With Lady Emily we get a heroine who isn’t just somebody with present-day opinions that got transported back in the Victorian era. In fact her views were pretty much time-appropriate for most of her life. They are only beginning to change at the start of the book after she enjoyed some freedom after the unexpected death of her husband. But despite that she doesn’t suddenly throw all society-conventions over board. Emily experiments to see how far she is comfortable going (and on at least one occasion regrets doing something). Emily is a believable character and even though I did not all her decisions I could still understand why she acted that way.
The other characters are lovely as well and I am looking forward to seeing most of them again in the following volumes. The only exception is Emily’s mother who often verges too much into the ‘overbearing mother who tries to control every aspect of her child’s life’ stereotype (Why is that so popular in cozies?). Of course to an extend that is necessary for Emily’s story-arc to work but it soon got too much. I would have preferred it if she hadn’t visited Emily quite as often as she did because every visit is the same. Her mother is angry about something Emily did, Emily tries to find a more or less polite way to say that she doesn’t care, mother gets angrier, nothing is resolved.
The mystery itself is admittedly not that mysterious. Unless this is your very first crime-novel you will be able to guess a good deal of the solution. But I did not care too much about this as I was so fond of the characters and the setting.