Lady Emily and her husband, the dashing Colin, are enjoying their evening out at an exclusive costume ball.
A strange encounter with a masked man leaves Emily scratching her head.
She was certain that she was the only Artemis at the ball but clearly the masked man was expecting a different sort of Artemis.
Well the only other Artemis at the ball is the eccentric Estella Lamar. Estella hasn’t been seen in society for years. She is known for her world travels and is rarely….if ever…..seen in society.
Emily’s long time friend Cecile knows Estella well from a childhood spent together. When Cecile sees Estella at the ball, she knows she’s a fraud. Someone is impersonating Estalla…..but why?
Before Emily or Cecile can question the impostor, she takes off only to be discovered a short time later murdered.
Emily and Colin begin their investigation into the murdered woman’s identity. They are sure that her death is linked to the elusiveness of Estella Lamar.
No one has actually ever seen Estella Lamar in many years. Though there have been many photographs of her at exotic locations around the world, her face is always obscured. So no one is able to say for sure that Estella Lamar is in fact still alive.
Fearing the worst Emily, Colin, and Cecile start investigating Estella’s mysterious lifestyle in conjunction with the murder of the impostor.
Their search takes them to the more morbid attractions of Paris and there are hidden clues referencing some of Charles Dickens characters sprinkled throughout the mystery.
Will Emily and her friends be able to solve the murder and find the eccentric Estella alive or will it be too late?
I loved this book. I literally finished it in like a day. While I have only read one of the Lady Emily mysteries (the first one), and this being the ninth book in the series…..I didn’t feel lost or like I had missed too much. This could have been read easily as a stand alone book.
The setting added a lot to the book for me. I loved exploring the catacombs and especially the Père Lachaise Cemetery since I have been to these locations and fell in love with Père Lachaise Cemetery when I visited.
So immediately this book took me back and made me long for Paris. I truly enjoyed this book for the setting alone. I learned so much about the Cemetery too while I was reading and I just can’t say enough good things about the setting!
The mystery was fascinating and I loved the dueling narratives, Estella’s POV and then Emily’s. I don’t think the author did that in the first book so I really liked that aspect of the novel.
It wasn’t clear if Estella’s POV was happening currently or happening in the past which kept me on my toes. I wasn’t sure if I could trust her narrative or not. It was a very compelling tool and kept me reading.
I wasn’t sure if I loved the Dickens references in the book or that they were entirely necessary but in the end, they weren’t distracting and did add some foreshadowing to the book which I did find useful so I guess they weren’t all that distracting etc.
I loved that the main focus was the mystery and not the lives of the characters. And I totally caught some Amelia Peabody references in the book so that was a special treat for me because I love the Amelia Peabody books!
Ok and can I just say….the cover….STUNNING! I love the colors (purple is my fav color) and the dress perfect! But what seals the deal for me is the Père Lachaise Cemetery in the background. It’s perfect and I would have read it for the cover alone!
This was a fun Victorian era read. It’s full of mistaken identities, intrigue, murder, exotic travels, madness, and a stunning setting. I loved it! It makes me want to pick up even more of the Lady Emily books and devour them one right after the other!
- Paperback, 384 pages
- Published February 10th 2015 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2014)
- ISBN 0345533186 (ISBN13: 9780345533180)
- Review copy provided by: the Publisher in exchange for an honest review
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 5 out of 5
Genre: Mystery, detective novel, cozy mysteries, Victorian era, British lit, Gothic lit
Memorable lines/quotes: NA