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Death in St. Petersburg by Tasha Alexander
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Death in St. Petersburg

by Tasha Alexander

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I do believe I'm growing tired of this series... so I might have to give it a rest for a bit.

Lady Emily, Colin, & Cecile are in St. Petersburg. He's on Crown business, she & Cecile are visiting w/ royalty, taking in the sights, going to balls, & the ballet.

On the night of Swan Lake during the 2nd interval, the main ballerina, Iruskya goes out the stage door (as her usual habit) but does not return. When she is found stabbed to death, laying atop a Fabergé Egg, her best friend & understudy Katenkya takes her place. Iruskya's secret paramour asks Lady Emily to investigate the murder.

Caught in the intrigue is: Katenkya; her brother Lev, Iruskya's first love; Mitya, Katenka's love interest; & Sonya another friend & ballerina. All with the exception of Iruskya are working for, to different degrees, political change.

After Iruskya's murder on more than one occasion, a ghostly dancer is seen outdoors dancing in a swan tutu waving a red silk sash.

The book has alternating chapters of the childhood - adult, & professional friendship of Iruskya & Katenkya; but here's the thing.... Even though those parts were narrated by Katenkya, that is not the name that was used for her, nor was the name Iruskya used.

What I found highly confusing & annoying was that book switched between different names for the girls from chapter to chapter and this not being the first time the author has done this.

I also found a bit of this quite boring and other than the two ballerinas felt the other characters to be rather weak.

Thankfully Lady Emily's mother was absent from this installment.... If I never read of her again, I will be delighted. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 27, 2019 |
A good look at Russia at the turn of the century. Lots of atmosphere, art and museum visitations; Russia nobility and their attitudes set the stage for the coming revolution. Some good insights into the world of ballet also helped. Russia names and a limp mystery plot made it difficult to sustain interest. ( )
  jamespurcell | Jan 24, 2019 |
Even if this weren't another Lady Emily (and Colin) mystery, it would have lured me in with all the elements it employs that are like catnip to me: Murder, Imperial Russia, Ballet, and Fabulous Clothes. Since it is a Lady Emily mystery, there may have been a weensy bit of begging for an ARC. And I was not disappointed even one little bit. Now that the final Amelia Peabody novel has been published, I'm glad to know that Lady Emily is there to fill the same smart, feisty, fashionable, madly-in-love-with-her-husband hole. (And I'm more than delighted to see that Capet is so clearly Lady Emily's Sethos. A woman, no matter how madly in love with her husband she may be, always needs a scoundrel around to keep her on her toes.) ( )
1 vote BillieBook | Apr 1, 2018 |
This was a rich and atmospheric story of tsarist Russia on the brink of revolution - set from 1889 to 1900. Its backdrop is St. Petersburg, Russia with its spectacular Petrine Baroque architecture (18th c. Dutch, Danish, Swedish influence), built on the backs of conscripted peasants during the 18th century.

The Mariinsky Theatre ballet world, with its famous director and choreographer, Marius Petipas, and its world class dancers are featured prominently throughout. Ballet dancers were the Russian rock stars of the 19th century. Everyone wanted a piece of these dancers, including the bourgeois. Princes often sought them for dalliances - preferably with no strings attached. The wealthy bestowed grand gifts and much attention on these gifted artists and the ardor, for the most part, was well received. All is well until a prima ballerina winds up stabbed to death during a ballet interval. (Please ignore the tsarina's Farbergé egg hidden under the fallen dancer.) The plot thickens.

Synopsis (from book's dust jacket):
When the body of a prima ballerina is discovered in the snow, Lady Emily races through Saint Petersburg to solve the murder, while a ghostly dancer appears to take the lost ingenue's place.

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 the costume of the Swan Queen. 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 from the Crown. But 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? ( )
  KateBaxter | Dec 13, 2017 |
Death in St. Petersburg by Tasha Alexander is the latest A Lady Emily Mystery. Lady Emily Hargreaves is in St. Petersburg, Russian enjoying the season thanks to an invitation from Cecile du Lac. Lady Emily and her husband, Colin enjoyed watching Swan Lake at the Marinsky Theater and exit to discover body of ballerina Irina Nemetseva outside in the snow. A gold Faberge egg is found underneath her body. Did Irina steal the egg or has Sebastian Capet stroke again? Irina had disappeared halfway through the performance and was replaced by Ekaterina Petrovna. The next day, Prince Vasilii meets with Lady Emily asking her to find Irina’s killer. Her investigation will take her across St. Petersburg from the Winter Palace to modest apartments belonging to the dancers. Join Lady Emily on her latest case in Death in St. Petersburg.

Death in St. Petersburg can be read alone. I had not read the previous eleven books in the series (did not know it was part of a series until I started reading the book) and I had no trouble. I did, though, have difficulty with all the various Russian names. Each person went by more than one name which makes it confusing. The author did a wonderful job at describing St. Petersburg and the world of ballet. You can tell that she did her research on the era, city, and is knowledgeable about ballet. The mystery was simple and can easily be solved long before the reveal. There is a lack of action regarding the investigation. It is mostly Death in St. Petersburg by Tasha Alexander is the latest A Lady Emily Mystery. Lady Emily Hargreaves is in St. Petersburg, Russian enjoying the season thanks to an invitation from Cecile du Lac. Lady Emily and her husband, Colin enjoyed watching Swan Lake at the Marinsky Theater and exit to discover body of ballerina Irina Nemetseva outside in the snow. A gold Faberge egg is found underneath her body. Did Irina steal the egg or has Sebastian Capet stroke again? Irina had disappeared halfway through the performance and was replaced by Ekaterina Petrovna. The next day, Prince Vasilii meets with Lady Emily asking her to find Irina’s killer. Her investigation will take her across St. Petersburg from the Winter Palace to modest apartments belonging to the dancers. Join Lady Emily on her latest case in Death in St. Petersburg.

Death in St. Petersburg can be read alone. I had not read the previous eleven books in the series (did not know it was part of a series until I started reading the book) and I had no trouble. I did, though, have difficulty with all the various Russian names. Each person went by more than one name which makes it confusing. The author did a wonderful job at describing St. Petersburg and the world of ballet. You can tell that she did her research on the era, city, and is knowledgeable about ballet. The mystery was simple and can easily be solved long before the reveal. There is a lack of action regarding the investigation. It is mostly questioning and speculation. There are flashbacks into the early years of the two ballerinas that help readers understand their characters. Death in St. Petersburg is a slower paced story as Tasha Alexander sets the stage (very descriptive writer). I did like Lady Emily who is a woman ahead of her time in many ways. If you are looking for a light historical mystery, pick up a copy of Death in St. Petersburg.


questioning and speculation. There are flashbacks into the early years of the two ballerinas that help readers understand their characters. Death in St. Petersburg is a slower paced story as Tasha Alexander sets the stage (very descriptive writer). I did like Lady Emily who is a woman ahead of her time in many ways. If you are looking for a light historical mystery, pick up a copy of Death in St. Petersburg. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Nov 8, 2017 |
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Epigraph
I love thee, work of Peter's hand!
I love thy stern, symmetric form;
the Neva's calm and queenly flow
Betwixt her quays of granite-stone,
With iron tracings richly wrought;
Thy nights so soft with pensive thought,
Their moonless glow, in bright obscure,
When I alone, in cosy room,
Or write or read, night's lamp unlit;
The sleeping piles that clear stand out
In lonely streets, and needle bright,
That crowns the Admiralty's spire,
When, chasing far the shades of night,
In cloudless sky of golden pure,
Dawn quick usurps the pale twilight,
And brings to end her half-hour reign.
I love thy winters bleak and harsh;
Thy stirless air fast bound by frosts;
The flight of sledge o'er Neva wide,
That glows the cheeks of maidens gay.
I love the noise and chat of balls;
A banquet free from wife's control,
Where goblets foam, and bright blue flame
Darts round the brimming punch-bowl's edge.
I love to watch the martial troops
The spacious Field of Mars fast scour;
The squadrons spruce of foot and horse; The nicely chosen race of steeds,
As gaily housed they stand in line,
Whilst o'er them float the tattered flags;The gleaming helmets of the men
That bear the marks of battle-shot.
I love thee, when with pomp of war
The cannons roar from fortress-tower;
When Empress-Queen of all the North
Hath given birth to royal heir
or when the people celebrate
Some conquest fresh on battle-field;
Or when her bonds of ice once more
The Neva, rushing free, upheaves,
The herald sure of spring's rebirth.
Fair city of the hero, hail!

from The Bronze Horseman: A Petersburg Story,
by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin; translated by C. E. Turner
Dedication
In memory of my ballet teacher, Marie Buczkowski, who filled my soul with a love for Russian dance
First words
From a distance, the crimson spray coloring the snow looked more like scattered rose petals than evidence of a grisly murder.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"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 the costume of the Swan Queen. 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 from the Crown. But 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 etoile herself? Or, something even more sinister?" -- provided by publisher.… (more)

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