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In the Shadow of Vesuvius

(Lady Emily #14)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  471 ratings  ·  143 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 3.88  · 
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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
Shades of trouble on Pompeii's slopes!

The past casts many a shadow in the lee of Vesuvius. Colin is confronted by his past and Emily's confidence is frayed as murder spreads it's wings on a dig at Pompei.
Emily's friend Ivy asked Emily to accompany her to Pompeii. Ivy's husband, concerned about the two women traveling alone, with a clever sleight of hand, was able to inveigle King Edward VII to release Colin from his protection duties in order to join them.
In a reconstructed dining room at the
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: netgalley, read-2019
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.
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I quite enjoyed this latest Lady Emily mystery set in Pompeii. As with all of the recent Lady Emily books, the chapters rotate between the mystery Emily and Colin are investigating with chapters set immediately before the destruction of Pompeii. I was caught up in the mystery featuring Lady Emily and Colin almost immediately -- perhaps because they find a dead body within the first few pages. It took me much longer to warm to the story of the young Greek slave, but by the end of the book I also ...more
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
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
Sharon Huether
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads, mystery
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
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those who wish to travel to AD 79!
“Of the many misfortunes that have occurred in this world, no others have given posterity such joy.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, writing about Pompeii. The setting of Tasha Alexander’s In the Shadow of Vesuvius (Lady Emily, #14) just happens to be Pompeii and Herculaneum which is brilliant for me as I have been lucky enough to have visited both places! Lady Emily, her husband, Colin, close friend, Ivy, and (love this character!) Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge, a childhood friend stay in a villa with ...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
Norah Gibbons
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
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
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's the first mystery I read in Lady Emily series and won't surely be the last.
It was a gripping and entertaining read that kept me guessing till the end.
I loved the cast of characters, they're likeable and fleshed out. I had some issues with the new addition to the series because she grated on my nerves but the character development made her less unlikeable.
The historical background is well researched and vivid and I liked the setting.
It was an enjoyable read, highly recommended.
Many thanks to
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
I just so enjoy this series, which I don't think I would have come across had it not been for working in a public library. Tasha Alexander does meticulous research and then creates such wonderful fiction from her findings. Lady Emily rocks!
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
So many great things about this book, which I read in one sitting. I deducted a star for some things I feel like the characters should be beyond at this stage in the series. It seems like the author is struggling with Emily's personality a bit. I enjoyed this more than some of the other recent entries, so hopefully a return to full form lies ahead. I really appreciate the writing craft and historical details that the author is so skilled in.
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
Clare O'Beara
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a highly enjoyable and detailed mystery at the turn of the twentieth century, set in Pompeii. An English house party has to investigate a murder.
I had not read any earlier books in the series, but as the group is away from home the cast is limited and not too much of their backstory is relevant.
I like that we get to see the life of a slave girl in the city before the volcano erupted.

I was sent an e-ARC by Fresh Fiction. This is an unbiased review.
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
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
As someone who recognized the author's name but had never read any of her books, this book (read from an eARC from Edelweiss) sounded intriguing since it was set in Pompeii with the protagonists being tourists in the early 20th century. Lady Emily, the main character in this and 13 previous books is visiting Pompeii with her husband Colin Hargreaves after being invited on the trip by her good friend Ivy Brandon. It does not take long for a dead body to turn up in the dig and it is a 20th ...more
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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)
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