The Counterfeit Heiress (Lady Emily #9) by Tasha Alexander

3 stars. This book was good but odd. It starts off at a major society event-a masquerade ball. Emily is mistaken for someone else, a lady known to Cecile (Emily’s friend from Paris). The twist is the masked guest is Mary Darby, an impostor who flees the ball and is found murdered. Now they don’t know who the murderer was after-the real Estella Lamar or Mary Darby, the woman posing as her. And how does this all fit in with Darby’s life as a midwife and the grieving woman who lost her baby? Or are they red herrings that distract the reader from the clues in the book-within-a-book that actually works well this time. The plot got a bit convoluted in the middle but the ending was crazy. Only three stars because of the constant running around and conversations that led nowhere. It really came together when I read the author’s notes at the end of the book. I was like, “AHA!” now I understand what some things meant and why they were included in the book. But, the book should have made it clear. Readers can’t be expected to read every word between the covers to figure out what’s going on. I, personally, enjoy the notes at the ends of books and the way they help me understand the author and the whys and wherefores of the way they write. It’s too much for the casual reader so I think Tasha failed a bit in this one. However, I am still a big fan of Emily and the completely dishy Colin and Jeremy; so onward to book ten.

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