And Only to Deceive (Lady Emily Series #1)

And Only to Deceive (Lady Emily Series #1) - An enjoyable book... looking forward to reading the rest of the series.Lady Emily is a widowed aristocrat. She married in her first Season and was widowed a mere 6 months later. It's now 1 year after her husband's death, and Lady Emily is trying to discover more about the husband she barely knew and more about who she is. She's likely only 19 or 20, and in her society, women follow a prescribed pattern of behavior. Women weren't supposed to figure out who they were... society and their husbands told them who they were -- wife, mother, and good society matron.But Lady Emily has always been somewhat of a rebel. And now, as a widow, she has a bit of latitude and no need for a chaperone... and Emily couldn't be more pleased. I appreciated watching Emily grow and learn and begin to appreciate her life. I felt for her, as she learned how much the husband she barely knew loved her; she is fascinated, not only by her husband's journals, but by what his friends tell her he'd said of her, and by the painting of her that he commissioned by Renoir. Emily learns that Lord Ashton (Phillip) referred to her as Kallista, which means "beautiful" in Greek (Phillip being a Greek scholar).But as she delves into Phillip's passion of Greek poetry and Greek art, she begins to question her husband's reputation. It appears as if several of the pieces in his private collection are the originals, and the pieces in the British museum are replicas... or forgeries, if you will. (Because the museum pieces are supposed to be the originals. And Phillip was known to purchase only originals and provide them to the museum.) Was her husband caught up in art fraud and theft? How does his best friend, the handsome Colin Hargreaves fit into this picture -- especially when Emily catches him talking to the mysterious man who has been following her and the man who might be responsible for tossing her Paris hotel room? How does Andrew Palmer fit in -- is he a true suitor for her hand, or does he have an ulterior motive?And most importantly, is Phillip really dead or has he been wandering around Africa for the past year and a half with yellow fever? Was he abandoned by his friends to die?While as some reviewers have noted, anyone who reads mysteries won't be surprised by the "whodunnit", although Ms. Alexander does provide a lot of questions and red herrings to confuse not only Lady Emily, but the reader. Motives and actions are not clear until close to the end, when the pieces begin to finally fall into place and make some sense.With the help of her friends, Emily not only exposes the culprit, but saves her husband's reputation. She finds the peace she seeks... and is much more content with who she is and ready to move on with her life when the book ends. Lots of promise for the next book!