Sunday, December 9, 2012

Review: Death in the Floating City by Tasha Alexander

Description (from cover):

'In this stunning new novel, in the series that The Huffington Post calls 'thrilling' and 'impeccably detailed,' passions run high as Lady Emily rushes to Venice to aid an old enemy and solve a brutal murder.

Years ago, Emily's childhood nemesis, Emma Callum, scandalized polite society when she eloped with an Italian count. Now her father-in-law lies murdered, and her husband has fled, making him the prime suspect. Alone in her empty palazzo, Emma realizes there's no one she can turn to for help but Emily, who leaves at once for Venice with her husband, the dashing Colin Hargreaves.

When a fifteenth-century ring is found in the hand of the slain man, the mysteries of the past and present become entwined, and in order to find the murderer, Emily must first unravel the secret of a centuries-old love affair.

Her investigations take her through the canals of the ancient city, from opulent palazzi to slums, libraries, and bordellos. The past does not give up its secrets easily, though, especially when these revelations might threaten the interests of some very powerful people, and Emily finds herself stalked by an ominous masked figure, determined to keep her from solving the case at any cost.'

My thoughts:

This is the seventh book in the Lady Emily Ashton mystery series, which is a series that I have come to love dearly over the past couple of years. I fell in love with this character in book one, And Only To Deceive, and have read all the other entries in this series. Tasha Alexander writes beautiful historical mysteries that the reader can get sucked into right from page one. I really enjoyed the books at the beginning of the series and I hate to say that the past two books or so left me a little disappointed. I felt that the series was losing a little steam and was missing the brilliance that was in the beginning of this series. This book, while I did have some issues with it, is one step for taking the series back to what it was.

Tasha Alexander writes about Venice in such a way that I can imagine myself there. The setting she weaves is quite refreshing and I found myself imagining that I was being oared around Venice in a gondolier boat in the nineteenth-century. The ancient buildings and the way Venice embraces art and architecture makes this a great setting for a book, especially a historical mystery, when there is so much history to be found in Venice. Alexander uses a present day mystery and weaves it with another mystery set in the fifteenth-century to make this book an interesting read.

Emily has come to Venice at the request of her childhood enemy, Emma, because Emma's father-in-law was found murdered. Emily has quite the reputation of being a fantastic solver of mysteries and murder and Emma feels that Emily is her only hope for finding out what happened to her father-in-law. While the women clearly don't really care for each other, they play off of each other while trying to conduct a murder investigation and makes for interesting reading. Emily has to use her sharp wit and intelligence to find out what secrets someone was willing to kill for and prevent it from happening again. Along with her husband, Colin, and some new friends that she meets along the way, she sets out on an investigation that will change her life forever.

I mentioned earlier that I did have some issues with this book. There were quite a few times that I found myself confused, especially at the crucial moment when the murderer and the motive was revealed to the reader. It was like everything was happening so fast and it wasn't very clear what was going on in the plot line, that in itself was a little confusing and I really felt that it took something away from the story as a whole. Also, Colin is an agent in England for the Queen, however, you would expect that in a different country (i.e. Italy), he wouldn't be able to throw his weight around with the police and other official channels as much as he is able to. While I love the characters and I love this series, sometimes in this book, I wanted them to work a little harder to solve everything. It was a little too neat at times, but still a good read. The ending sets up more for the series in the future and don't want to spoil any surprises, but I think lovers of this series will be excited. I know I am.

Overall Rating: 4


Title:  Death in the Floating City
Author:  Tasha Alexander
Series:  Lady Emily Ashton Mystery #7
Publisher:  Minotaur Books
Publication Date:  October 16, 2012
Pages:  320
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes and Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

6 comments:

  1. I haven't read any in the series but I'm definitely interested.

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    Replies
    1. It's one of my favorites. I love it.

      Kimberlee

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  2. I agree, I was beginning to lose interest in the series but this last installment picked things up a bit. I enjoyed this one and I am looking forward to seeing how the "new developments" play out.

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    Replies
    1. Glad to see that you felt the same way about this series. I can't wait to read the next one. Good read.

      Kimberlee

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  3. I'm glad to hear the series is getting back on track. I love the setting of this one!

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    Replies
    1. It was a very nice read. I really enjoyed reading about Venice. It sounds beautiful.

      Kimberlee

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