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Ratings and Book Reviews (4 10 star ratings
4 reviews
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4.4 out of 5
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    glad to catch up with Lady Emily and Colin again

    I read and enjoyed several of the early Lady Emily books many years ago, and then just sort of lost track of the series over the years. So I was happy to get an ARC of In the Shadow of Vesuvius from the publisher/Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, with a few caveats… I unconditionally liked the descriptions of Pompeii and its environs. I’m a fan of archaeological mysteries, and this delivered nicely, both in terms of the setting/descriptions, and in the way the main mystery tied into the archaeology. I also liked the two threads to the story, the secondary one set in the time just before the eruption, and the main one set in Lady Emily’s time. It was interesting to try to imagine how these would eventually tie together, and in the end they did come together nicely. However, I am a bit of a wuss, and so I had a bit of trouble completely enjoying the secondary thread because it seemed pretty clear these characters were doomed – as they were. (Not too spoiler-ish – if you live in Pompeii in the days just before the eruption, you’re probably doomed!) But there was a bit of redemption (??? not sure of the exact right word ???) at the end that mitigated the doomed feeling somewhat. I find that usually when an author has two very clear, distinct threads to a story, I will like one a lot more than the other, and in this case, because of the eruption hanging over the head of the secondary characters, I liked the Lady Emily thread better. In terms of that plot, it was nice to see Lady Emily and Colin many years after the time that I had last caught up with them, and to see that things seemed to be working out well for them. There was a little surprise in the middle though, and although I could totally relate to Lady Emily’s reaction, I did have trouble imagining that Colin would react in the way he did – I would have expected his reaction to be more nuanced. So that was a minor irritant, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment of the book. And, it’s not totally clear just how well things will be working for Lady Emily and Colin in the next book – so that should be interesting. All-in-all, I liked this book a lot, and will probably try to go back and pick up some of the intermediate titles in the series that I haven’t read yet. I did think it helped a little bit to be generally familiar with some of the characters from my (much) earlier forays into this series, but I don’t think it would be absolutely necessary to have this background to enjoy this book. Thanks again to Edelweiss and the publisher for the ARC. And also please keep in mind that I try to fight “star-inflation” a little bit. I reserve 5 stars for a very few of my most favorite books, ones I’m likely to read and reread time-and-again, and 4 stars is a great rating from me.
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    A Really good read!

    I received a free electronic copy of this historical novel from Netgalley, Tasha Alexander, and Minotaur Books. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work. I am pleased to add Tasha Alexander to my must-read list. She writes a tight, exciting tale with interesting characters and a great background of details that take you there. We visit various sites at the Pompeii archeological site at the base of Vesuvius, some in AD 79, beginning just hours before the lastest of the frequent quakes and eruptions of Vesuvius becomes lethal. In the later time frame of 1902, we travel with Lady Emily, her husband Colin Hargreaves as they accompany Emily's best friend Ivy Brandon to this historic site. Ivy was invited to visit the site by causal friends, who are both employed at the Balthazar Taylor Dig at Pompeii. Siblings, Benjamin and Calliope 'Callie' Carter, are young and rather wild, promising an interesting visit for Emily and Ivy who are childhood friends in need of some special together time. Colin is guilted into accompanying the ladies by Ivy's husband, because it's 1902 and ladies don't travel around Europe without an escort and security. Colin normally works as security for the English King. Four days in, Ivy comments on the fact that one of the plaster castings of the victims of the Pompeii tragedy is wearing impressive sideburns, which doesn't fit the profile of manly fashion in '79 AD. This modern corpse encased in plaster is about a month dead, and Emily and Ivy are right in the midst of the action. It is really good that they brought security. But is one man enough?
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    Intriguing Mystery

    I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley to read in exchange for a fair review. In the Shadows of Vesuvius by Tasha Alexander is the 14th book in her delightful Lady Emily mystery series. It can be read as a stand-alone. The other books in the series are quite enjoyable so I do suggest adding them to your TBR list. Lady Emily Hargreaves, her husband Colin and her good friend Ivy Brandon have travelled to Italy to spend some time exploring Pompeii along side an archeological dig. Shortly after they arrive a body is discovered and since the local police seem uninterested in solving the murder Lady Emily and her husband and her friends set out to solve the murder. The chapters alternate between the present of 1902 and AD 79 following the life a young poetess in ancient Pompeii. The story is an intriguing mystery combined with some interesting points of history to make a story that you won’t want to put down. I enjoyed reading this book. Publishing Date January 7, 2020. #NetGalley #InTheShadowsOfVesuvius #TashaAlexander #StMartinsPress #MysteriesAndThrillers #bookstagram #HistorcalFiction @StMartinsPress
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    Super!

    early-20th-century, first-century-ad, murder, murder-investigation, sleuth, lies, family-dynamics, friendship, archaeology, Italy, historical-research, historical-places-events, historical-fiction, historical-setting Two and a half stories in one! The main thread is in 1902 when the Hargreaves accompany a friend to an archeological dig at Pompeii, discover a murder covered up to appear as another of the plaster casts from the older eruption and investigate. The half thread regards the unexpected appearance of a previously unknown to them daughter from an affair long before their marriage, and she decidedly resents the stepmother. The other major thread is set immediately prior to the eruption that buried Pompeii. All of the characters are well done and I was not aware that there are so many earlier books. I loved it! At the end the author credits fact and acknowledges any adjustments for the sake of the story. I requested and received a free ebook copy from St Martin's Press / Minotaur Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
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