By Tasha Alexander
Minotaur, $24.99, 324 pages

A Crimson Warning; A Lady Emily Mystery by Tasha Alexander is the latest in a series of historical mystery-suspense novels entertaining right up to the conclusion, but that‘s where the fun stops. The plot was extremely complicated, which in the end affected its plausibility. It was based on many historical events with the connections too tenuous that the motives for the crimes seemed improbable. Several crimes were committed by different people for different reasons. After the ton (aristocratic) member had red paint thrown, they subsequently were murdered, committed suicide, or met with a bad, often fatal, accident. The crimes being committed that were not entirely related and/or not related were blackmail and threatened blackmail.

The writing itself is well done resulting in interesting characters. The story line proved more enjoyable as it developed, and interestingly, diary entries from Lady Emily’s closest friend were inserted in between each chapter reflecting on the story as it progressed. At the end, Lady Emily’s husband turning down the Queen’s appointment to the nobility because his wife was not equally recognized just does not ring socially true for the times. Even by today’s standards it would seem more like wishful thinking than likelihood.

Reviewed by Rosalie West