she would like to turn to her husbandâ€™s two best friends for help and advice. But when the two men tell her conflicting stories of her husbandâ€™s death in Africa, Emily becomes convinced that she has not heard all of the details of the incident. She enlists the help of her female friends to help her uncover the truth.
And Only To Deceive is an interesting and well-written book, but it is sort of a fantasy. In widowhood, Emily has basically won the Victorian version of the lottery. She is young, beautiful, titled, and wealthy. Her money and status give her the ability to get away from her mother, travel to places of interest, and meet new and exciting people like female scholars, former French aristocracy, and soon-to-be-famous artists. And she has the leisure time to expand her mind, have adventures, and contemplate future love affairs she will embark upon when her period of mourning is over. Unpleasant things like work, poverty, dirt, and disease never appear in Emilyâ€™s life.
And if I sound down on this book, I am not. Some people enjoy hard-boiled mysteries, and some likeâ€¦ coddled? That may not be the best analogy, but you get the idea. If you like a kinder, gentler mystery with good characters, an interesting plot, a little history, and a goodly amount of romance, this would be a very good candidate for you.
Favorite character? Aldwin Attewater, the honest forger. Did I guess it? Yes. Will I read another? Yes, when I am in the mood for a good, untroublesome read.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007