When I posted a picture of Revenge in Rubies a few weeks ago, many people commented on the lovely cover. Well, now I have read the book and I can tell you there is a great story behind that cover.
The character of Harriet Grey and her relationship with Robert Curran are developed beyond the bare outline presented in Singapore Sapphire. In that first book, I learned a little of Harriet’s history as a prisoner in Holloway, her connection with the suffragette movement and the loss of her husband and son to typhoid fever. In this latest book, I’m learning more about her feisty character, her willingness to put herself at risk to protect those she loves, her increasing detective skills and her romantic longings.
Inspector Curran suffers from malaria and in this book that becomes a major factor in his ability to do his job — giving Harriet a greater role. It also shows his vulnerability, making him more human. The other police officers also have a greater role in this story, giving us a more complete picture of the South Bridge Road station of the Straits Settlements Police Force.
Since the murder investigation in Revenge in Rubies involves the British Army, Curran and Harriet meet with much military obfuscation and obstruction. This is a world Ms Stuart knows well to the characters, motivations and actions all ring true.
The story includes upper class ex-pat Brits, the Chinese servant class, the underworld of opium dens and members of the press — an excellent portrayal of multi-cultural Singapore in 1910.
I’m not the only reader who recommends this second in the Harriet Gordon series.
An intricate puzzle in a lively setting. Kirkus Reviews
Fabulous historical Singapore mystery! Goodreads review
Stuart does an amazing job of weaving a story that is filled with all the intricacies of the time period, the atmosphere, the way of life. I’m hoping there is indeed another book in this series. Definitely recommend! — Amazon customer review.
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