Title: A Poisoned Season
Author: Tasha Alexander
Genre: Historical Mystery
Length: 306 pgs
Summary: It is the start of the summer Season in London, and everyone worth speaking to is whispering about Mr Charles Berry, an alcohol-and-woman-happy man claiming to be the lost descendant of the dauphin (that is, heir to Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette). Lady Emily Ashton, our heroine, becomes suspicious of Mr Berry as items once belonging to his “beloved grande-mere” are stolen from unsuspecting peerage about town. As deaths occur and the thief begins to stalk Emily, rather than running away or hiding behind her dear friend Colin Hargreaves, Emily uses her cleverness and curiosity to solve the mysteries plaguing London.
pg 5 – “Surely you’ve put aside all thoughts of studying during the Season?” he asked.
“Studying Greek, Mr Berry, is what will get me through the Season.”
pg 132 – His lips brushed my hand. “How do you like the room? I finally realized that if I’m to have any hope of marrying you, I’d have to show you my library first.”
pg 134 – I think had he the presence of mind to propose at that moment, I would have accepted. The combination of hearing him speak in such an enlightened manner and the perfect setting of his library would have been too much to resist.
pg 296 – Added to this angst was Colin’s absence. His actions during the past months had surprised me at every turn. He had not tried to keep me from pursuing my investigations and had offered assistance without taking charge on his own. And now, in the aftermath of it all, I wanted nothing more than to sit with him, in quiet triumph, discussing what had transpired.
I loved to flirt with him, tease him, to discuss Greek with him. But I had not expected to find that, as a partner, he could offer more than that. He challenged me, stimulated my thinking, and offered both comfort and support when I succumbed to frustration. Was it possible that, as his wife, I might grow more than if I remained alone?
Why should you read this book?
This was just the sort of book I needed to read. The voice (written in first person) is amusing, conversational, yet intelligent. We are given detail about the London Season and high society, without it dragging the story. Motives were plausible, and everyone had a story to tell. Even the bit players. And they were interesting stories. Alexander didn’t sugar-coat her description of life back then, especially in terms of relations between men and women, married and single; yet, everything was written tastefully. Read this book for an engaging heroine, a cozy mystery, and a fun read. Fun, I think, because of the pacing and the lively characters. This is the second in what I assume will be a popular series, and I’m thinking of going back to read the first book, which I have yet to do. Give it a try, I think you might like it!