Skip to main content

A Poisoned Season by Tasha Alexander

This second installment in the Lady Emily Ashton mystery series definitely exceeded my expectations. I ended up rather underwhelmed by the first book. Nevertheless, I was willing to move forward, hoping things would pick up substantially in the second. And by "things" I mean plotline, character development, chemistry between principals...pretty much the whole shebang. Good news is--they did. Quite a bit, in fact. And I'm still trying to decide whether I adjusted to the world and writing style or if they gussied up a bit. Either way A Poisoned Season  was a very enjoyable read. 

Emily leaves her beloved Greece reluctantly, returning home to England for the dreaded Season. Now that she's a couple of years into her widowhood, Emily couldn't possibly care less about the endless winings and dinings, myriad marriage brokerings, and insipid social maneuverings that consume the London aristocracy for months on end. The string of cards and parties is spiced up a bit, however, by a series of burglaries--all of them items once owned by the late Marie Antoinette. When her friend Cecile's diamond earrings are stolen from Emily's own home, she becomes interested in investigating. Matters become a little more personal when the thief reveals a tendresse for Emily herself, stealing in and out of her home at will, leaving love letters and fragments of poems penned in ancient Greek. Meanwhile, Margaret has taken up with a duke, Colin is involved investigating a pretender to the defunct throne of France, and Emily's mother is determined to see Emily married again before the Season's end. 

I thought things came together much more seamlessly in this story than in the first. Emily is much more sure of herself and less and less interested in what others think of her. It was a pleasure to watch her flaunt stuffy society matrons and their catty gossip in favor of learning Greek,  investigating crime, and deepening her friendship with the ever-openminded agent of the crown--Colin Hargreaves. I like how Colin never once forces Emily to do anything. I like how Emily very sensibly waits to make any permanent changes to her life before she knows her own mind on the matter. Where And Only to Deceive made me want to pull out my copy of The Iliad and settle in, A Poisoned Season sent me into a French Revolution phase, digging out my battered A Tale of Two Cities, as the mystery centers around the exiled French royal family, the life of Marie Antoinette, and the political machinations of the beleaguered Republic. This one had a delicious ending and left me eager for the next one.


  1. Yay! Emily is my nameee(:

  2. Lol. Then you should definitely pick these up! I would love to read about a cool character with my name. Unfortunately, I have yet to run across one...

  3. I really enjoy reading about Emily's exploits - but I also liked that Alexander showed the opinions of Society actually hitting home rather than Emily getting to blithely flout Society with no repercussions because she's friends with a duke or whatever!

  4. Hey Angie, your review is spot on, poisoned season is a big improvement on and only to deceive. Just letting you know though... the next two have been published, and I know that a fatal waltz at least, is a worthwhile read


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Angie's 2018 Must Be Mine List

It's time for a clean slate and a brand new list of titles I can't wait to get my hands on. Behold, my most anticipated titles of 2018:

 And no covers on these yet, but I can hardly wait, all the same:
The Comfort Zoneby Sally Thorne
A Court of Frost and Starlightby Sarah J. Maas
Making Upby Lucy Parker
There Will Be Other Summersby Benjamin Alire Saenz
Off the Airby L.H. Cosway
Fall Boys & Dizzy in Paradiseby Jandy Nelson

Which ones are on your list?

Review | Hunted by Meagan Spooner

I'm just going to start off by saying I cannot stop thinking about this book. I finished it weeks ago, but this lovely Beauty and the Beast adaptation will not leave my mind. This is the first book I've really read by Meagan Spooner. I gave These Broken Stars a bit of a go awhile back, but we sort of drifted apart halfway through. Not the case here. The gorgeous cover caught my eye and the early glowing reviews reinforced my conviction. Having finished it, I immediately ran out and purchased copies for a number of the relevant readers in my life. And despite having pushed on and read several books since, Huntedis the one I find my mind and heart returning to over and over again.

Yeva holds a lot of things in. She loves her family—her father, her sisters—and so she sits obediently in the baronessa's chambers. She pretends to make small talk and embroider bits of cloth with the other ladies. She smiles politely at the young man who is said to be courting her (and doesn'…

Update | Real Life

I felt like it might be worth writing a very brief real life update here. If just because it's occupied so much of my mental space recently. And, of course, because whatever is currently occupying large swaths of your mental space plays a not insignificant role in your reading life and which book you reach for at the end of any given day. So.

I have worked at the same job since four months after this blog began. Until a week ago, that is, when I packed up my bags and left to start a brand new job. I am having a difficult time wrapping my head around that bare fact. First and foremost, I am incredibly grateful and pleased to have this new job. It was time. In fact, all throughout my job search, that exquisite quote from the wonderful Mo Willems ran on repeat through my head,
If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave. The position I had served its purpose very well. It was what I and my family needed for that period in our lives. But at this new point in my life, it had b…