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And Only to Deceive (Lady Emily) [Paperback]

Tasha Alexander
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct 2006 Lady Emily

A novel of historical suspense set in Victorian England and featuring stolen antiquities, betrayal and murder.

For Emily, accepting the proposal of Philip, Viscount Ashton, was an easy way to escape her stifling home life so when her new husband dies on safari, she feels little grief for she barely knew the man. Now, two years on, when she finds his journals she discovers a very different man to the one she thought she had married - one who was a gentleman scholar who was very much in love with his new wife. Emily becomes fascinated with this new image of her dead husband and immerses herself in his intellectual pursuits, studying Greek and spending time in the quiet corridors of the British Museum.

But there, amid priceless ancient statues, she uncovers a dark, dangerous secret involving stolen artifacts from the Greco-Roman galleries. and as she sets out to solve the crime she discovers even more surprises about her dead husband.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 321 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers; Reprint edition (Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006114844X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061148446
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 454,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A thoroughly enjoyable adventure with both historical texture and emotional depth (Anne Perry)

Tasha Alexander is one to watch - and read. despite her cliffhanger climaxes and witty repartee, there's a depth of sensitivity that sets her apart (The Huffington Post)

Enchanting. Alexander keeps readers guessing until the very end (Publishers Weekly) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A Lady Emily mystery --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable historical mystery 24 Jan 2008
By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER
I was captivated by this book from the very first sentence. It takes off with a hiss and a roar: by page 3, Emily has not just met and married Philip the Viscount Ashton, but she has also been widowed. By the end of the first chapter, a year after Philip's death, she begins to learn how little she knew about the man to whom she was briefly married. Intrigued, she starts to investigate her late husband more and this leads her into investigating a mystery involving forgeries of Ancient Greek artefacts - which may have involved her husband.

At the same time, two men (both friends of her former husband) are displaying an interest in her. Are their motives pure, or are one - or both - of them not to be trusted?

I enjoyed this complicated tale very much. It kept me guessing throughout - every time I thought I knew how it was all going to be resolved, the story would do another twist. I also enjoyed reading about late 19th century London and Paris. Tasha Alexander has included several epilogues talking about the research that she did while writing this book which are very interesting to read. Emily's character was somewhat annoying to me in the early stages - very self-centered and the kind of person who would do things simply to be contrary. But I warmed to her as the book went on. This was Tasha Alexander's first book but since then she has continued Emily's story in subsequent novels - which I will definitely seek out now.

* Warning: The only review of this book that is older than mine (entitled "Excellent") reveals twists that don't emerge until at least halfway through. I would advise you not to read that review before reading the book! It definitely spoiled my enjoyment of it. *
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deceptively adept first novel 5 May 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A thoroughly engaging mystery novel, set in Victorian England (with excusrions to France along the way) which features society sleuth, Lady Emily Ashton. Lady Emily marries in haste but doesn't have time to repent at leisure as her husband dies shortly following their marriage. It is then she learns more about him and thus falls in love with the man she will never know. But is he dead? Lady Emily is convinced that he is not, and her desire to find him places her in danger. As it says on the book blurb, "To complicate matters, she's juggling two very prominent and wealthy suitors ..." at the same time.
This is a truly engaging story. There are one or two Americanisms considering the book is written from an English point of view, but they do not prevent this from being an excellent first novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
England, Victorian Era. Lady Emily Ashton, newly wed, has just lost her husband to a raging fever while he was on an African safari with a couple of friends. Having married him to escape her mother's rule, she's not as grief stricken as she should be, Philip was a stranger to her and she almost feels relief at his departure. But oddly, after a while, through his friends and acquaintances, the books he liked to read and the antiquities he collected, Emily perceives a side of her husband she didn't know existed and as shocking as it is, he seemed to actually be in love with her.

Seduced by this unknown facet of the man she married, Lady Emily starts to take interest in the same things he did and slowly falls in love with him, finally feeling the grief of his loss. But as she digs through the past she uncovers facts that were better left untouched, not everything is as it seems and maybe Philip wasn't such an honest and trustworthy man after all. Who was the real Philip and what actually happened to him in Africa?

We accompany Lady Emily in the pursuit for the truth and can't help but fall in love with her, we watch her grow as a person and especially as an independent woman who isn't afraid to stray from the norm and start studying Greek and drinking Port instead of Sherry like every other respectable lady. She makes new friends, such as Cecile du Lac, a French widow who collects husbands, Lady Margaret, an independent American who prefers books to suitors and Colin Hargreaves, her deceased husband's best friend who is our dashing hero. I felt that Emily changed and grew throughout the book and in my eyes became real and believable, as opposed to Lady Julia Grey, Deanna Raybourn's heroine, who always stays the same and doesn't seem to learn anything in Silent in the Grave.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And Only to Deceive 23 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lady Emily Ashton was widowed after only a few months of marriage and she now finds herself rich but constrained by Victorian society to stay in seclusion as she mourns her late husband Phillip. But she didn't really know her husband at all well and had accepted his proposal more to get away from her dominating mother than because she was in love.

Now she is bored and takes up the study of Greece and Rome and starts to learn Greek. Her husband was interested in antiquities and she wonders why everyone is so interested in his papers. Was he involved in something illegal and whom can she trust now?

I found the first half of this book slow going but I persevered because I liked Emily and felt sorry for her situation. The nook became much more interesting and exciting in the second half and Emily grows and matures as the story progresses. The writing is good and I did like the characters and the background is well researched. I have bought the next one in the series and I'm sure I will enjoy it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Review
Iliked this book and the one other which I have read, I look forward to reading more of this heroine
Published 27 days ago by J Logan
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
This is a well written Victorian period mystery. With gentle humour, romance and some interesting characters, it is well worth reading.
Published 2 months ago by Fren
4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining
I enjoyed this book and, although it could be classified as 'light' reading, I thought it was well written and I found I looked forward to reading more of it each day. Read more
Published 2 months ago by angela
4.0 out of 5 stars good reading
I had no idea where this book was heading and was pleasantly surprised. would read more work by this author
Published 5 months ago by V. Bakewell
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read all year...
I read a lot of books but I tend not to review them very often. Truthfully, I find it hard for many stories written today to live up to the standards of my old favorites, such as... Read more
Published 5 months ago by bookfanatic
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather tedious read
The book starts out ok but then oh dear all the references to Greek sculptures and Homer, pretty obvious from the beginning how it will all end. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Guistav
3.0 out of 5 stars Acceptable, easy reading
Honestly, I'm not a frequent historical fiction reader, I was just looking for something a little different from my normal fare so I was always going to be a difficult one to... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Rosie Black
4.0 out of 5 stars First in a Victorian mystery series: introducing Lady Emily
This is the first in a series of Victorian mysteries which currently consists of the following seven books:

1) This book, "And only to deceive"
2) A Poisoned Season... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Marshall Lord
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing start to a new historical mystery series...
I purchased this book purely on the blurb, and I was not disappointed.

Some may think that an historical mystery may be slow-moving and quite dull, but this book really... Read more
Published on 14 Mar 2012 by Marikka
4.0 out of 5 stars Wily Widow
A deeply satisfying read. Sometimes I have a problem with books written in the first person, but forgot my misgivings almost immediately as the heroine grew in confidence and... Read more
Published on 23 Feb 2011 by Mrs Joanna Allardice
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