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In the Shadow of Vesuvius

(Lady Emily #14)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  225 ratings  ·  101 reviews
In this new installment in Tasha Alexander's bestselling Victorian series, Lady Emily and her husband Colin uncover a mystery in the ancient city of Pompeii.

Some corpses lie undisturbed longer than others. But when Lady Emily discovers a body hidden in plain sight amongst the ruins of Pompeii, it still comes as quite a shock.

Eager to explore ancient sites and modern
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Minotaur Books
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Lorna McCluskey I read “In the Shadow of Vesuvius” without reading any of the others and thoroughly enjoyed the read.

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Average rating 4.01  · 
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Nora Carroll
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of the delightful 14th installment of the Lady Emily mystery series. What I love about Alexander's books is the careful historical research that goes into them. Alexander always visits the sites that she writes about, and in this book, the author's powerful connection to the location shines through. As in many of her books, this one has a dual timeline, going back and forth between Emily's time, and the story of a slave girl who lived during Pompeii's ...more
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read all of her books. This was excellent! Set in Pompeii at the turn of the century, she had to disregard knowledge gleaned after that. So she did a lot of research. I liked the alternate story running alongside the main story. It kept me in suspense to see how the two stories would relate in the end.
I was not disappointed.
If you like history and especially Pompeii, this is a must read!
Barbara Rogers
Series: Lady Emily #14
Publication Date: 1/7/2020
Number of Pages: 304
*** 3.5 Stars Rounded up to 4 ***

As with many of the stories in this long-running series, you get two stories for the price of one. The main story takes place in 1902 Pompei at an archaeological dig and the accompanying story revolves around a newly freed slave girl in AD 79 Pompei. For my part, I sort of liked the accompanying story better than the main story – mostly because you knew, as you read, what was going to happen to
Kate Baxter
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Yet another wonderful addition to the Lady Emily mystery series! This book deftly balances two narratives of Pompeii in alternating chapters - one of a 79 AD slave poetess and the other from 1902 AD of Lady Emily.

Our plucky protagonist, Lady Emily Hargreaves, has headed off to Pompeii accompanying her dearest friend Ivy Brandon as Ivy participates on an archaeological dig at the Pompeii ruins. Emily's husband, Colin, takes a break from English Court security and travels along with the ladies to
Bebe (Sarah) Brechner
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this new story in the Lady Emily series. Alexander has given the series new life in this fascinating setting - the ruins of Pompeii. Everything works here - atmosphere, characters, and plot. Readers who enjoy a bit of archaeology will appreciate Alexander's excellent research which gives us a view into the history and excavations of Pompeii. Alexander provides an extra bonus by layering into the novel an intriguing parallel story set during the time of the Vesuvius eruption. ...more
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
In this entry, Lady Emily and Colin are in Pompeii and they start to investigate a murder after police are unwilling to look into the matter thinking it's the work of gangs. The mystery aspect of this book was quite good with some twists and turns as I've come to expect from Tasha Alexander. There's alternating time periods in this book, the first time Tasha did this I wasn't sure that I liked it but in this book I thought it worked well.

I actually really liked the introduction of a certain
Rebecca Hill
When Lady Emily and her husband Colin encounter a fresh body in the ruins of Pompeii, they are a little taken aback. But when the police refuse to investigate the crime, they take it on themselves. But there are a few wrenches about to be thrown into their midst, one being Colin's daughter, one that he never knew existed.
While she hates Lady Emily on sight, things are starting to get a little uncomfortable for many, as more secrets are uncovered during their investigation, and more than one
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ongoing-series
The action begins with a shocking discovery almost at page one in this latest entry in the Lady Emily series. The setting this time is Pompeii, the city ruined by a catastrophic volcano eruption in 79 AD. Lady Emily, her husband, and her best friend are on hand to play tourist, but when they find a body that met a much more recent demise, it's time to start investigating.
Many new characters are introduced in this book, some that are probably intended to stick around and become part of Lady
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019, netgalley
I have been a fan of Ms. Alexander's Lady Emily series for several years and was very excited to see the fourteenth installment is set at a dig in Pompeii. I was pleased that several of the main characters return, although I missed Margaret and the boys (Are they at school? I don't believe their absence was addressed).

I did not particularly enjoy the chapters with Kassandra, as they seemed to only serve the purpose of setting up the great save in the ending. I found myself skimming these
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I always enjoy Lady Emily’s adventures! I love historical fiction and appreciate the research behind these stories. I’ve enjoyed seeing the characters develop over time, and I always look forward to the next installment. Thanks for the opportunity to receive an ARC!
michelle kennedy
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received the book in the mail and finished it in a day. Having never read one of Alexander's books I couldn't put it down and will be looking for her other books in the near future.
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was very lucky to win this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. Lady Emily is one of my favorite characters and I look forward to each and every installment of her story.

There are no spoilers in this review. This book takes place in the wonderful setting of Pompeii and, as in the past several books, the story follows parallel timelines between Lady Emily and another's story. As is usually the case, Lady Emily discovers a murder victim in the opening pages and she and Colin set out to find the
Sharon Huether
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, first-reads
Pompeii, Italy...The archaeologists were busy with on going digs. Tourists were everywhere.
A visitor to Italy, Lady Emily Hargreaves discovered a body in plain sight placed with some of the mummified bodies from the big irruption of Mount Vesuvius.
Lady Hargreaves does her own investigating. The guilty person, then tries to kill her.

I won this free book from Goodreads First reads.
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was fortunate enough to snag an advanced reader's copy of the fourteenth entry in Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily series. I read the first eleven volumes of the series a couple of years ago and have kept up with the yearly installments since then, so opening this book was like revisiting old friends, albeit friends who lived more than 100 years ago. The latest entry in the series takes us to Naples, Pompeii, and the surrounding areas, where archaeologists are excavating the villages that were ...more
Susan Johnson
Dec 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
3.5 stars

I have always been fascinated by Pompeii so I was eager to read this even though I had not read any other Emily books. It's set in 1902 and Lady Emily discovers a body on a dig in Pompeii. The problem is that it's a recent body and has not been dead for thousands of years. She and a friend, Ivy, investigate the murder as the police don't seem to be interested in investigating. There is a secondary story of a slave girl in Pompeii who is a poet. The story goes back and forth between the
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: good-reads
I was fortunate enough to win this as a Goodreads giveaway, as I have read the other books in the "Lady Emily" series and have enjoyed many of them. However, I have noticed that lately the author may be falling into the trap that must be near impossible not to fall into when penning a long standing series of this sort: the dreaded playing it safe, tied together with lack of character development syndrome. I appreciate that readers are expected to know the characters by now, but I still want to ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Everything about this book signaled that it would appeal to me--a historical mystery set in an archeological dig of the ruins of Pompeii, plus a parallel story in Pompeii before its destruction.

I am a voracious reader of light mysteries, but Ms. Alexander's book just left me cold. I found her characters either insufficiently developed, or totally unsympathetic, particularly her protagonist Lady Emily and her husband. Their chemistry was discussed in the text, but felt contrived to me. I never
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of "In the Shadow of Vesuvius" by Tasha Alexander through the "Good Reads First Reads Giveaway."

I enjoyed this historical novel. It rekindled my interest in the 79 AD event regarding Pompeii and Herculaneum. It is rare that a historic site can be revisited as it originally was.

My only problem with the story, is a slave who can not only read and write, but is a genius in epic poetry, since slaves were held back even in those days.

The author keeps two stories alive by
Bonnye Reed
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
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was fortunate to read this early as part of an ARC giveaway contest, so I will attempt to give an unbiased review without spoiling anything for readers who haven't had the chance to read this yet.

Lady Emily and her husband Colin Hargreaves are vacationing with friends in Pompeii when, not surprisingly, a more recent victim of misfortune is discovered among the ruins. The local police shrug the dead man off as another victim of the local mafia, and so Emily and her friends are once again
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do .

In skillfully intertwined storylines from the dawn of the twentieth century
Sue F
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is 1902 and we are in Pompeii where two friends and the husband of one of them are walking through an excavated Roman home. On the floor of the triclinium (living room) are plaster casts of the excavated dead of this home. There are two men and one woman. One man a slave dead for over 2000 years, the other only a few weeks.

The recently dead man is an American journalist who worked for the New York Times. Interestingly he had been in Italy and Pompeii several months before returning home and
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There’s always a moment in a Tasha Alexander book where I give a little yip of joy. Be it a ghost ballerina or a lovingly described Worth dress (there’s a beauty in this book), in this outing, it was the body hidden in plain sight amongst all the others in Pompeii. When a fresher corpse is noticed by Lady Emily and her husband as having the wrong sideburns and the discovery was made, I could not have been happier.

Corpses and Worth dresses aside, I think this was one of the more intellectual of
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
In the Shadow of Vesuvius is the 14th book in Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily Mystery series. It's the first book I've read by this author. A little late to the party, aren't I? Amazingly, book 14 stood alone perfectly; I didn't feel the least bit lost.

Lady Emily Hargreaves and her best friend Ivy, escorted by Emily's husband Colin, are in Pompeii in 1902, visiting archaeological sites. While observing the plaster casts made of the victims of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius which occurred in 79 AD,
The Library Lady
Do you know what a Deux Ex Machina is?
From the Oxford Dictionary: " an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel."

Well, that's what we have here. A story is built within this story just so that Lady Emily can be saved from danger at the end of this book. That is the one and only reason for the inner story.

Tasha Alexander puts in another sly reference to Elizabeth Peters immortal Amelia Peabody here, but she is no
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In the Shadow of Vesuvius by Tasha Alexander is another in the series of Victorian mysteries and takes place, mostly, in 1902. Emily's friend Ivy Brandon, the mother of six wants to visit Pompeii but her husband will not allow it without someone to accompany her so she turns to her friend, Lady Emily Hargreaves. As it turns out that would be an adventure Lady Emily would like to take, and her husband, Colin Hargreaves, a man in the employ of the British government to deal with problems, is ...more
Anne Morgan
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
This is the first Tasha Alexander book I've read and I was blown away by the attention to historical detail. The descriptions of Pompeii: the archaeological dig as well as the original city, were amazing and it was easy to imagine yourself right there on the city streets. I love reading everything I can on Pompeii and Herculaneum so this was a great read for that (and I loved the bibliography at the end- a few I had already read but the rest are absolutely going on my TBR pile). The sense of ...more
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"None of us is safe from exposure after death."

I selected this mystery solely on the fact that it mentioned the words, "Vesuvius" and "Pompeii". I have not read any of the other books in the series and was a bit nervous coming in at this stage. I have long been fascinated with the story of the eruption and the discovery and excavation of the city as well as having a dream about actually visiting there one day. I absolutely loved all the details and it was obvious that Tasha Alexander did a lot
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The daughter of two philosophy professors, I grew up surrounded by books. I was convinced from an early age that I was born in the wrong century and spent much of my childhood under the dining room table pretending it was a covered wagon. Even there, I was never without a book in hand and loved reading and history more than anything. I studied English Literature and Medieval History at the ...more

Other books in the series

Lady Emily (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • And Only to Deceive (Lady Emily, #1)
  • A Poisoned Season (Lady Emily, #2)
  • 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)