This is my second Tasha Alexander novel featuring Victorian Lady Emily Ashton and maybe because this one is set in Venice, a city I love, I enjoyed it even more than the the first one I read (A Fatal Waltz). Alexander, like Donna Leon, another author who writes mysteries set in Venice (though featuring a male detective), does a brilliant job of breathing life into Venice. And Lady Emily is a force to be reckoned with…a kin to Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey (set in Victorian England). Unlike Raybourn’s heroine, who sometimes is too tough and “un-Victorian” for the times, I felt Alexander and her Lady Emily hit just the right tones of passion and passiveness. Though the ending got a little convoluted (I began to get some of the characters confused because of their titles and their flowery names…not to mention all of the place names), I still highly recommend this series for anyone who likes historical mysteries, female-based mysteries or vivid depictions and/or senses of place.
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