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A Fatal Waltz (Lady Emily #3)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,139 Ratings  ·  441 Reviews
At her friend Ivy's behest, Emily reluctantly agrees to attend a party at the sprawling English country estate of Lord Fortescue, a man she finds as odious as he is powerful. But if Emily is expecting Lord Fortescue to be the greatest of her problems, she is wrong. Her host has also invited Kristiana von Lange, an Austrian countess who was once linked romantically with Emi ...more
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by William Morrow
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The Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoThe Alienist by Caleb CarrThe Historian by Elizabeth KostovaThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Best Historical Mystery
82nd out of 1,200 books — 3,200 voters
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan BradleyThe Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. KingMaisie Dobbs by Jacqueline WinspearMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Favorite Historical Mystery Series
80th out of 760 books — 829 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 26, 2016 Jane rated it really liked it
Where I got the book: well, it’s like this. I went to one of Tasha Alexander’s author events because I was ready to buy this third book in the Lady Emily series, and our lovely indie bookstore, which stocked the event, didn’t have any copies (some difficulty with obtaining them—I hate to tell you, indie guys, but Amazon has it). Anyhow I bought the fourth novel because I’m super-nice, and went to get Tasha (whom I know to the extent of having had a chat or two with her and her husband at literar ...more
I enjoy Lady Emily's stories, and A Fatal Waltz didn't disappoint. I might enjoy better to read about how Lady Ashton deals with her aristocratic London or Paris, but I liked experiencing with her Vienna of the time. The plot has plenty of mystery, disappointments and surprises. Colin is as always a very good pair to Lady Emily. If she is a woman ahead of her time, he is not only supportive of her independence and investigative endeavors but his own missions are as fulfilling to him. 3 stars, r ...more
Mar 01, 2011 kari rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
I'm not really sure what to think of this book. It is never good as a reader when an author decides to make the hero appear to be something of a cad(to use a Victorian term) and then doesn't bother to explain how he isn't, leaving the reader to think that smart and loving Emily isn't as smart as we've been led to believe. Emily doesn't believe in anyone blindly, at one time thinking her own late husband was capable of a life of crime. But she doesn't question Colin when her own eyes and ears hav ...more
Jun 22, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Historical mystery buffs, fans of Elizabeth Peters
Recommended to Susan by: Amazon
I got this from the library and read it in a couple of days, it was a good, quick read.

I enjoyed the first two books in this series - even if Lady Emily is far too modern for a Victorian lady, she's a lot of fun. I couldn't help feeling in this installment, however, that I almost wished Emily would fall for her lifelong friend Jeremy, I'm getting a little tired of her and Colin making eyes at each other and teasing each other with their overwhelming passion - get on with it, already! Stop angst
Jul 11, 2008 Ron rated it it was amazing
I went to college with the author, so I am somewhat biased in her favor, but this is an excellent historical romance with plenty of suspense elements. This time around, Emily must clear the husband of one of her dearest friends of a classic English country house murder, and the investigation sends her to the anarchist underground of late 19th-century Vienna.. and a delicate battle of wills with the former lover of her fiance...
Nov 13, 2011 Meaghan rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I loved this book! I know I've liked all the books in this series, but this one garned my particular adoration for what Tasha Alexander did with it. Throughout this book I was in absolute agony. You have met Lady Emily and her love, now fiance, Colin. In the first book you found out about Emily's husband and her past with him. Now you find out about Colin's past in the form of one Countess Katarina von Lange. The reason this book was so agonizing was because throughout the book you watch Emily t ...more
Jun 26, 2012 JoLene rated it liked it
Shelves: pbt, hf, mystery, library, read-2012
This is the 3rd book in the Lady Emily series. Lady Emily Ashton is a Victorian era widow, who is studying the Greek classics. She's engaged to Colin Hargreaves who seems to be a Queens' 007. On this outing, the couple is invited to the country house of Lord Fortescue, one of the leading politicians. Unfortunately, Lord Fortescue ends up dead and the primary suspect is the husband of one of Lady Emily's closest friends.

While I appreciate the historical detail and the Jane Austen-like social comm
Aug 18, 2008 Tina rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Lady Emily Ashton and her fiance the dashing Colin Hargreaves are invited to a shooting party at the home of a very influential member of the government, Lord Fortescue.

Lord Fortescue has taken a strong dislike to Lady Emily and makes it clear that he plans to sabotage any plans she has of actually getting Hargreaves to the altar. To that end, he has also invited the alluring Countess Von Lange. Emily learns to her chagrin that the lovely Countess is an old love of Colin's who shares his talent
Jun 08, 2008 Christa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own
This is the third book in the series about Lady Emily Ashton, and while I have thoroughly enjoyed each one, I believe that this one is my favorite so far. I have enjoyed watching Emily's character grow and mature in each book. This time, she sets out to prove the innocence of Robert Brandon, her friend Ivy's husband, after he has been arrested for murder. The novel moves at a fast pace, and many of Emily's friends from the previous books appear as new ones are also introduced. At the end of the ...more
Jul 13, 2015 Mary rated it liked it
Okay, so I was entertained, but the murder mystery was convoluted and unrealistic, and I felt frustrated by some things that were left unexplained. The gun, the duel, the raid, the anarchists, none of it really came together in a way that made sense. Also, I'm annoyed with the romantic mystery surrounding Kristiana and Colin's relationship. Shouldn't Lady Ashton, our amateur sleuth, want to ferret out the truth? She didn't, so we didn't. I hope we get more details in future books.
Jan 09, 2008 Michelle rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Shannon
Shelves: mystery
Another ARC, to be published June 2008. This is the first book I've read by Tasha Alexander, although it is the third book in this particular series featuring Lady Emily Ashton. Previous books are And Only to Deceive and A Poisoned Season. This is a quick paced and fun historical mystery, set in Victorian England. A Fatal Waltz travels to Vienna, which the author depicts with wonderfully evocative writing. I'll recommend this series to fans of Elizabeth Peters, Victoria Thompson, Kate Ross, a ...more
Jan 13, 2015 Samantha rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
2013 - A very tangled plot, finding out who killed Lord Fortescue, but kept me wanting to read just another chapter.
I had been eagerly awaiting the publication of this book. I read both of Alexander's previous novels and enjoyed them very much, especially A Poisoned Season.

This is the third murder mystery solved by Lady Ashton. She is the a young widow engaged to her dead husband's best friend. Her finance, Colin Hargreaves works for the government and appreciates Emily's bright and inquisitive mind. Emily is at a party at Lord Fortescue's estate when the nasty old politician is murdered and her best friend
A FATAL WALTZ (Hist Mys/Amateur Sleuth-Emily, Lady Aston-England/Austria-Victorian) – G+
Alexander, Tasha – 3rd in series
William Morrow, 2008, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780061174223

First Sentence: I had not noticed it when she first arrived: the way she leaned too far towards him as he kissed her hand, the hint of surprised recognition in his eyes.

What begins as a tedious weekend in the country, for Emily, Lady Aston and her fiancé Colin Hargreaves, changes dramatically. The politically powerful Lord
Jul 22, 2012 ~Leslie~ rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book-nook
Lady Emily Ashton and her fiance Colin Hargreaves find themselves at a country house party when a murder takes place and the husband of her best friend Ivy is accused and hauled off to Newgate to await trial. He asks Emily to look into the murder as she has had some success in the past. Thus starts the third installment in the Lady Emily historical mystery series and my favorite so far. Lady Emily has matured quite a bit from the first book which makes for better reading. She and Colin have had ...more
May 15, 2009 Brittney rated it really liked it
Smashing book, talley ho! Here, here! I am anxiously awaiting the next in this series, which comes out in Sept 09 I believe. I love the characters and although the story can get a little slow (and slightly unbelievable at times), it is still a delightful, fun read. I learn a little more about Victorian England with each book in this series that I read. I must say that I am very disappointed in the lack of closure for dear Jeremy. I willingly admit I am a bit smitten with him. Perhaps he will fin ...more
Jul 17, 2008 Emma rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Monica
This is the third Lady Emily Ashton novel, and this one lives up to the "Novel of Suspense" that is written on the cover. ALthough I have to say I hate that painting and I cannot figure out if the lady is suppossed to be dead? Anyway- in this novel we have another dead body (no one is really sad though, he was an awful man) and a trip to Vienna with hot chocoloate and snow and skating, and questions about Colin's fidelity cause we meet his former ...mistress? Lover? Confidante...? We learn more ...more
Jun 21, 2008 Faith rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I think that Tasha Alexander could write labels for soup cans and make them suspenseful.
Third in (hopefully) a series, this installment finds Lady Emily Ashton searching for the murderer of her arch enemy in order to clear her best friends husband of the crime. There's suspense, a little romance and a whole lot of mystery. The descriptions of late 1800s city life is wonderful as is the dialog. Some of the dialog is a little too cheesey (for lack of a better word) or maybe "campy". But honestly,
Aug 12, 2008 Kate rated it liked it
This is the third book featuring Lady Emily Ashton as heroine in this late 1800s murder mystery. Lady Ashton is out to prove that her friend's husband did not kill the man he is accused of killing. For me this book wasn't as great as the first two. It lacked some of the frivolousness that made the first two books so good especially Emily's society/ gossip driven mother who made a very small appearance in this book but was featured more prominently in the other two. I still liked the book and I l ...more
Jul 23, 2015 D.w. rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
Something is rotten some thousand miles away from where the body turns up...

Wait, what? Yes indeed. Ms Alexander wants to weave so convoluted a plot that our heroine goes on a wild goose chase far from where any evidence would be. All that she does uncover far from England serves to be something that could have been as easily found out in England much closer to the Victim, and the Suspect. But that would not serve to give Ms Alexander her chance to play with history and mess it about.

That is wha
Mar 11, 2015 Darla rated it liked it
(Genre:Fiction/mystery/historical) Book 3 in the series. Lady Emily has been invited to the country estate of Lord Fortescue, a very powerful political figure in the English government, that she absolutely detests. But her friend Ivy's husband is beginning his career in politics and Lord Fortescue is his mentor, so Emily agrees to attend the house party in order to support her friend. And since her fiance Colin Hargreaves will also be in attendance at the estate, she could almost enjoy herself. ...more
I was disappointed in this book. Maybe it's the prude in me, but I was really bothered by the picture she painted of "society" where everyone had extramarital affairs. I didn't like how prevalent they were to the story and how accepting everyone was of such an immoral behavior. I was especially bothered to find that Colin had been a participant, it didn't fit with his character. Perhaps it was like that in that era, but I prefer a story that isn't quite so embracing of immorality.
Laura Carter
Apr 01, 2014 Laura Carter rated it liked it
I would give this book 3 1/2 stars. Mostly because Colin was completely different in this book than the other books, and the problem was never resolved. Sometimes we were led to believe he had a relationship with her for a "job" and it didn't mean anything; then other times they were in love but they mutually decided to not get married, leading us to believe that Colin still loved her. It was very confusing and we never got to hear the true story, and he and Emily never discussed it fully. Emily ...more
Aug 19, 2008 Jennifer rated it liked it
For some reason, it was more difficult for me to get into this novel than her previous two. The mystery, I felt, wasn't as compelling. Instead, I felt that it was an excuse to send Emily, the protagonist, to Vienna to soak up the intrigue there. Although I enjoyed the atmosphere of the novel, I still felt that the relationships among the characters was a bit more stale. Overall, it was okay, but not my favorite of the series.
Vicki Kondelik
Oct 19, 2015 Vicki Kondelik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In A Fatal Waltz, the third in Tasha Alexander's mystery series featuring unconventional Victorian widow Lady Emily Ashton, Emily attends a party at the country house of a man she hates, Lord Basil Fortescue, who is said to be the most powerful man in England. Her best friend Ivy, who is married to a rising politician, talked her into going. Also at the party is an Austrian countess, Kristiana von Lange, who was once romantically involved with Emily's fiance, secret agent Colin Hargreaves. When ...more
What. The. Hell.

That was my reaction after finishing the book. It had absolutely nothing to do with the mystery (although I found it annoyingly long-winded and meandering), and everything to do with the relationship between Emily and Colin. (There will be "spoilers" ahead, only in terms of the romance.)

In this book, we're introduced to Kristiana who is a colleague of Colin's as well as his previous lover. They apparently had a wild, tumultuous affair that was the talk of the town, and multiple c
Feb 03, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! Darker, deeper, and perhaps a bit nastier than previous outings with Lady Emily. Emily's stay in Vienna was fascinating... the obsession with death, the coffeehouse culture. The multi-faceted mystery kept me guessing until the end. Character development was great too, with all the old favorites as well as some interesting new ones. I look forward to Lady Emily's next story.
Reading the first Lady Emily book I of course adored the characters but it wasn't just that. I was also amazed by the attention to detail about life in the Victorian times and the amount of research that has clearly gone into it.
Which makes it even more disappointing that the author didn't bother with some bits. Definitely not with the random German bits. Dear authors, repeat after me: Google Translate is not a good source for foreign languages you have no clue about. Either try and find somebod
Angela Powell
Jan 22, 2014 Angela Powell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites-of-14
My favorite of the series so far! Here's why:
We get to see that Lady Ashton has grown as a character. She's smarter, braver, and keeps her emotions in check, but acknowledges that they're real.
Jeremy. Holy hell is he adorable and funny. I was hoping he'd become her suitor and I love Colin. But Jeremy...ahhh. Their conversation in the cathedral made me laugh.
The Empress Elizabeth. I've been absolutely enthralled with her story and the incident at Mayerling for years. It was a great twist to add
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The debonair Colin Hargreaves 1 21 Feb 13, 2014 01:16AM  
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Tasha Alexander is the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Emily series and the novel ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE. She attended the University of Notre Dame, where she studied English and Medieval History. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. She and her husband, novelist Andrew Grant, divide their time between Chicago an ...more
More about Tasha Alexander...

Other Books in the Series

Lady Emily (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • And Only to Deceive (Lady Emily, #1)
  • A Poisoned Season (Lady Emily, #2)
  • Tears of Pearl (Lady Emily, #4)
  • Dangerous to Know (Lady Emily, #5)
  • A Crimson Warning (Lady Emily, #6)
  • Death in the Floating City (Lady Emily, #7)
  • Behind the Shattered Glass (Lady Emily, #8)
  • The Counterfeit Heiress (Lady Emily, #9)
  • The Adventuress (Lady Emily, #10)
  • A Terrible Beauty (Lady Emily, #11)

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