And only to deceive
Young Tasha Alexander wrote this her debut novel in 2005 and has been writing ever since; almost every year a new Lady Emily Ashton mystery has been published.
Alexander studied English literature “...in order to have a legitimate excuse for spending all her time reading”. She has researched her topic “women in the society of late 19th century Britain” thoroughly and her heroine sounds and acts fairly convincing.
Emily is a young wealthy widow, thanks to her husband, who conveniently died months later while hunting in Africa. As it was a marriage of convenience for Emily to escape her ever carping mother, the young widow enjoys her new independent status. But then she finds out, that Lord Ashton lead a very adventurous and mysterious life. She begins to read his diaries and cannot help finally falling in love with her dead husband. At the same time she is courted by two friends of Lord Ashton, mysterious gentlemen, too. But Emily is still in her second year of mourning, which means she can only take part in very few, rather dull social activities. Instead she studies the ancient Greeks and develops a fine taste in antiquities like her husband, a keen collector of precious originals.
When she finds out, that he stored the originals to copies in the British Museum, she suspects that Lord Ashton was involved in art smuggling. And his friends, her two suitors, likewise. All ends well for her, of course, but her next adventure “A Poisoned Season” is waiting for the reader.