I have been absolutely flying through these Lady Emily books. I began the series in 2018, nearly two years ago now, and had to take a break from the series for a few months. I began reading the books in an ebook format on my phone and read whenever I get a free minute at work (I work as a secretary and have lots of downtime during my store’s slow season). January proved to be very slow, as I finished eight Lady Emily books and novellas in that month – a new personal record!
But really though, these books are amazing and I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Today, I’ll be reviewing the ninth installment in the series: THE COUNTERFEIT HEIRESS.
I began reading this book on January 6th and finished it three days later, on January 9th. I rated this book five stars, and really enjoyed the mystery!
Emily, Colin, and their friends are tasked with solving two mysteries: the first is the murder of a woman who arrived at a crowded costume ball, impersonating another woman. The second is what happened to the woman our murder victim was impersonating, Cecile’s friend Estella Lamar.
Estella is a famous heiress, orphaned when both her parents succumbed to illness shortly after her debut in society. Shortly after that, she disappears–but not without a trace. Estella has been travelling across the globe for decades, with a trail of newspaper editorials to follow…but as Emily embroils herself further in the mystery, she’s not quite certain Estella is where–or who–she claims to be. Emily, Colin, Cecile and Jeremy work together to put the pieces together and solve the mystery of the Counterfeit Heiress.
I gave this book a 5 star rating on Goodreads, but in reality I think it’s more of a 4.5. This wasn’t my favorite Lady Emily mystery, but it was definitely still fun and up there on my list! The mystery was a little predictable–that’s the downside to some of Tasha Alexander’s cutaway chapters, sometimes they sow the seeds of the mystery a little too well–but still shocking nonetheless. The ending was satisfying, because it wasn’t. In the last Lady Emily book, BEHIND THE SHATTERED GLASS, the ending felt like it was neatly wrapped up in a bow and, in a way, made it harder for me to enjoy. The ending of THE COUNTERFEIT HEIRESS, on the other hand, left me with a huge WTF? feeling, and honestly that’s my favorite kind of ending.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed the previous 8 installments, but would advise against starting the series from the middle. Watching the characters grow from book to book is a wonderful additive, especially now in the series that we see Emily’s family, and her role in investigations, growing larger!