Today I’m continuing my Lady Emily review series with the thirteenth book in the series, UNEASY LIES THE CROWN. I cannot believe we’re almost at the end of this series, but I am super excited because the author, Tasha Alexander, shared a photo of the draft of her next book on Instagram recently! Things have been heavy for a while now, but that was a little bit of fun news I saw on social media that really brightened my day. I cannot wait for the release!
Before we jump in, I want to share this linktree again. It contains a wealth of resources, petitions, donation links, and more to support protestors and the Black Lives Matter movement. I’ve noticed that BLM posts are starting to taper out on my social media, and while I think it might have something to do with burnout (I know I’ve found myself needing to take more breaks lately because some things being shared are extremely triggering) I know that a lot of it has to do with trends. BLM is not meant to be “trendy”—it’s not an Instagram challenge, it’s movement of people fighting for justice and equality. We have to keep up momentum to continue to see change. Share the links, donate if you can, sign petitions, and don’t let this movement die down. No justice, no peace.
Now, my review of UNEASY LIES THE CROWN: Lady Emily #13. As always, spoiler alert.
This book immediately captured my attention because it starts off in the third person, following Colin Hargreaves, Lady Emily’s husband, in his final meeting with Queen Victoria on her death bed. Colin is a favored agent of the Crown, solving a number of mysteries with his wife and protecting the political reputation of England on the Continent over the course of the Hargreaveses’ adventures. She gives him a mysterious, cryptic message to decipher before her death, which sends Colin and Emily on a wild chase of medieval clues to solve the mystery. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Lady Emily mystery if there wasn’t a murder involved; in this case, there are several!
As King Edward ascends to the throne following his mother’s death, Emily and Hargreaves worry that the murders of London citizens, posed post-mortem in the position of famous kings that were murdered, is a warning that Edward is in danger. Colin races to solve the mysteries and protect his new charge, while Emily pieces together a different side of the story—one that suggests that Edward isn’t the one at risk, but is rather tied to a local gang on the London streets.
As with almost all the other full-length Lady Emily books, every chapter is broken up by a side story in another point of view. In this book, we follow Colin’s ancestors, the Hargraveses, a newly married couple made up of a valiant knight following the king into battle the day after his wedding, and a meek, devout woman striving to be a Good Wife. I will say that, as much as I enjoyed this plot—especially toward the end—I was very frustrated by Colin’s great-times-way-too-many-grandmother and her experience at her “friend’s” estate after her husband goes off to war. The friend is clearly cheating on her own husband and tries to spin the story that Colin’s ancestor is actually guilty of the affair, eventually throwing her and her maid out of the estate. The ending of her story is very satisfying, but the buildup was very frustrating. Her husband’s story was interesting, though, and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would enjoy a battle-heavy subplot.
I won’t share the ending, because—I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a million more times—you have to read it for yourself. But I will say that seeing Emily and Colin interacting with their boys is so wholesome, learning more about Colin’s ancestry was so much fun, and while the mysteries felt like dead-ends at some points, everything was tied up nicely by the end.
I read the book in about five days, and rated it 5 stars on Goodreads, but really I would give it 4.5. (Will Goodreads ever let us rate in half stars? The world will never know.) It wasn’t my favorite in the series, but it was definitely a fun read and I’m excited to reread it one day soon!