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Publisher's Summary

London's social season is in full swing, and Victorian aristocracy can't stop whispering about a certain gentleman who claims to be the direct descendant of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. But he's not the only topic of wagging tongues. Drawing rooms, boudoirs, and ballrooms are abuzz with the latest news of an audacious cat burglar who has been systematically stealing valuable items that once belonged to the ill-fated queen.

Light gossip turns serious when the owner of one of the pilfered treasures is found murdered, and the mysterious thief develops a twisted obsession with Lady Emily Ashton. It will take all of Emily's wit and perseverance to unmask her stalker and ferret out the murderer, while faced with a brewing scandal that threatens both her reputation and her romance with her late husband's best friend, the dashing Colin Hargreaves.

©2007 Anastasia Tyska (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers

What listeners say about A Poisoned Season

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • JF
  • 02-16-15

I want the usual reader back!

What did you love best about A Poisoned Season?

Lady Emily is fun and compelling as always.

How could the performance have been better?

I want the usual reader back! Justine Eyre is just not nearly as good as the reader for the other Lady Emily stories! Eyre has this forced, breathy quality to her voice, like someone pretending to be sexy. It is really distracting and rather nearly ruined the story for me. I love the Lady Emily stories so this was really a disappointing change.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Pleasant

Setting: England, Victorian era
Genre: Mystery
This is the second in the Lady Emily series of mysteries. I haven't read the first yet, though I read (listened to) Star of the East, a novella set later in the series, as my first exposure to Tasha Alexander. Forgive me if my lack of taking this series in order negatively affects this review.
Lady Emily is in London for the season, which is, as usual, abuzz with gossip and the happenings of the nobility and upper class. Lady Emily is facing a few challenges. Her childhood friend, Ivy, is having marital difficulties; her American friend, Margaret, is having a disagreement with her parents about Oxford; her family friend, Isabelle, is having issues with suitors; and Colin Hargreaves is still asking Emily to marry him. Added to all this, a series of thefts of items with a French connection in common begin among Emily's acquaintances. And then there are two murders that may or may not have been committed by the thief. Lady Emily knows these things are related, she's just not sure how, and the life of the maid accused of the murders is on the line. It is up to her, with the clues provided, to solve the mysteries.
I liked Emily and the supporting cast of characters. I almost put this on my romance shelf, as well as mystery, because of the low-key relationship development between Emily and Colin, but that is definitely in the background. The star of this show is most certainly Lady Emily and the mysteries presented. The story had me changing my mind about whodunit more than once, and it wasn't until the end that all was revealed.
This reminded me of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody mysteries, as they are also first person narratives set in the Victorian era. There were, however, enough differences in characters and style to keep me from going there after my initial observation. I did enjoy the writing. It was so refreshing not to have to edit grammar in my head as I went along, so I was able to stay in the story. I assume the bulk of Lady Emily's character was developed in the first book in the series, but not having experienced it didn't detract from this story. In fact, unless you just have to have things in order because that's how you roll, this book could stand alone. Yes, there were some things, like some of Emily's relationships, it would have been nice to see before this book, but only because the interaction would seem more organic. But I could guess at these comfortably.
I have this in both ebook and audio mediums, which provided some amusement for me. There was a character whose name the narrator pronounced "lettuce". I thought, really? someone would give her daughter that odd a name? Then, when I went to the ebook for a bit, I saw a character named Lettice. Ohhh. THAT'S Lettuce! I would have put the accent on the second syllable... Normally, I love Justine Eyre's narration, but Lettuce? :-)

6 people found this helpful

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Excellent rendition! And haha Alexander never...

Disappoints. I loved the narration of the first book, but this even better! Doesn't disappoint.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Who chooses the narrators?

Is there anything you would change about this book?

THE NARRATOR!!!! I ended up getting the book so I could finish a good story. I literally could not listen to Justine Eyre anymore. Honestly, aren't there editors for audio books? Do you hear how bad she is???? She also narrates some of Sarah MacLeans books. If I was Tasha Alexander I would be so MAD ! I would have given her no stars at all if that were an option. It wans't so I gave her one.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

In every way possible. Her voices are caricatures of every character. Way too much drama and emphasis. She completely ruined it for me. My neighbor was driving with me on a 6 hour trip, we were SO looking forward to our audiobook. She covered her ears and began singing so she would not be subject to anymore of Justine Eyre.

4 people found this helpful

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GAH! The Narrator!

the story is good like the previous books. but this narrator is awful! she sounds like she is constantly swooning. it's awful. I wonder if that's how she really sounds all the time.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Nothing deep, but very fun

I liked this audiobook better than I liked the first Lady Emily book (And Only to Deceive). Several reviews mentioned that Justine Eyre is a disappointing narrator compared with Kate Reading, but I disagree. I preferred her voices, in particular her male voices. For one thing, they sounded a bit different from one another, and happily, Ms Eyre’s Colin is less overbearing and more sympathetic than Ms Reading’s. The story is more complex in this second book, with believable threat to Lady Emily. She does continue to be the most impulsive and blundering sleuth, though. At this point I expect her to do a bunch of dumb stuff that gets her into trouble and forces Colin or some other man to come to her rescue. At the same time, her insight helps her see human motivations for unfortunate deeds, and leads to the unraveling of dangerous plots. While so far these stories aren’t great literature, they’re well-written and engaging enough that I’ll keep buying this series.

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Not my favorite, but still good.

The story kept me interested, but not as much as her later ones. I started listening at a later books in this series so while the reader for this one was good, she was different than the one I was used to and made it a little harder to “see” the characters. I was quite happy to learn about the couple’s beginning relationship.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Kate Reading was better

Why change a good thing? Narrator sounds extremely pompous, and has an annoying habit of dropping her voice at the end of sentences. Once you get used to a narrator, it's so hard to change your opinion about what the main character sounds like, and it's so frustrating when they transform into an entirely different person, just based on the voice.

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A great series

I enjoyed the story and the characters. I am caught up in today's series. I look forward to the next book.

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Ultimate Romance

This book is the most romantic book I ever listen to. Shades of Jane Austin splattered with mystery. Loved it. Brilliantly read.