Saturday, October 3, 2009

Maybe Some Live Men Are Good, Too

Tasha Alexander continues the story of Emily's talent for mysteries in A Poisoned Season, where people actually ask her to help solve some crimes. And other people beg her not to, or threaten her, or refuse to believe that a women is capable of or appropriate for the task. And while she looks into the problems of the select cat burglar, the maid accused of murder, and the plot to seize the government of France, she also peers into the problem of marriage, especially for a woman in marriage. Alexander gives Emily the examples of her socially conforming friend and her struggles, the obnoxious and applauded possible heir to the French throne, the wife and mistress of a quiet man mysteriously murdered, and the affection of Colin, her first husband's best friend and would-be fiance.

I liked the balance of the mysteries and Emily's social life, which is threatened when rumors almost lead to her ostracism from society. Emily gets a chance to see her mother in a better light, which is refreshing after her early caricature. Colin is almost too good to be true in his restraint and respect, but it makes a nice contrast with the dastardly princeling. The mood remains detached, which sometimes throws me out a bit that doesn't always fit the tone, but I'm having enough fun to put the next one on hold. B+

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