Digressions with Tasha Alexander & Karen Odden

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When Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, recently hosted Tasha Alexander and Karen Odden, she started out by talking about Odden’s Poisoned Pen scones and Peters’ own Victorian-appearing clothing. She admitted they’ll talk some about the books, but the digressions are more fun. Alexander appeared to sign In the Shadow of Vesuvius while Odden is the author of A Trace of Deceit. Signed copies of both books are available through the Web Store. https://store.poisonedpen.com/

Here’s the information about In the Shadow of Vesuvius.

In skillfully intertwined storylines from the dawn of the twentieth century and the heyday of the Roman Empire, Tasha Alexander’s In the Shadow of Vesuvius, the latest installment to her bestselling series, brings Lady Emily and her husband to Pompeii, where they uncover a recent crime in the ancient city.

Some corpses lie undisturbed longer than others. But when Lady Emily discovers a body hidden in plain sight amongst the ruins of Pompeii, she sets in motion a deadly chain of events that ties her future to the fate of a woman whose story had been lost for nearly two thousand years.

Emily and her husband, Colin Hargreaves, have accompanied her dear friend Ivy Brandon on a trip to Pompeii. When they uncover a corpse and the police dismiss the murder as the work of local gangsters, Emily launches an investigation of her own. She seems to be aided by the archaeologists excavating the ruins, including a moody painter, the enigmatic site director, and a free-thinking American capable of sparring with even the Duke of Bainbridge. But each of them has secrets hiding among the ruins.

The sudden appearance of a beautiful young woman who claims a shocking relationship to the Hargreaves family throws Emily’s investigation off-course. And as she struggles to face an unsettling truth about Colin’s past, it becomes clear that someone else wants her off the case—for good. Emily’s resolve to unearth the facts is unshakable. But how far below the surface can she dig before she risks burying herself along with the truth?

*****

Here’s Karen Odden’s A Trace of Deceit.

From the author of A Dangerous Duet comes the next book in her Victorian mystery series, this time following a daring female painter and the Scotland Yard detective who is investigating her brother’s suspicious death.

A young painter digs beneath the veneer of Victorian London’s art world to learn the truth behind her brother’s murder…

Edwin is dead. That’s what Inspector Matthew Hallam of Scotland Yard tells Annabel Rowe when she discovers him searching her brother’s flat for clues. While the news is shocking, Annabel can’t say it’s wholly unexpected, given Edwin’s past as a dissolute risk-taker and art forger, although he swore he’d reformed. After years spent blaming his reckless behavior for their parents’ deaths, Annabel is now faced with the question of who murdered him—because Edwin’s death was both violent and deliberate. A valuable French painting he’d been restoring for an auction house is missing from his studio: find the painting, find the murderer. But the owner of the artwork claims it was destroyed in a warehouse fire years ago.

As a painter at the prestigious Slade School of Art and as Edwin’s closest relative, Annabel makes the case that she is crucial to Matthew’s investigation. But in their search for the painting, Matthew and Annabel trace a path of deceit and viciousness that reaches far beyond the elegant rooms of the auction house, into an underworld of politics, corruption, and secrets someone will kill to keep.  

*****

And, here’s your chance to eavesdrop on the conversation and the digressions.