Written by Tasha Alexander
This was a well-written story about Lady Emily Ashton set in Victorian England and the supposed heir to the French throne...not that the throne was available to this proclaimant. As all mysteries start, there was a murder and the wrong person was arrested. After an accusation of adultery by the murder victim’s widow, Lady Ashton turns the tables on the grieving widow and offers to help solve the murder. While the murder has taken place, there have been several thefts of items that once belonged to Marie Antoinette. Is the thief and the murderer one in the same? How are they tied together? Who keeps stealing into Lady Ashton’s bedroom while she is asleep and leaving her love notes in Greek?
The pace of the novel was well-kept and the characters were varied, as the author did a nice job of having a voice for each one that was different from the others. At some points, though, it seemed that there were too many characters to keep track of – luckily the author had the forethought to have a list of characters posted in the front of the book, to which I often referred. Because of this, however, you don’t get to see everyone’s story at the same time, or to have those stories completely fleshed out. The book is written in Emily’s voice so you see the story only from her point of view.
I would have liked to feel a little more tension between Emily and Colin Hargreaves, her romantic interest. This is one point that the author did not accomplish completely. I have read some novels where a simple touch of the fingers left the reader weak with the tenderness, but not in The Poisoned Season. I was left wondering why Colin keeps loving Emily as the connection doesn’t seem that strong between them.
I would also have liked to have seen more or learned more about the thief. I think that the author could have had more development there and more of a confrontation between Colin and the thief. The thief was constantly leaving love notes for Emily, but the feelings should have been more pronounced. Emily seemed rather annoyed that the thief’s identity wasn’t known, but had no reaction to this man who kept stealing into her room while she slept, or following her silently and leaving items when she turned her back. Wouldn’t this give a person more pause? Wouldn’t her romantic interest want to find this person and punch his lights out for taking such liberties?
I had picked this book up quite some time ago at Target, and THEN checked out some reviews. I guess I hit on a few bad reviews, because I had put off reading this fun mystery. Having dragged it across The Pond with an imminent move back, I am going through books that I was unsure off... do I want to keep it (and take it BACK to the States) or donate it. When I had purchased it, I had no idea it was the second in a series. I was able to read it on its own, but I think that I would like to read the first one before moving on to others to help fill in a few gaps. I am glad that I did read it, and cannot wait to find more books by Ms. Alexander. I really had no idea who the culprit was. If I have read more mysteries, and know the rhythm, I may have been able to puzzle it out. Personally, though, I was just enjoying the ride!