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Dangerous to Know (Lady Emily Mysteries) [Paperback]

Tasha Alexander
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Nov 2011 Lady Emily Mysteries (Book 5)
Set in the lush countryside of Normandy, France, this new novel of suspense featuring Lady Emily Hargreaves is filled with intrigue, romance, mysterious deaths, and madness. Returning from her honeymoon with Colin Hargreaves and a near brush with death in Constantinople, Lady Emily convalesces at her mother-in-law's beautiful estate in Normandy. But the calm she so desperately seeks is shattered when, out riding a horse, she comes upon the body of a young woman who has been brutally murdered. The girl's wounds are identical to those inflicted on the victims of Jack the Ripper, who has wreaked havoc across the channel in London. Emily feels a connection to the young woman and is determined to bring the killer to justice. Pursuing a trail of clues and victims to the beautiful medieval city of Rouen and a crumbling chateau in the country, Emily begins to worry about her own sanity: She hears the cries of a little girl she cannot find and discovers blue ribbons left in the child's wake. As Emily is forced to match wits with a brilliant and manipulative killer, only her courage, keen instincts, and formidable will to win can help her escape becoming his next victim.

Product details

  • Paperback: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books,US; Reprint edition (1 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312383819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312383817
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 902,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Author Tasha Alexander is one to watch -- and read. The continuing adventures of her Victorian heroine and increasingly intrepid sleuth Lady Emily Ashton commenced in 2005 with "And Only to Deceive," and they defy convenient categorization. They're historical thrillers, yes, and thrilling romances, and romantic mysteries. Mix in generous amounts of Victorian cozy, travelogue, epistolary puzzle, adventure yarn, societal expose and impeccably-detailed period drama, and you're getting close. . . . Lady Emily's evolution is fascinating, bookended by restrictive mores and worldly ambitions, filled with dashing suitors, amusing scoundrels and diabolical fiends, plus ladies dear and trustworthy (and alarmingly otherwise) . . . [Alexander] knows how to construct a compelling plot; but despite her cliffhanger climaxes and witty repartee, there's a depth of sensitivity which sets her apart."--"The Huffington Post""Inside this suspenseful, gothic mystery, Alexander paints a perfectly poetic Victorian landscape and takes readers into an old world re-imagined. . . . Alexander's love for the Victorian era elevates a captivating mystery into an unforgettable tale. Her extensive research of the era, combined with compelling characters, an irresistible heroine and a clever love story will translate effortlessly into minds of readers in the modern world. With wisps of darkness, shadows of a ghost story and embers of heightened Freudian themes, "Dangerous to Know" is the perfect novel to curl up with and chase away the world."--Examiner.com"Beautiful, headstrong and romantic Lady Emily is back. . . . Tasha Alexander's clever dialogue, along with her convincing period detail, brings life to her story and showcases the breathtaking beauty of the Normandy countryside. Considering its incomparable setting and irresistible characters, Lady Emily's fan club is sure to grow by leaps and bounds with Dangerous to Know."--Bookreporter.com"Engaging . . . it's quite creepy (in a good wa

Book Description

A New York Times bestselling author. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Quite a good sense of place, but ... 5 July 2011
By serva
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed the previous Lady Emily books, but was disappointed in this one, despite the good descriptions of Normandy & Giverny. I find Emily herself increasingly selfish & her relationship with her husband psychologically unconvincing; I hope the author will get back on track in future books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good novel 26 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this novel as I have enjoyed most of the other Lady Emily that are available on Kindle. I do wish that instead of forever wandering off to other places on mysterious business, her husband could take a more defined and constructive role in these mysteries.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent addition to the series 26 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enthralling - and the tensions within all the relationships is explored very well.
This series gets better and better - more, please.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not interesting 17 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sadly I did not enjoy this book at all - it was just not my type at all and I could not get into the story and I gave up
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  57 reviews
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Don't you think the spirit of a lost little girl might seek a woman who's missing a child?" 26 Oct 2010
By Luan Gaines - Published on Amazon.com
After a violent attack on her honeymoon in Constantinople, Lady Emily Hargreaves repairs to the estate of her mother-in-law in Normandy, France, for a period of convalescence. Unfortunately, the other Mrs. Hargreaves does not warm to her son's new wife and Lady Emily must make do with her husband's ready affections. The problem of her hostess's welcome pales in comparison to the shock of a mutilated body Emily discovers on an afternoon ride, the body identified as the daughter of an aristocratic family in Rouen, recently escaped from an asylum. Edith Prier is the black sheep of the Prier's, her slide into madness a shame the family is unwilling to acknowledge. Having lost a child in her brush with death in Constantinople, Lady Emily quickly becomes invested in finding the girl's murderer, collaborating with her new husband, Colin, an agent for the empire.

Since the couple has solved a number of crimes together, Emily has no reason to expect otherwise in this case. But Alexander dashes her plucky heroine's hopes with a serious conflict between husband and wife, Colin asserting his duty to protect his wife from harm. The phrase "I will not allow" causes much discord between the newlyweds, Lady Emily of course unable to stem her naturally inquisitive nature, danger or not. There is madness afoot: in the haunting cries of a child heard in the night; in Edith's unsuitable affair and tragic fate; in the mind of a neighbor's wife, who vacillates between hilarity and lapses of memory; and in the blade of a killer's bloody knife that leaves two victims in its wake.

Alexander's characters are suitably Victorian: the frosty mother-in-law; the cautious Colin, torn between duty and passion; the return of Sebastian Capet, itinerant thief and admirer of Lady Emily; a passing acquaintance with Monet, Sisley and Renoir; a brooding brother who seeks vengeance for his sister; even hints of Jack the Ripper's arrival in the French countryside as the Normandy Ripper. Wherever Lady Emily goes, adventure is sure to follow. It is hard not to compare this series with Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia Grey series, another husband and wife investigative duet, each pair enjoying their particularities and rebellious personalities, Raybourn's Brisbane perhaps more authentically Heathcliffian, but Alexander's Lady Emily not as impulsively dramatic as Lady Julia, her reasoning sharper as any man's and not dependent on one to save her. In the end, it is a toss up, plenty or room for both authors and the fans that enjoy their Victorian thrillers. Luan Gaines/2010.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another strong entry in an excellent series 26 Oct 2010
By Alvin, Simon, Fyodor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The lush landscapes of Normandy are the setting for this, the fifth and arguably most mature and complex of the Lady Emily series. It is a uniquely skilled writer who can so convincingly and accurately portray such diverse settings, but Alexander manages to do that once again in Dangerous to Know. A taut plot, rich character development, and easy-reading style push this book along in the most entertaining way. It's like Halloween candy for readers, yet it also delves into the core of human experience with terrific insight. Not to miss for any fan of good writing generally or historical fiction in particular.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a convert 29 Nov 2010
By Chucklemagne - Published on Amazon.com
I have to begin by saying that historical mystery/romance fiction is not really my genre of choice (I grew up mainly on science-fiction and a little bit of fantasy). I started reading Alexander's work by way of recommendation from a friend as something to fill the time on a trans-atlantic flight, and I'm now extremely grateful to that friend for it. Once returned from that trip I tore through the rest of her work until I caught up with Lady Emily's story, and found it hard to be patient until the next work was published.
Dangerous to Know was worth all the waiting. Alexander mixes plotlines masterfully, capturing both the mind and the heart of the reader. I don't think I can do justice in praise to how she brings her characters to life, and the way she keeps you guessing right to the very end. Not to mention that the research she puts into the historical accuracy of even the smallest details is terribly impressive. I _can_ tell you I'm already finding it hard to wait patiently for the next, but I'll be filling the time in re-reading the series to my wife - a delightful way to spend an evening.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 'Dangerous to Know' Disappoints 27 Nov 2010
By M. E. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Though Ms. Alexander's ability to spin a tale remains undiminished - I must say I found her latest Lady Emily mystery deeply disappointing. 'Dangerous to Know' focuses on both murder and marriage - the latter (Lady Emily's) in many ways the more important focus of the book. Colin, it seems, has reverted to type - 19th century type, to be precise. He's decided to limit his wifes participation in his/her work - something not at all out of the ordinary for the times. And in keeping with those times, his wifes obvious pain and disillusionment means little. The husband has spoken - so thus mote it be. And like any good 19th century wife - Emily's options are limited (as in 'none'). She has to find a way to live with it. That's how 'real life' marriage was. So Lady Emily's unhappiness become the readers unhappiness - and therein lies my overall objection.

I found it difficult to finish the book. I read the Lady Emily series for the fun of it. Emily's character has evolved beautifully (and intriguingly) - discovering who she was and want she was capable of. I found her independence one of her most attractive qualities. To now watch such a bright light dimmed (in keeping with correct 19th century mores or not) disappoints me no end. Putting it frankly.....from my point of view there's precious little reason to keep reading the series. I just cannot get invested in what the title character is doing only to read of her pain when her 'loving' husband steps in and packs her off - all the while enjoying the fruits of her (to that point) endeavors. Because of course he plans on making use of her abilities. She's just to be denied satisfaction of the denouement (at his discretion). That's like sex without the orgasm. All thats left is frustration.

So I rather doubt I'll be standing in line for the next installment. Rather, I'll read the reviews.......see if future books plan to focus on Emily as doormat, womens rights proponent, or exemplary solver of mysteries. The former are fine directions, don't get me wrong. They're just not something I'm interested in when it comes to this genre. I'm here for the mystery (and ensuing mayhem). I also like reading about characters that engage and don't continually disappoint. I literally had to put the book down several times - forcing myself to finish it. And that's no way to read a book. As for the last few pages and Colin's 'see the light' moment? Unconvincing. Way too 'Deus Ex Machina' for me. Especially considering all that had gone before. If true, then Ms. Alexander wasted far too many pages leading us down the garden path.

So it's three out of five stars for me, folks. Bottom line....well written, yes; just deeply unsatisfying at the end.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lady Emily's fan club is sure to grow by leaps and bounds 1 Nov 2010
By Bookreporter - Published on Amazon.com
Beautiful, headstrong and romantic Lady Emily is back. A Victorian woman with modern-day attitudes, Emily Hargreaves has proven herself a worthy crime solver alongside her handsome husband, Colin. She proves her mettle once again in Tasha Alexander's new novel.

Lady Emily's latest escapade begins as she is taking an afternoon ride astride her horse around her mother-in-law's estate in the Normandy countryside. Ostensibly in France to recuperate from a gunshot wound, Emily is also trying to work through her grief over losing their unborn child, a tragedy that did little to endear her to her mother-in-law. While Mrs. Hargreaves may have opened her home to her son and his wife, she shows no attempt to hide her disapproval of the young woman.

It would seem likely that Emily's recovery might be further hindered when she happens upon the bloodied body of Edith Prier, obviously the victim of a violent murder. Instead, it immediately stimulates Emily's desire --- to solve the mystery, to find justice for the unfortunate woman, to catch a despicable killer. And if it means working with her husband in that desire, so much the better.

Following protocol, they summon the authorities, but the investigation falls far short of thorough. Are the police being purposely lax because the victim was a woman who escaped from an asylum? What other explanation could there be, unless it is outright incompetence?

Colin and Emily have their own methods for solving murders. They start off by interviewing the neighbors, George and Madeline, whose home is quite near to the crime scene. The couple claims to have seen nothing, except possibly a child whom Madeline has caught a glimpse of on occasion. That revelation raises eyebrows. In truth, Lady Emily fears for the poor woman's sanity. That is, until she hears a girl crying outside her window.

Soon, the discovery that Sebastian Capet, a supremely charming art thief, was in the area at the time of the murder, leads the authorities to put him at the top of their suspect list. As Emily is well acquainted with Monsieur Capet, she scoffs at the idea of him as the murderer. He might be a romantic cad with a penchant for lifting valuable paintings, but that is only his way of making sure the art finds its way to a home where it will be appreciated. Monet is unimpressed by Capet's argument.

The thread of madness runs through the story, as our sleuths try to separate the truth from the imagined. And family secrets make their job more difficult yet, as do lying witnesses. It seems that everyone has something to hide. Even Lady Emily.

Tasha Alexander's clever dialogue, along with her convincing period detail, brings life to her story and showcases the breathtaking beauty of the Normandy countryside. Considering its incomparable setting and irresistible characters, Lady Emily's fan club is sure to grow by leaps and bounds with DANGEROUS TO KNOW.

--- Reviewed by Kate Ayers
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