The Counterfeit Heiress is the latest in Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily series. This is the ninth in the series, but the first for me.
The Lady Emily mysteries are set in the 1890's and take place in various European cities.
This latest entry finds Lady Emily at a masquerade ball. Another guest seems to mistake her for someone else. There is someone costumed very similarly to Emily, but this woman is passing herself off as a reclusive heiress named Estella. She is caught out by Cecile, a friend of both Estella and Emily. The impostor is later found dead on the grounds of estate. Who was she? Why was she impersonating Estella? Who was the man who approached Emily? And - where is the real Estella? Along with her husband Colin, who handles inquiries for the Queen, friends Cecile and Jeremy, the quartet begins investigating a case that takes them from London to Paris.
This was such a fun period piece! Alexander has done her research - I found the detail so interesting - from societal customs and mores, day to day living, but especially the tombs and catacombs. Bookish references (Charles Dickens) are always enjoyed by this reader.
Alexander's dialogue is quick, smart and and rapier sharp between all of the main characters. The relationship between Emily and Colin is loving, but saucy!
Historical mysteries are always lovely to sit down and savour. The action is slower and the solving of the puzzle more methodical. As readers we are privy to more information that our protagonists have in The Counterfeit Heiress. Estella's story unfolds in chapters alternating the investigation. Midway, I had an idea of what would be the outcome, but I was more than happy to enjoy the journey to the final pages.
Definitely recommended for historical fiction fans. Read an excerpt of The Counterfeit Heiress.
You can keep up with Tasha Alexander on Facebook as well as on Twitter.