A Terrible Beauty (Lady Emily #11) by Tasha Alexander

Well, now I feel dumb! Apparently all these “book in a book” things are called unreliable narrators. Who knew? Oh, over half the class knew? Yikes, well, the slow ones among us today are just glad to finally figure it out. Better late than never and all that! Now, to the book-the title has no bearing or connection to anything. Unless I missed something, and with all the skimming I was doing, I probably did. The ‘book in a book’/’unreliable narrator’ was, per usual, unhelpful and boring. The plot: a ghost from Emily’s past has returned. Is he truly Viscount Philip Ashton, presumed dead for over a decade, or is there something devious afoot? How do the antiquities and archaeological digs fit into it other than endless rounds of telling the reader over and over all about it in deep, excruciating detail. Cue the expected arguments by Emily and Margaret over Achilles vs Hector; and Homer-lots and lots of Homer. By the end I didn’t much care. The series was so good and now is coasting along with stock plots, formulaic storytelling and characters that have become caricatures. Two stars but I shall read boldly onward to book twelve.

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