And Only to Deceive
Lady Emily marries Viscount Ashton just to escape her controlling mother. So when he dies of a fever on an African safari a few months later, she is relieved. But after reading his journals, she discovers Ashton’s deep love for her and begins to mourn him. She also finds her enigmatic husband was a collector of ancient Greek artifacts, most of which he donated to the British Museum. Despite oppressive late Victorian society, Emily studies this field to bring her closer to him. When she uncovers a counterfeiting ring, suspicion falls on Ashton after the artifacts he donated to the museum are determined to be fakes. Aston’s best friend, Colin Hargreaves, warns her to stop interfering, but Emily insists on clearing her husband’s name. Pursued by unwanted suitors and other unsavory characters, Emily travels from London to Paris, putting her own life in peril to track down the truth.
The novel is full of coincidences; people show up just when you need them, mimicking the true Victorian style. The suspense is light, but the story is a fun read with a genuine surprise near the end.