The Counterfeit Heiress

Written by Tasha Alexander
Review by Kathryn Johnson

The latest addition to the Lady Emily mystery series opens with Emily and her devoted husband Colin in 1897 London, attending a fancy-dress ball – she, costumed as the goddess Artemis, he as Beau Brummell. As with earlier books in the series, their relationship and witty banter provide a good deal of fun and serve as a way to launch the story. But it doesn’t take long before the festive occasion turns dark. A woman who claims to be the reclusive heiress Estella Lamar rushes from the party when confronted by a guest who accuses her of being a fraud. Whatever her reason for attending the fête, Emily and others can only guess – for her lifeless body is found not far from the house.

Of course Emily feels compelled to discover the truth behind the woman’s appearance at the party. It seems a strange coincidence that she was also costumed as Artemis. And then there’s her murder. Since no one has actually seen the mysterious Estella for many years, except in the form of vague photographs, no one can say with certainty whether this is actually a dead Estella or a dead someone else! And why was she killed? Certainly, impersonating the heiress isn’t enough of a motive. There are thrills, chills, and danger aplenty in this Victorian-era romp. And readers who not only enjoy a little history mixed with their mysteries, but also welcome a touch of romance, will find Alexander’s newest novel just the right mix.