Valerie Stocking's Reviews > And Only to Deceive

And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander
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Feb 04, 12

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Read in January, 2012

This book was recommended to me by a friend, and in reading the snippets of reviews that adorn the pages of the front of this book, I was duly impressed. However, that impression changed as I read the book.

Emily weds Phillip to get away from her overbearing mother. Phillip, unfortunately, dies suddenly while on safari in Africa. In going over his correspondence and diary, Emily is startled to learn that Phillip did indeed love her. Stolen artifacts and antiquities in the British Museum play prominent roles in the story. There are a few menacing touches, such as a strange man with a scar who seems to be watching Emily's home, and who follows her on a trip to Paris. But I found myself thinking, 'So what?" There wasn't enough substance to hold my interest.

To be sure, the author has done her homework, and provides excellent period detail. She writes well. The problem is, from my viewpoint, I didn't start caring about what happened to the heroine until the possibility was presented that her husband, thought dead for two years, was actually alive. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen until fairly near the end of the book. Meanwhile, we are introduced to some colorful characters, snappy dialogue, and that excellent attention to VIctorian detail, but the plot doesn't sustain all this, and I wound up getting bored. I read the book through to the end out of courtesy to the friend who had loaned it to me, but I doubt I'll read the sequel. This book could have been called, "Much Ado About Nothing."
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