Uneasy Lies the Crown (Lady Emily #13) by Tasha Alexander

2 stars as the series slides ever downward to mediocrity. Queen Victoria is on her deathbed and summons Colin to her side, only to give him a mysterious piece of paper. Whatever could it mean? By the time you get to the end of the book, you will know but not care. In this book, our story follows Emily, Colin, and Jeremy as they investigate strange murders with clues that seem to point to a threat to the new King, Edward VII (Bertie). Mysterious notes lead our intrepid (and tepid) investigators all over London: to the Tower, various churches and businesses including a brothel!, and the East End. Emily is keen to save all the children who suffer grinding poverty, but Colin is the voice of reason, even as she continues to interact with characters of dubious repute. Obviously there is so much talking to people that doesn’t so much bore the reader to tears, as to reveal nothing pertinent to the plot. These bits could have been edited down to half a chapter with absolutely no loss to the overall story line.

My continuing problem with this series is that Tasha can’t decide if she wants to write historical fiction, non-fiction, romance, or a travelogue. When the author’s notes at the end are more interesting than the book-that’s a problem. Why doesn’t she just take all the end notes from all the books and put them into their own book? I would read that; this books is just another mishmash and, as per usual, I skipped the alternate chapters. The ending was, well, the book ended. I didn’t much care by then who done it. I will keep going with the series since I’m so close to being finished; and to see how many more references to the Amelia Peabody series will be casually dropped into the narrative. If I get to book 16 “Secrets of the Nile”, I fully expect Emily and Amelia to at least take tea at Shepheards’s Hotel; although they may actually embark on solving a mystery together. At this point in the series, anything could, quite literally, happen. Two stars and on to book fourteen.

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