Monday, February 21, 2011

19 of 111 (92 left) A Fatal Waltz

A Fatal Waltz by Tasha Alexander

"At her friend Ivy's behest, Lady Emily Ashton reluctantly agrees to attend a party at the sprawling English country estate of a man she finds odious. But the despised Lord Fortescue is not to be her greatest problem. Kristiana von Lange, an Austrian countess once linked romantically with Emily's fiancé, the debonair Colin Hargreaves, is a guest also. And a tedious evening turns deadly when their host is found murdered, and his protégé, Robert Brandon-Ivy's husband-is arrested for the crime.
Determined to right a terrible wrong, Emily embarks on a quest that will lead her from London's glittering ballrooms to Vienna's sordid backstreets-and into a game of wits with a notorious anarchist. But putting Colin in deadly peril may be the price for exonerating Robert-forcing the intrepid Emily to bargain with her nemesis, the Countess von Lange, for the life of her fiancé."

I read this quickly over two nights (staying up way too late when the kids get up way too early!) and it was, as usual with the Lady Emily Ashton books, interesting and engaging.
This is the third book in Tasha Alexander's series following Lady Emily Ashton. Each book shows Emily growing and learning more about the world. In this book, Emily travels to Vienna and the descriptions of the city are beautiful. There is a vast amount of knowledge about the places mentioned in all the Lady Emily books and they are also informative as well as interesting. 
While I loved reading about Vienna and also enjoyed the murder mystery surrounding Robert (Emily's friend Ivy's husband) I did not like Colin Hargreaves in this book at all! There is a subplot involving Colin and the woman he used to be in love with (and had an affair with) Kristiana, The Countess von Lange and while I actually liked the Countess quite a bit and thought she was very interesting I didn't like Colin and much of what he had to say. I was left at the end of the book feeling that if I knew Lady Emily in real life I'd  be telling her not to marry Colin. 
I think it speaks to the writing and charm of these books that I care enough about Lady Emily to care either way if she marries Colin. There is some romantic tension (aside from the Countess - who I really think Colin did cheat on Emily with no matter what he says!) with Jeremy, The Duke on Bainbridge, who is friends with Emily and may want to be more. While I'm not impressed with Colin, I liked Jeremy in this book a lot and hope there is more of him in future books. Not as a love interest, but as a friend to Emily. 
Overall these books have great characters and settings. The series is still engaging and worth reading and I'll definitely be reading the next two that are out.

4 out of 5

What I'm reading now
Nothing started right now, Dreamfever soon, but I might read Visions of Magic first

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