cover image Dangerous to Know

Dangerous to Know

Tasha Alexander, Minotaur, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-38379-4

Set in 1892, Alexander's less than memorable fifth novel of suspense featuring Lady Emily Hargreaves finds Emily recovering from the emotional and physical scars suffered in her previous outing, Tears of Pearl. Emily's well-intentioned husband, Colin, persuades her to recuperate at his family's estate in Normandy, where she's under the disapproving eye of her fearsome mother-in-law. While out riding, Emily happens on the butchered corpse of a woman, later identified as an escaped inmate from an insane asylum outside Rouen. The nature of the victim's wounds suggests that Jack the Ripper has crossed the Channel to France. Alexander throws in a gentleman-burglar carrying a torch for Emily as well as author Maurice Leblanc and painter Claude Monet, but fails to breathe much life into any of them. More a damsel in distress than an independent woman, Emily comes across as a less capable sleuth than, say, Laurie King's Mary Russell or Charles Todd's Bess Crawford. (Nov.)