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A crimson warning
Tasha Alexander
Adult Fiction ALEXAND

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From Publishers' Weekly:

At the start of Alexander's enchanting sixth late Victorian novel of suspense (after 2010's Dangerous to Know), news of a fire in Southwark prompts British intelligence agent Colin Hargreaves to leave Lady Londonderry's ball, to his wife Emily's dismay. Colin returns home to Mayfair that night to announce that Michael Dillman, who ran a successful export business, has been cruelly burned alive in his warehouse by an unknown perpetrator. The week before, according to Michael's fiancee, someone threw red paint on his front door. The Sanders family receives similar treatment shortly before the rumor breaks that daughter Polly's mother was, in fact, a maid impregnated by her father. Subsequently, other respectable London families find red paint splashed on their houses, presaging some scandalous revelation in each case. Can Emily help Colin solve the crimes without risking her reputation-or becoming a target herself? Alexander keeps readers guessing to the very end. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

In early summer 1893, someone is splashing red paint on the doorsteps of prominent London citizens, a warning that their most scandalous secrets are about to be exposed. One of the first targets is Mr. Dillman, an industrialist promoting social justice. When he is killed in a warehouse fire, Colin Hargreaves, an agent of the Crown, is requested to investigate. Colin and his wife, Lady Emily, begin their work as a team to find the connection among the paint, the secrets, and the murder. After a detour to Normandy in Dangerous To Know, Alexander returns to the familiar setting of London society; this time she has a more solid foundation on which to build her characters and crime. Emily remains strong willed and focused in her desire to find the culprit before Colin, but their sincere affection and happy marriage act as pleasant counterweights to Emily's competitive nature. VERDICT The mystery and the solution are clever, with the addition of commentary on the dark side of a class-driven society for extra oomph. Fans will be excited to spend more quality time with such appealing and intelligent characters. [See Prepub Alert, 4/21/11.]-Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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