Review: Singapore Sapphire by A.M. Stuart

Singapore Sapphire by A.M. Stuart

Synopsis and Details:

Harriet Gordon stumbles into a murderous web of stolen gems and cutthroat thieves as she runs from her tragic past in an enthralling new historical mystery series set in early twentieth century Singapore.

Singapore 1910–Desperate for a fresh start and to distance herself from her tragic past, Harriet Gordon finds herself in Singapore at the height of colonial rule. Hoping to gain some financial independence, she advertises her services as a personal secretary. It is unfortunate that she should discover her first client, Sir Oswald Newbold–explorer, mine magnate and president of the exclusive Explorers and Geographers’ Club–dead with a knife in his throat.

When Inspector Robert Curran is put on the case, he realizes that he has an unusual witness in Harriet. Harriet’s keen eye for detail and strong sense of duty interests him, as does her distrust of the police and her traumatic past, which she is at pains to keep secret from the gossips of Singapore society.

When a second body is dragged from the canal, Harriet feels compelled to help with the case. She and Curran are soon drawn into a complex web of stolen gemstones and a mysterious gang of thieves who have no qualms about killing again to protect their secrets.

Series: Harriet Gordon Mystery #1  |  Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery  |  Release Date: August 06, 2019  |  Publisher: Berkley  | Pages: 384  |  ISBN: 978-1984802644  |  ASIN: B07KDW7YKS  |  Format: ARC  |  Source: Berkley Prime Crime

Review with Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In Singapore Sapphire, Harriet Gordon was a fascinating three-dimensional character who had a sorrowful past scattered with dark moments that she desperately wanted to keep hidden. She worried how her past would affect her brother if it was ever to come to light. He was a good man who put himself into a rather precarious position in order to offer her a fresh start and she wanted to make sure that his decision never came to haunt him. To this end, Harriet tried to be as helpful as she could and planned to create as little disruption as possible.

As a way to show her gratitude, Harriet worked for her brother at a preparatory school for young boys but that position was without income. In an effort to bring in some income for herself and also to help provide more for brother, Harriet, experienced in both shorthand and typing, advertised her services as a secretary to anyone willing to pay. What she never expected was that her advertisement would be answered by a man whose time was measured in days.

When Harriet went to her employer’s home to retrieve a personal item left there, she never imagined that she would become entangled in a mysterious murder that would bring her to the attention of Inspector Robert Curran. The last thing she ever wanted was to come to the attention of anyone in the policing profession, not to mention that it could also possibly bring the past she was so desperate to keep hidden out into the open. Something she feared more than a killer running loose.

Curran knew from the start that Harriet was not like most women, but that did not mean that he wanted her meddling in his case either. Harriet was only too happy to let Curran lead the investigation into who killed her employer but when someone she felt a connection to went missing, she decided that she would do her part to see that justice was brought about. Neither Curran nor Harriet would have ever guessed that the murders they were trying to solve would lead to down a dark and twisted path where nothing was as it seemed and danger was just around the corner.

Singapore Sapphire was a culturally rich historical mystery with a splash of romance. The writing clearly sets the stage and immerses the reader in colonial Singapore. It was an imaginative delight! At first, I was not the biggest fan of Curran but he did grow on me as the story went on, it especially helped things that he, grudgingly, came to appreciate Harriet’s insight and value. I loved Harriet from the start! She was a fascinating character with a past that evoked a ton of sympathy from me. In addition, I also felt that the entire cast of characters were well-developed and memorable. The mystery in the story is one that is filled with suspense, intrigue, and is long reaching. There is plenty to ponder while reading Singapore Sapphire and it is a historical mystery that I highly recommend.

*Thank you to Berkley Prime Crime for this ARC of Singapore Sapphire*

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This review is based on a complimentary book I received. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

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