And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander was published in 2007 and is 336 pages. It’s the first book in the Lady Emily Mysteries, and can be classified as Victorian romantic suspense.
Emily Bromley, an intelligent and strong-minded woman, chooses marriage as the lesser of two evils (one being her overbearing mother,) and then quickly finds herself in the interesting position of a wealthy widow. Her husband’s death on an African safari liberates her in ways she couldn’t imagine, and gives her a degree of independence she’s only dreamed of. However, through his journals and the friends of her late husband, Emily begins to fall in love with him, most inconveniently.
As the story unfolds, an intricate web of art forgeries and original pieces cross Emily’s path at a dizzying pace, while she tries to reconcile her romantic feelings for two of her former husband’s acquaintances and the deceased, himself. What ensues is a lively adventure from London to Paris to Greece where Emily learns that appearances can be deceiving, and that true love might lie where she least expects it.
I learned about And Only to Deceive on Twitter, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Tasha Alexander’s novel reads like Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes, and its references to ancient art and literature sent me scouring the internet for more information on pieces I’d learned about through the book.
Good historical fiction teaches, entertains, and inspires. And Only to Deceive does all those things to the utmost, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the Lady Emily series.