Title: And Only to Deceive
Author: Tasha Alexander
Copyright: 2005 (Harper); 310 pgs.
Series: Lady Emily #1
Genre: Historical Mystery
From Goodreads: For Emily, accepting Philip’s proposal was an easy way to escape her overbearing mother. And when Philip dies on safari soon after their wedding, she feels little grief; she had barely known him. Now, nearly two years later, she learns that her husband was very different from the man she thought she had married.
Eager to find out more, Emily begins to study the priceless Greek statues her husband collected. Her search leads to the British Museum, where she discovers that a ring of forgers is stealing artifacts from the Greco–Roman galleries. Solving the crime will lead to more discoveries about Philip and cause Emily to question the role in Victorian Society to which she, as a woman, is relegated.
Comments: I had this book in my TBR pile for some time. I bought it when I was going through a historical mystery phase. At one point, I had added it to my purge pile. I “rescued” it because it fit a couple challenges. I’m happy I did.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved how Emily learns to love her dead husband, having never taken the time to know him when he was still alive, and regrets the loss opportunity. I also liked that Emily wasn’t going to conform to every little society rule, though I did feel that, sometimes, she did things “just because” — not everyone who’s concerned about your welfare is trying to run your life. Refusing to give in to her mother’s demands is one thing — the woman is overbearing and makes Mrs. Bennet’s matchmaking efforts seem tame in comparison. But dismissing the sincere warnings of a friend who’s concerned for her safety, because she believes he’s trying to run her life, makes her seem a little immature.
The mystery, or I should say the plot, was a little slow in the beginning. Since it’s the first book in the series, there had to be character introductions and “setting the stage”, so to speak. The mystery didn’t start out as a mysterious circumstance — as Emily becomes more interested in the antiquities, the mystery comes to light.
One of my favorite characters was Cecile du Lac, the older French lady Emily befriends in Paris. The other was Colin Hargreaves, Philip’s best friend.
I plan to continue reading the series.
Start: 21 January 2013
Finished: 26 January 2013
Cruisin’ the Cozies