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ARC Review: Death in the Floating City by Tasha Alexander

Submitted by on October 4, 2012 – 4:00 amOne Comment

Author: Tasha Alexander
Title: Death in the Floating City
Release: October 16, 2012
Series: Lady Emily Mysteries #7
Reviewer: Noa
Source: Publisher
Purchase: | Book Depository

Years ago, Emily’s childhood nemesis, Emma Callum, scandalized polite society when she eloped to Venice with an Italian count. But now her father-in-law lies murdered, and her husband has vanished. There’s no one Emma can turn to for help but Emily, who leaves at once with her husband, the dashing Colin Hargreaves, for Venice. There, her investigations take her from opulent palazzi to slums, libraries, and bordellos. Emily soon realizes that to solve the present day crime, she must first unravel a centuries old puzzle. But the past does not give up its secrets easily, especially when these revelations might threaten the interests of some very powerful people.

The seven year itch can be a terrible thing, nothing seems new anymore, you seek excitement and wish to seek it elsewhere… Nothing is as bright and shiny as it used to be… or so I’ve heard from other readers about their books.

As for me? I am so happy Tasha Alexander is the superbly talented writer she is; thanks to her, when it comes to the 7th installment in the Lady Emily series, it feels like a second honeymoon. How appropriate that the story takes place in Venice.

Death in a Floating City takes Emily and her husband Colin to the city that never sinks (ok, it is sinking but you get my drift) after Emily’s childhood nemesis seeks out their help to solve the murder of her father in law – the Conte Barozzi as well as clear the name of her husband, Paulo who fled the scene of the crime.

Emma isn’t exactly sugar and spice and all that’s nice, in fact, for someone seeking assistance in solving a murder she doesn’t seem to be cooperating with her chosen investigators. Meanwhile, Paulo is seen traveling in the company of a monk and some extremely valuable books which have gone missing are being sold along the way.

Emily and Colin have their work cut out for them in this book as they attempt to navigate through the lies and intrigue of Venetian society in order to uncover Barozzi’s murderer. But this mystery may be a great deal more complicated than they ever imagined. A ring discovered on Barozzi’s body leads Emily to direct her search to the past – with hundreds of years of history and feuds to sift through and only the ring and some initials to help her along the way.

Unlike Emily and Colin, the reader gets a little bit more information – as side by side with the current mystery, we are given a taste of a 15th century Venetian love story as it unfolds when Besina Barozzi meets Nicolo Vendelino.

Tasha Alexander is a master at crafting a perfect plot but in Death in a Floating City she has outdone herself. Emily’s story and Besina and Nicolo’s Romeo and Juliet style tale were beautifully interwoven for a seamless read that had me completely engrossed.

Then of course there is Venice, I’ve never been to the floating city myself but thanks to this book I really got a feel of what Venice is like yet at no point did it feel like the city was overshadowing the story – it was a perfect balance.

Emily walks the narrow paths of Venice’s back streets, takes gondolas, visits various villas and lunches at the famous hotel Danieli and I was right there with her.

In this installment in the series Colin and Emily spend much of their time apart chasing different leads and instead Emily’s companion in sleuthing is the lovely Donata who helps her father run a local bookshop. For some reason this bring. Olin and Emily even closer this time around and boy, was it fun!

Yes Ladies and Gentlemen, he has been cleared of all charges and all previous sins have been forgiven. After two books in my bad books, Colin has finally come back to the fold. It is clear to anyone that he and Emily are now partners in every sense of the word.

As this story comes to a close all the threads come together in a truly thrilling ending that I simply did not see coming!

Death in the Floating City is proof that the seven year itch isn’t always a bad thing. This book felt like a fresh start for the series which I hope means that the series will be continuing for a while yet…

Noa first fell in love with books when she discovered 100 acre wood and its inhabitants. To this day, the last pages of “The House at Pooh Corner” make her cry. In a good way. From“Calvin and Hobbes” to “The Iliad and the Odyssey” and lets not forget “Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes”. Biographies, mysteries, history books and romances all have a place on her bookshelves. Who needs furniture? This 29 year old singleton’s dream is to invent the zero-calorie chocolate. But until that day arrives, she tries to create sweet confections with whatever chocolate she can find. An MA in conflict studies (need a mediator?) means Noa loves a good debate, especially when she wins. If she were in charge, books would be free for everyone.
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