Synopsis: Emily and husband Colin have come to the French Riviera for what should be a joyous occasion – the engagement party of her llifelong friend Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge, and Amity Wells, an American heiress. But the merrymaking is cut short with the shocking death of one of the party in an apparent suicide. Not convinced by the coroner’s verdict, Emily must employ all of her investigative skills to discover the truth and avert another tragedy.
The Adventuress is the 10th entry in the Victorian Lady Emily Mystery series and thankfully shows no signs of the fatigue that sometimes appears in long running series. Once again Tasha Alexander has combined a compelling historical mystery with her signature sense of humor, which makes this a thoroughly enjoyable read.
The story is told from Emily’s first person accounts of the extended engagement party and her subsequent investigation into the death of one of the guests, and Amity’s third person flashbacks of the past events that lead up to her engagement to Emily’s childhood friend Jeremy as well as her own point of view regarding the events transpiring during what was supposed to be a joyous occasion. There is such a difference in their voices that if I didn’t know better I’d swear this was written by two authors. Emily relates events with her usual keen observations and dry wit. Amity is immature and impetuous, and it’s difficult to discern how reliable a narrator she is.
The settings take you from the C’ote D’Azur, to India and Egypt through Amity’s memories. I especially loved the characters’ visit to the prison of “The Man in the Iron Mask”. It added another interesting bit of history to a story that was already chock full of historical details.
There was only one thing that prevented this from being a perfect read for me. Much to my disappointment Emily’s husband and sleuthing partner, Colin really took a back seat this time. They are usually such an intrepid duo and compliment each other perfectly, but in this story Emily is on her own investigating much of the time.
Like her other books, with The Adventuress, Tasha Alexander entertains her readers with her signature mix of fascinating characters, well researched historical detail, dry sense of humor, and intriguing mystery. Even if you haven’t read the previous books in the series, you can jump right into this without getting lost.