New York Times Bestselling Author of Smart Historical Fiction
Lady Emily Book #12
Available October 10, 2017
After the final curtain of Swan Lake, an animated crowd exits the Mariinsky theatre, brimming with excitement from the night’s performance. But outside, the scene is somber. A ballerina’s body lies face down in the snow, blood splattered like rose petals over her swan costume. The crowd is silenced by a single cry: Nemetseva is dead!
Amongst the theatergoers is Lady Emily, accompanying her dashing husband, Colin, in Russia on assignment for the Crown. It soon becomes clear that Colin isn’t the only one with work to do. When the dead ballerina’s aristocratic lover comes begging for justice, Emily must apply her own set of skills to discover the rising star’s murderer. Her investigation takes her on a dance across the stage of Tsarist Russia, from the opulence of the Winter Palace, to the modest flats of ex-ballerinas, and the locked attics of political radicals. A mysterious dancer in white follows closely behind, making waves through St. Petersburg with her surprise performances and trail of red scarves. Is it the sweet Katenka, Nemetseva's childhood friend and favorite rival? The ghost of the murdered étoile herself? Or, something even more sinister?
"The breathtaking beauty of St. Petersburg before the Russian Revolution provides a dazzling backdrop for murder....The purest mystery among Alexander’s adventures presents a challenging puzzle, a historically interesting period, and detailed descriptions of one of the world’s most beautiful cities." - Kirkus Reviews
"In bestseller Alexander’s well-crafted 12th Lady Emily novel (after 2016’s A Terrible Beauty), the redoubtable Englishwoman joins her husband, intelligence agent Colin Hargreaves, on a trip to St. Petersburg in January 1900...In addition to a satisfying puzzle and the always appealing protagonist, Alexander delivers a memorable portrait of a fairy-tale city dancing on the brink of revolution." -Publishers Weekly
"...consistently witty, smart, and entertaining." -Booklist