This is Alexander's second book about Lady Emily. I haven't read the first (And Only to Deceive) and they really should be read in order. It takes a while to catch up with who's who in the zoo.
The basic plot is Lady Emily, recently widowed, lives in Victorian England. She gets caught up in a revival of the French royal family (the revolution having happened four or five generations previously). There's a cat burglar who leaves her romantic missives, a murder, scandal, romance, affairs. Lady Emily is a thoroughly modern woman - she's not keen on the trappings of society, has little regard (on the surface at least) for formality and Victorian manners, is studying Greek (why Greek I believe is probably explained in the first novel), and causes scandals without too much effort. In that regard, I found the book at bit disappointing. It reads like a modern novel with costumes.
I was drawn to the characters though. Lady Emily's relationship with her husband is intriguing. There's not a lot of details given in this book, and it left me wondering what happened in the first book. I will probably ferret out the first book, if only to fulfil my curiosity about how all the characters came to know one another.
Rating: 5 - I wouldn't mind finding other books by this author