Death in St. Petersburg: A Lady Emily Mystery by Tasha Alexander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Lady Emily
Publication Date: 10/10/17
Okay, I admit it – I loved the book! The writing is superb and the descriptions put you right there with the participants. I love Emily and Colin – what a strong, loving, caring, and supportive couple they are! What threw me was having to constantly stop and sound out the Russian names. Normally with unusual (to me) names, I just decide what they are going to be and call them that whether it is correct or not. For some reason, I couldn’t do that with this book – maybe it was because I was loving the book and wanted to get the names correct.
Colin Hargreaves travels all over in his role as a spy in support of the crown. Lady Emily usually stays home worrying about him and entertaining herself with solving her own mysteries. However, when he is sent to St. Petersburg, Emily also gets an invitation to visit her friend in St. Petersburg. She knows Colin won’t let her go with him, so she leaves the day after him – and sends him a missive letting him know she is on her way and letting him know that she can stay with her friend while she’s there or she can stay with him – whichever he prefers. Of course, he wants her with him!
Colin spends his days and often long into the night working on his mission while Lady Emily spends her time with her friends and attending various entertainments. Then, there is the opera. Swan Lake featuring a new ballerina in the dual role. She is flawlessly beautiful and graceful beyond compare – so – finding her dead body, covered in blood, directly after the performance is really shocking. Add a fabulous stolen Faberge Egg underneath her body and you have a real mystery on your hands.
Lady Emily has been asked to investigate the death, by a friend of the victim, because they have no confidence in the state’s investigators. The suspects and motives are legion. Is it an old love, a current love or one of the many wealthy and high-ranking men who want to be her lover? Investigating in a foreign land isn’t easy, but Lady Emily solves the case, and the perpetrator may surprise you.
I like that the chapters switch between the current time (January 1900) which is told in the first person by Lady Emily and the earlier years told from Katenka’s point of view. Seeing the friendship between Katenka and Irusya Nemetseva in those earlier years is very nice. They give you a real feel for what it must have been like in ‘the state system’ in place in Russia at the time.
There are many political undercurrents in the case and any one of them could have bearing on the case. Then, add in the delightful Sebastian Capet (from earlier books) and you have a real mystery. Who stole the egg? Is that why the dancer was murdered? Was she involved in political intrigue? Was she just in the wrong place at the wrong time? You’ll just have to read the book to see.
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!
“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”