Emily and Colin Hargreaves make it a rule to spend as little time as possible with her parents in Kent, but are unable to refuse Lady Catherine Bromley's invitation to join them for a pre-Christmas party that includes the family of Ala Kapur Singh, a powerful Punjabi maharaja who has come to England after receiving the Order of the Star of India.
Lady Bromley, quite taken with the exotic beauty and spectacular jewels of the maharani and her daughter, Sunita, throws herself with abandon into her own version of Indian culture, planning a feast she is certain will be more spectacular than any seen on the sub-continent. When a priceless diamond maang tika and a simple gold bangle disappear from Sunita's room, a diplomatic incident seems imminent, particularly after the maang tika turns up in Emily's possession.
Emily may have what appears to be the more valuable of the two pieces, but the maang tika cannot be worn without the bangle, upon which is engraved the words necessary to ward off a curse placed on the set five hundred years ago by a princess forced to forsake the man she loved. Sunita must wear the maang tika at her wedding but cannot do so without the bangle. Can Emily convince the maharaja that she is not a thief? And, more important, can she and Colin find the bangle?
Tasha Alexander is the author of the Lady Emily novels, a series of historical suspense, including Tears of Pearl and Dangerous to Know. She attended the University of Notre Dame, where she signed on as an English major in order to have a legitimate excuse for spending all her time reading. She and her husband, novelist Andrew Grant, divide their time between Chicago and the UK.
On a quest to distract her lifelong friend Jeremy from his recent heartbreak, Lady Emily organizes a holiday in Greece. As a lover of all things Greek, she quickly finds herself occupied with tours of ancient ruins, lively debates with Margaret, a devoted Latinist, and slightly more scandalous endeavors with her dashing husband, Colin Hargreaves. But the pleasantries are brought to an abrupt halt when a man long believed dead greets the party at their island villa. Lord Philip Ashton, Colin's childhood best friend and Emily's first husband, has returned. But can Philip really be who he claims, even if he has the scars and stories to prove it? Where has he been for all this time? And will his undying love for Emily drive him to claim what's his?
Intrigue mounts as Philip reveals that he has been plagued for the past few years by an illegal antiques trader who believes he is in possession of a piece of Achilles' helmet, a priceless relic that was stolen from him moments after he unearthed it on an archaeological dig. Emily must employ all of her cunning and expertise to thwart thieves who threaten not only her own safety, but that of those precious artifacts she holds so dear. A trail of overheard conversations, murderous assailants, and dead bodies leads her on a chase to uncover more than one buried truth.
After the final curtain of Swan Lake, an animated crowd exits the Mariinsky theatre brimming with excitement from the night’s performance. But outside the scene is somber. A ballerina’s body lies face down in the snow, blood splattered like rose petals over the costume of the Swan Queen. The crowd is silenced by a single cry— “Nemetseva is dead!”
Amongst the theatergoers is Lady Emily, accompanying her dashing husband Colin in Russia on assignment from the Crown. But it soon becomes clear that Colin isn’t the only one with work to do. When the dead ballerina’s aristocratic lover comes begging for justice, Emily must apply her own set of skills to discover the rising star’s murderer. Her investigation takes her on a dance across the stage of Tsarist Russia, from the opulence of the Winter Palace, to the modest flats of ex-ballerinas and the locked attics of political radicals. A mysterious dancer in white follows closely behind, making waves through St. Petersburg with her surprise performances and trail of red scarves. Is it the sweet Katenka, Nemetseva’s childhood friend and favorite rival? The ghost of the murdered étoile herself? Or, something even more sinister?
On her deathbed, Queen Victoria asks to speak privately with trusted agent of the Crown, Colin Hargreaves, and slips him a letter with one last command: Une sanz pluis. Sapere aude. “One and no more. Dare to know.”
The year is 1901 and the death of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch has sent the entire British Empire into mourning. But for Lady Emily and her dashing husband, Colin, the grieving is cut short as another death takes center stage. A body has been found in the Tower of London, posed to look like the murdered medieval king Henry VI. When a second dead man turns up in London's exclusive Berkeley Square, his mutilated remains staged to evoke the violent demise of Edward II, it becomes evident that the mastermind behind the crimes plans to strike again.
The race to find the killer takes Emily deep into the capital’s underbelly, teeming with secret gangs, street children, and sleazy brothels—but the clues aren’t adding up. Even more puzzling are the anonymous letters Colin has been receiving since Victoria's death, seeming to threaten her successor, Edward VII. With the killer leaving a trail of dead kings in his wake, will Edward be the next victim?
Emily and her husband, Colin Hargreaves, have accompanied her dear friend Ivy Brandon on a trip to Pompeii. When they uncover a corpse and the police dismiss the murder as the work of local gangsters, Emily launches an investigation of her own. She seems to be aided by the archaeologists excavating the ruins, including a moody painter, the enigmatic site director, and a free-thinking American capable of sparring with even the Duke of Bainbridge. But each of them has secrets hiding among the ruins.
The sudden appearance of a beautiful young woman who claims a shocking relationship to the Hargreaves family throws Emily’s investigation off-course. And as she struggles to face an unsettling truth about Colin’s past, it becomes clear that someone else wants her off the case—for good. Emily’s resolve to unearth the facts is unshakable. But how far below the surface can she dig before she risks burying herself along with the truth?
“A pleasant reminder of Golden Age mysteries that keep you guessing until the denouement.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Fascinating and stylish characters fill out a finely tuned traditional mystery.” —Publishers Weekly
“Well, darling, who do you suppose will turn up dead this time?”
With two murder investigations behind them and their marriage at last on steady ground, Amory and Milo Ames intend to winter quietly in Italy. The couple finds their plans derailed, however, when Amory receives an urgent summons to the English countryside from her cousin Laurel. At Lyonsgate, the country house of Laurel’s friend Reginald Lyons, Amory and Milo are surprised to discover an eccentric and distinguished group of guests have also been invited, led by the notorious socialite Isobel Van Allen.
After years of social exile, Isobel has returned to England to write a sequel to her scandalous first book, the thinly fictionalized account of a high society murder at the very country house to which the Ameses have been called. Her second incriminating volume, she warns the house’s occupants—all of whom were present when one of their companions was killed years ago—will tell everything that really happened that fateful night. But some secrets are meant to stay buried, and when a desperate person turns to murder, it’s up to Amory and Milo to sort through a web of scandal and lies to uncover the truth, and the identity of a killer.
Also out now in the Amory Ames mysteries: Murder at the Brightwell and Death Wears a Mask
Searching for a purpose now that there's no lady in the magistrate's household for her to wait on, Lucy has apprenticed herself to a printmaker. But she can't help but use her free time to help the local constable, and she quickly finds herself embroiled in the murder investigation. It will take all of her wits and charm, not to mention a strong stomach and a will of steel, if Lucy hopes to make it through alive herself, in From the Charred Remains by Susanna Calkins.
Ashley Weaver’s debut mystery, Murder at the Brightwell, is a delicious, stylish novel in which murder invades British polite society and romance springs in unexpected places, and a wonderful testament to the enduring delight of the traditional mystery.
“An elegant Christie-esque 1930s romp.” —Deborah Crombie
“If you love Downton Abbey, you'll adore Ashley Weaver’s charming debut.”—Susan Elia MacNeal
“It’s more terrible than you think, Mrs. Ames. It appears that Mr. Howe was murdered.”
Amory Ames, a wealthy young woman questioning her marriage to her notoriously charming playboy husband, Milo, is looking for a change. She accepts a request for help from her former fiancé, Gil Trent, not knowing that she’ll soon become embroiled in a murder investigation that will not only test her friendship with Gil, but also will upset the status quo with her husband.
Amory accompanies Gil to the luxurious Brightwell Hotel in an attempt to circumvent the marriage of his sister, Emmeline, to Rupert Howe a disreputable ladies man. There is more than her happiness at stake, however, when Rupert is murdered and Gil is arrested for the crime. Matters are further complicated by Milo’s unexpected arrival, and as the line between friend and foe becomes less clear, Amory must decide where her heart lies and catch the killer before she, too, becomes a victim.
Also out now in the Amory Ames mysteries: Death Wears a Mask and A Most Novel Revenge
Determined to do just that, Lucy finds herself venturing out of her expected station and into raucous printers' shops, secretive gypsy camps, the foul streets of London, and even the bowels of Newgate prison on a trail that might lead her straight into the arms of the killer.
In her debut novel Murder at Rosamund's Gate, Susanna Calkins seamlessly blends historical detail, romance, and mystery in a moving and highly entertaining tale.
At her friend Ivy's behest, Lady Emily Ashton reluctantly agrees to attend a party at the sprawling English country estate of a man she finds odious. But the despised Lord Fortescue is not to be her greatest problem. Kristiana von Lange, an Austrian countess once linked romantically with Emily's fiancé, the debonair Colin Hargreaves, is a guest also. And a tedious evening turns deadly when their host is found murdered, and his protégé, Robert Brandon—Ivy's husband—is arrested for the crime.
Determined to right a terrible wrong, Emily embarks on a quest that will lead her from London's glittering ballrooms to Vienna's sordid backstreets—and into a game of wits with a notorious anarchist. But putting Colin in deadly peril may be the price for exonerating Robert—forcing the intrepid Emily to bargain with her nemesis, the Countess von Lange, for the life of her fiancé.
And Only to Deceive
For Emily, accepting the proposal of Philip, the Viscount Ashton, was an easy way to escape her overbearing mother, who was set on a grand society match. So when Emily's dashing husband died on safari soon after their wedding, she felt little grief. After all, she barely knew him. Now, nearly two years later, she discovers that Philip was a far different man from the one she had married so cavalierly. His journals reveal him to have been a gentleman scholar and antiquities collector who, to her surprise, was deeply in love with his wife. Emily becomes fascinated with this new image of her dead husband and she immerses herself in all things ancient and begins to study Greek.
Emily's intellectual pursuits and her desire to learn more about Philip take her to the quiet corridors of the British Museum, one of her husband's favorite places. There, amid priceless ancient statues, she uncovers a dark, dangerous secret involving stolen artifacts from the Greco-Roman galleries. And to complicate matters, she's juggling two very prominent and wealthy suitors, one of whose intentions may go beyond the marrying kind. As she sets out to solve the crime, her search leads to more surprises about Philip and causes her to question the role in Victorian society to which she, as a woman, is relegated.