Death in the Floating City
Review: Emily Hargreaves and Emma Callum grew up together, their mothers the best of friends. The two girls, however, not so much. Emma always seemed to find some way to berate or outperform Emily at every opportunity. Emma never tried to disguise her dislike for Emily and, truth be told, Emily had to admit the feeling was mutual. The girls are now adults and have nothing to do with each other. So it comes as a surprise when Emma, who had eloped with the Conte Paolo Barozzi to Venice three years earlier, contacts Lady Emily and pleads for her help in Death in the Floating City, the seventh mystery in this historical series by Tasha Alexander.
Lady Emily and her husband Colin travel to Venice, where they learn that Emma's father-in-law has been murdered, stabbed to death with a slim medieval dagger. Her husband, Paolo, has vanished. The authorities believe, not without reason, that Paolo had something to do with his father's death. Emma, who doesn't even speak the language, is at a loss as to what to do. Lady Emily and Colin focus their attention on the only clue: a ring clutched in the dead man's hand, heavy gold with a ruby set high in the center, with the inscription "Amor Vincit Omnia" — love conquers all — and the engraved initials N.V.-B.B. The pair looks back to what may have happened in the fifteenth century that resulted in a man dead in the present and another missing.
The author makes 19th century Venice come alive in Death in the Floating City, with its palaces and canals, its people and traditions. The mystery is interesting and well crafted, if also a little convoluted, spanning several centuries of familial conflict. Still, it is Lady Emily and her resourcefulness that makes the journey to the site of her investigation worthwhile.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Death in the Floating City.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Death in the Floating City for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Death in the Floating City: Venice, Italy
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Death in the Floating City by Tasha Alexander — A Lady Emily Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: October 2012
List Price: $24.99