Full disclaimer: I am a sucker for a good mystery novel. I don’t know if Tasha Alexander is that good of a writer or if the previous book was just so awful, but I was really impressed at the depth of personality in each character in this book.
The Adventuress is the eleventh in a series of Lady Emily Mysteries. This book has its own stand-alone story, and any background info I needed was provided without making me feel I was being talked down to for not having read any of the previous books.
“There’s been a murder.” Set during the reign of Queen Victoria, the main action takes place in the south of France during a lengthy engagement party of a rich American girl and an English Duke. Most of the story is from the POV of Lady Emily herself, but between each main chapter, is a vignette about one of the other characters set in the months prior to the engagement. Since the reader knows this is a mystery, one obviously focuses on these sub-chapters as relevant to finding the culprit, but there are no cracks in the narrative to give us a hint as to why. True to form, the closer we get to narrowing in on the killer, the more loose ends are discovered. It’s a standard whodunit to the end.
The only criticism I could find was the random introduction of a cat into the last few chapters. This cat appears during the climactic struggle, but then sticks around for no known reason. Perhaps it will become a crime-fighting companion in the next book?
Rating = 3