Author: Tasha Alexander
Provided Synopsis: Emily and husband Colin have come to the French Riviera for what should be a joyous occasion – the engagement party of her lifelong friend Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge, and Amity Wells, an American heiress. But the merrymaking is cut short with the shocking death of one of the party in an apparent suicide. Not convinced by the coroner’s verdict, Emily must employ all of her investigative skills to discover the truth and avert another tragedy.
Review: Once upon a time, there was nothing I wanted to read more than a Lady Emily mystery. Here we are, though, on the tenth book in the series, and the latest in a row of disappointing reads, which leads me to wonder if it is time for this series to wrap up.
The best part of the story was the beginning. The suddenness of that first line, as well as the emotional reaction torn from Emily were well done, for all factors created an atmosphere I was riveted to. But too soon, the veneer of reader engagement began to wear off. This is another story in the series in which the murderer and the motivation behind the act is easy to determine within a few pages. I want to read a mystery book and feel a level of suspense. I want to read a mystery book and find myself collecting clues to reach a conclusion along with the main character; for the past few Emily books I have been able to solve the crime before the heroine. (The only plus to this plot is that it felt like it was more worthy of a full length novel; this is significant since I have lamented in the past that the later stories in the series have felt more suited to a novella.)
If a series is to reach a tenth book, then it is always my hope that new dimensions are being revealed within the characters and that circumstances have begun to shift. But has Emily continued to grow? I do not think so. For me, I often find the characters in this series to now be caricatures of themselves rather than the brilliance they once were. So I ask: how do you know when to let a series go? Should I continue to hope for more, for better; or should I call it quits?