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And Only To Deceive
Emily, Lady Ashton, series book 1

by Tasha Alexander

      Emily agrees to marry Philip, Viscount Ashton, to get away from her overbearing mother, and because she knows she has to do the deed at some point.† Philipís sole raison díetre appears to be big game hunting in Africa, where he dies not long after the wedding.† But during her interminable mourning period, Emily begins to find out more about Philip, and to fall in love with the man he was.† With his passionate interest in the poetry and antiquities of ancient Greece, could it be that all his dealings were less than honest?

The subtitle of this book is "a novel of suspense," which appears to be something of a misnomer.† I had eagerly imagined a pacey tale of murder and other skullduggery in Victorian high society a la Anne Perry, but was to be disappointed.† Told by Emily, this is certainly a novel that describes what it must have been like to live in those times: the restrictions on women and the stifling code of social etiquette, as well as the joys of being young, beautiful, titled and extremely rich.† If you have a love, too, of Greek antiquities, there is much in here about Homerís poetry, the Iliad, and pottery, as well as information about how antiques were and still are faked.† But there wasnít enough actual plot to hold my interest, and although we get a good picture of the women in the story and ultimately of the character of Philip, Emilyís suitors remain shadowy.† Beautifully written and a class act, but more for straight history fans than mystery fans.

The Book

006114844X / 9780061148446
Historical Mystery / 1889 London, Paris and Greece
More at US || UK

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2008
© 2008