Death in St. Petersburg: A Lady Emily Mystery (Lady Emily Mysteries #12) by Tasha Alexander.
St Petersburg in January 1900 before the Russian Revolution. Alexander's walk through this fabulous city is charged, exciting and wonderfully descriptive.
Lady Emily Hargreaves is once again up to her fur hat in a murder. And no ordinary murder. Right after her sensational debut of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake the soloist, Irusya (Irina Semenova Nemetseva), is found outside the stage door, face down in the snow dead, bejewelled in her own blood.
Then there's the mysterious, ghostly dancer who appears dressed as the dead ballerina flaunting a silken red scarf symbolic of the death Nemetseva met, captivating the populace and muddying the waters of Lady Emily's investigations. Because, of course Emily is right in the thick of things, murder, Revolution, threats to Tsar Alexander, all grist for the mill.
And then there's the delectable Hargraves himself who quite turns my head, let alone Emily's.
The story wends from events prior to murder and then after. Including the story of Katenka (Ekaterina Petrovna Sokolova) and her brother Lev, an activist, Irusya's relationship to both of them, and others beyond this circle who might have cause to dispose of Irusya.
What a treat! A walk through a charged time in history, accompanying Lady Emily on her investigation of a particularly poignant murder.
A NetGalley ARC