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A Poisoned Season (Lady Emily #2)

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,066 Ratings  ·  630 Reviews
London's social season is in full swing, and Victorian aristocracy is atwitter over a certain gentleman who claims to be the direct descendant of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Adding to their fascination with all things French, an audacious cat burglar is systematically stealing valuable items that once belonged to the ill–fated queen.

But things take a dark turn. The own
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published April 10th 2007 by William Morrow (first published 2007)
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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
71st out of 1,304 books — 3,309 voters
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Favorite Historical Mystery Series
41st out of 784 books — 879 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lisa Kay
One of my favorite paintings, “Marie Antoinette with the Rose,” by Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (female prodigy and a favorite of the queen). The rose is the symbolic flower of Austria.

Oh, I think I liked this one even more than the first in the Lady Emily Mysteries. It has plenty of intrigue, witty dialogue, and plot twists. There is a cat burglar stealing mementos of Marie Antoinette; there is a man claiming to be her heir; there is a ‘overzealous suitor’ stalking Lady Emily; and there is a
I’ve decided I like Lady Emily after all! Reading the first book, I wasn’t sure - but that was because I couldn’t help comparing her to Lady Julia Grey, my favorite Victorian widow sleuth and my first love of the genre.

But now I’ve had some time without a lot of new Lady Julia material to read, and was able to find some space in my heart for Emily. She’s another heroine who can’t quite live within the strictures of Victorian society, and finds freedom as a widow that she never could have had as
Feb 05, 2015 Holly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
I loved this one so much more than the first in the Lady Emily series! After I read the first, I didn't think I would be too interested to continue but I was willing to give the series a second shot. I'm so glad that I did because I thought this was great. It had it all for me: the 1800's (one of my favorite era's), mystery, romance, witty dialogue, etc. Lady Emily and Colin are a wonderful couple, I can't wait to see their relationship flourish!
Even if the first book didn't, A Poisoned Season certainly has convinced me that Alexander's future books will be delightful mystery reads.

I'd advise reading them with attention though because the cast of characters tends to be long and two or three subplots all wind up together, somehow leaving the original conflict behind. However they have both common and unique HR mystery tropes making it altogether very pleasant.
May 27, 2014 Jane rated it really liked it
Where I got the book: purchased at an author event. Signed. I know the author.

This is the second book in Alexander’s Lady Emily mystery series. I’m very slowly working my way through it, having enjoyed the first book enough that I was willling to give the second a try. I have three or four historical mystery series I dip into from time to time when I need some relaxation reading—I expect plausibility rather than painstaking historical accuracy, perhaps a little bit of a continuing romance story,
A POISONED SEASON (Amateur Sleuth-Emily Ashton-England-Victorian) – VG
Alexander, Tasha – 2nd in series
Wm. Morrow, 2007, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780061174148
First Sentence: There are several things one can depend upon during the London Season: an overwhelming barrage of invitations, friends whose loyalties turn suspect, and at least one overzealous suitor.
*** Lady Emily Ashton is through the period of mourning for her husband in time to join London’s social season. A new face on the scene is Charle
Contrary to predominant opinion, I did not enjoy the second installment of Lady Emily’s adventures as much as the first one. Still a good read and I enjoyed it.

Tasha Alexander provides us with a plot more akin to a traditional historical romance story in a A Poisoned Season. Lady Ashton is a widow; therefore she can do without a husband and thrive on her independence. Of course, as she is still very young she faces the pressure of her peers to marry. But Lady Emily deals well with that limit
Sep 22, 2011 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-in-11
Another fantastic effort from Tasha Alexander.
I love Lady Emily.

I REALLY love Colin Hargreaves.

Although I think this mid-to-late Victorian period in which the books are set would have been far too silly for me (I feel the same way about meetings, so it's possible that I need to adjust my standards), I enjoy seeing Emily romp all over it.

This particular mystery has so many Georgette Heyer themes, but written by a contemporary author: the London season, arranged marriages, nobility, and a royal wh
Mar 25, 2008 Laurie rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for this genre: 19th Century England/high society/mystery/historical fiction/romance.

Truth be told, it's not THAT great of a book, but like I said, I'm a sucker for the genre. The reason it is not THAT great is because I don't automatically find myself making the same leaps of judgement about some of the 'suspects' as the main character, Emily Ashton, does. So, I suppose that if the author made the motives more clear or the descriptions more detailed, I may make the same conclusions
This book was...OK...I guess. It's not that I didn't enjoy it. Emily was as great a character as in the first book and the mystery was actually better. However I had trouble with two of the the sub-plots. At first we have the Emily has a stalker-subplot. And it is a stalker, not just a secret admirer who sends flowers now and then. He breaks into her house to leaver her "presents" and he sends angry notes and wilted flowers after he saw her with another man. Neither Emily nor the book itself tre ...more
Feb 28, 2011 Kelly rated it liked it
Review before I really had a crack at the book:
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I am now in full realization of just how much of a punishment glutton I am. I seem to feast on the fact that I loathe sharks, unfortunate looking sharks at that, with every fiber of my being. And yet, the shark exhibits at the Monterey Bay Aquarium are my favorites. Shark meat, shark teeth, shark fin (whoops, that last one was a tad bit un-humanitarian). And yet, I have revolting scenarios where I fall in the tank, tide pool, etc.

Feb 17, 2015 Maryanne rated it it was amazing
Delightful - even better than Alexander's first effort. Still using the occasional Americanisms ('write me' rather than 'write to me' and other instances where the article or preposition is similarly missing; or an American slang word is used, jarring us out of the period) hopefully edited out in later books. NB - Don't let this put you off - it happens very rarely, perhaps less than 5 times in the novel.

5 stars for: the number of mysteries, including a VERY appealing secret admirer, swirl aroun
Danielle Gonzalez
Sep 20, 2015 Danielle Gonzalez rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in the series of Lady Emily. While her friend Cecile is staying with her, a burglar breaks into the home and steals earrings of Cecile's that once belonged to Marie Antoinette. When Emily finds out that other homes have been broken into with items being stolen that once belonged to Marie Antoinette, Emily, of course, has to get to the bottom of it. The burglar continues to break into Emily's home, but is no longer stealing things, but leaving love notes for Emily. At the ...more
Sep 26, 2008 ChloeLeeNH rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Victorian Era Mystery
Ok, Tasha Alexander has redeemed herself with this one. I was unsure of her after her first. But this one definitely has a better groove and was much easier to read. I liked the tension between she and Colin the whole way through and the mystery was much easier to follow and was interesting as well!
Mar 01, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I enjoyed the mystery in this more than in the first of the Lady Emily mysteries - I was just as shocked as Lady Emily to discover who the culprit was! The romance between Lady Emily and Colin is very sweet and I was glad to see that she made the right choice in the end (between Bainbridge and Colin)! One of the things I most like about these novels is that Alexander ensures that everyone around Lady Emily reacts time-appropriately to her more progressive actions. It keeps the books realistic to ...more
Dec 12, 2010 Pamela rated it liked it
Better than the first, though still with some growing pains. Alexander's language is often too modern and too American (ditto her heroine), but the plot here was much less predictable and introduced a more varied and believable cast of characters. Some loose ends that were conspicuously un-tied and a lingering Purple Prose Problem (Alexander has fallen prey to a need--often exhibited by writers of romance novels or more literate fan-fiction--to constantly prove her erudition and education by des ...more
Aug 18, 2013 Andree rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
I really enjoyed this one. After finishing the first one, I suspected I'd really enjoy this one (more than I enjoyed the first one). Really pleased to have been proven right.

(view spoiler)
Jun 11, 2010 Bookworm1858 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2010, mystery
Summary: While the big gossip of the season is surrounding the purported heir to the French throne, Lady Emily Ashton is still attracting attention. She is still studying Greek, still refusing to remarry, still drinking port, and still intent on being her own person even as she faces society's censure, troubles with her best friend, multiple proposals, a dashing thief, and a murderer.

My Thoughts: The characters are the most important part of this story so I will start with them (I'm afraid that
Allison (The Allure of Books)
Like I said in my review of this first book of this series, And Only to Deceive, I absolutely love this series. I have re-read the books several times and always look forward to a new one being published. Tasha Alexander has created wonderful characters, and it is impossible not to fall in love with them. (Especially Colin, who may very well be the perfect man).

This is my favorite book of the series so far, and one of my favorite books of all time. I love the way Emily and Colin butt heads as fa
Feb 12, 2012 Sue rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, romance
I loved this one also. The plot just keeps getting thicker and thicker....who is after Lady Emily and why. I kept guessing but the twists and turns were throwing me off so much. I don't know if I ever guessed correctly. I loved how it all revolved around Marie Antoinette's offspring and jewels. Will she ever give up and say yes to Colin? This guy can only propose so many times. He does refuse to kiss her etc. until she becomes his betrothed. I enjoyed the roles each have. Emily definitely wants ...more
Sep 03, 2009 Starling rated it really liked it
I liked this second book in a series much more than I liked the first one. The first one was good enough that I looked for the next two books at the library the next time I went there.

At this point Emily knows that she missed the opportunity to be married to a man she loved, and has decided to figure out who she is, and what she wants before she accepts Colin's offer of marriage. And that is basically what one part of the plot is about. The other part is the mysteries surrounding the offspring o
Jan 26, 2015 Angie rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-uns, mystery
This second installment in the Lady Emily Ashton mystery series definitely exceeded my expectations. I ended up rather underwhelmed by the first book. Nevertheless, I was willing to move forward, hoping things would pick up substantially in the second. And by "things" I mean plotline, character development, chemistry between principals...pretty much the whole shebang. Good news is--they did. Quite a bit, in fact. And I'm still trying to decide whether I adjusted to the world and writing style or ...more
Jul 15, 2015 Judy rated it really liked it
I don't know when it happened but I seem to be stuck in the land of historical mysteries. No, please, don't worry. I have no desire to leave anytime soon. This was a fun book to read. Thanks to the foundation of the first book, the second book of the Lady Emily series moved along quite smoothly. The characters were just as fun and I thought the mystery was intriguing enough to keep my nose to the pages. I'm hooked and I have a feeling that I'll be reading through the rest of the series quite qui ...more
The mild concerns I had with the first book were sorted by the second and I felt that Tasha Alexander did a brilliant job of capturing the late Victorian London Season as well as providing a satisfying mystery with just enough romance to spice things up.

Unlike some Americans writing about the period Tasha Alexander easily captures the sense of how important a woman's reputation was during this period and how fragile as well. Even though proudly independent Lady Emily is not that head strong to r
I wouldn't know how to shelve this book if I were the one making those decisions. The subtitle is "A Book of Suspense", which it is, there is a mystery to be solved and there is a romance. Lady Emily Ashton, a few years into her widowhood, returns to London society and becomes embroiled in a plot to return the French monarch to the throne. There are wonderful twists and turns to the plot, great characters and a surprise ending that I did not anticipate in the least. The romance part was a bit mu ...more
Mar 15, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I enjoy almost anything that takes me to the London Season during the Victorian or Regency period as long as the writing is tolerable and it is clean. I am convinced I was born in the wrong time and should have had my season, married a devastatingly witty and handsome Duke or Earl,(exactly like my Alex) and then simply enjoyed society for the rest of my days in between my periods of confinement where I would make an heir and a house full of spares. Never would I have to drive carpool, deal with ...more
Apr 27, 2016 Gail rated it really liked it
It's the London season and Emily is now out of mourning. Her suitor Colin Hargreaves becomes more imperative in his marriage proposals, yet she hesitates to give up her freedom. The bon ton is enamored of a new heir to the House of Bourbon, a contender to the throne in France. Emily finds Mr. Berry to be something of a mystery, a cad, who pursues her to become his mistress.

Emily flaunts to rules of society to some degree and ugly rumors start about her and she's being excluded and cut out of soc
Jan 03, 2014 Ariel rated it really liked it
This is the second entry I've read in the Lady Emily cozy mystery series which takes place in Victorian England. In the first novel Lady Emily solves her husbands murder and stumbles on to an investigative quality that she never knew she possessed. In this novel her relationship with her husbands friend Colin deepens as she investigates the disappearance of items that belonged to Marie Antoinette that have been disappearing from some of the finest homes in London. Along the way her reputation ta ...more
Ruby Rose Scarlett
Mar 17, 2014 Ruby Rose Scarlett rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book with a wonderful heroine and a great plot. I loved all the feminist aspects of the book (of course) and the world is extremely well depicted. I must say the mysteries so far have been really original. This one, involving the French royalty, is no exception. This is an outstanding series.
May 20, 2012 ~Leslie~ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book-nook
This is the 2nd in this series about Lady Emily and I liked this one alot more than the first. The story felt smoother and more put together. Lady Emily was much less annoying and the mystery was very well done. She is in London during this story and is having a difficult season as someone is spreading rumors about her. She is asked to investigate the murder of an acquaintance and meanwhile someone is stealing artifacts that belonged to Marie Antoinette. There is alot going on in this story, but ...more
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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 Fatal Waltz (Lady Emily, #3)
  • 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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