Set in the lush countryside of Normandy, France, this new novel of suspense featuring Lady Emily Hargreaves is filled with intrigue, romance, mysterious deaths, and madness.
Returning from her honeymoon with Colin Hargreaves and a near brush with death in Constantinople, Lady Emily convalesces at her mother-in-law’s beautiful estate in Normandy. But the calm she so desperately seeks is shattered when, out riding a horse, she comes upon the body of a young woman who has been brutally murdered. The girl’s wounds are identical to those inflicted on the victims of Jack the Ripper, who has wreaked havoc across the channel in London. Emily feels a connection to the young woman and is determined to bring the killer to justice.
Pursuing a trail of clues and victims to the beautiful medieval city of Rouen and a crumbling chateau in the country, Emily begins to worry about her own sanity: she hears the cries of a little girl she cannot find and discovers blue ribbons left in the child’s wake. As Emily is forced to match wits with a brilliant and manipulative killer, only her courage, keen instincts and formidable will to win can help her escape becoming his next victim.
This has been a great month books-wise. Lots of long awaited series installments are finally being published. Dangerous to Know was among the “can’t wait to read” books, especially after Tears of Pearl’s (book 4 in the series) cliffhanger-ish ending. Well, Lady Emily is back! Dangerous to Know picks up a few months after the events of Tears of Pearl, Emily is still recuperating from her honeymoon and is not yet back to her usual sleuthing self. She isn’t given much of a choice in the matter, as almost from the first page she gets involved in a gruesome murder when she discovers the body of an unknown woman while out riding.
As Emily’s husband Colin joins forces with local police, we see just how much the events of Constantinople have taken their toll on Emily – for the first time since the series began, Emily is reticent about the possibility of investigating a case, she seems almost apathetic in a way. This does not take anything away from the book. In fact, while this book was darker than previous books, it also delved deeper. I felt I understood Emily a lot more after reading Dangerous to Know, and liked her more as a character.
Don’t worry, Emily does get the sleuthing bug back, especially with the reappearance of a mysterious housebreaker who enjoys leaving enigmatic notes behind… Yes, Sebastian Capet (A Poisoned Season) is back, and he is still as delightful as ever. I really enjoyed seeing how Emily got back to herself, and to the business of solving mysteries with a little help from her friend. A new character in the series is Emily’s mother in law, Mrs. Hargreaves, who Emily can’t seem to please no matter what. Yet through Mrs. Hargreaves journal entries I found out why she hasn’t been warming to Emily, and this gave me a better understanding of just how much Emily has been changed by recent events. I grew to love Mrs. Hargreaves and looked forward to each time one of her journal entries appeared.
As for mysteries, there are plenty going around! From the gruesome murder of a lost woman, to the disappearing (and reappearing) Monets, the mysterious appearance of blue hair ribbons and the possibility of a very tragic ghostly presence, Emily has her hands full. Ms. Alexander’s plot was perfect, even when I did start putting the pieces together, I wasn’t quite sure how they fit into one puzzle but they did. I was kept on the edge of my seat turning page after page and waiting to see how all would be resolved.
Hmm…now who haven’t I mentioned? Ah yes, Colin Hargreaves. Well, this might have to do with the fact that he is in my black books at the moment. I won’t spoil it for you, I will just say that some of Colin’s decisions in this book made me want to throttle him and not in a good way! After reading Dangerous to Know, I realized just how lucky I am to be a woman in the 21st century rather than the 19th century. Please, do not let this put you off reading this book. Again, the darker side of this book may actually be why I think it is one of the best in the series. I was so involved in every page – I felt Emily’s anger, frustration, and anguish right there with her (you might want to have a punching bag handy).
By the end of Dangerous to know, I learnt that madness comes in many guises, that love is different things to different people, and that I really want to read the next book in the series right. now.
I’ll end this review with just one request – I hope Emily takes a page out of her mother in law’s book and that she won’t let go of the person she has become. After all, she is entering the era of the suffragette…
The Lady Emily Mysteries [HM]
And Only to Deceive – October 1, 2006
A Poisoned Season – January 1, 2008
A Fatal Waltz – July 1, 2009
Tears of Pearl – September 28, 2010
Dangerous to Know (Hardcover) – October 26, 2010
For more about Tasha Alexander visit her Website
Noa received an ARC of this book from the publisher.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=paperbackdolls-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0312383797&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=paperbackdolls-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0312383800&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=paperbackdolls-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B003A02WNU&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=paperbackdolls-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002DMJTXC&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=paperbackdolls-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=006114844X&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr