Tuesday, March 22, 2022

ARC Review: Evil in Emerald by A. M. Stuart

Evil in Emerald

A. M. Stuart
Series: A Harriet Gordon Mystery (Book 3)
Publication: Berkley (March 29, 2022)

Description: Craving a change of pace, Harriet Gordon, joins a local musical theatre production but when a fellow cast member is brutally killed, Harriet and Inspector Curran must turn the spotlight on murder in this all-new mystery from the author of Revenge in Rubies.

Between working at her brother’s school and typing up Inspector Robert Curran’s police reports, Harriet Gordon has little time for personal pursuits and she has been enjoying the rehearsals for her role in the Singapore Amateur Dramatic and Musical Society’s latest production – Pirates of Penzance. But Harriet quickly discovers tensions run deep within the theatre company and when the leading man is found murdered, suspicions abound, exposing scandalous behavior as well as some insidious crimes.

Inspector Curran once again turns to Harriet for help with this difficult case, but his own life begins to unravel as a mysterious man turns up on his doorstep claiming to know more about Curran’s painful past than he himself does. And after the one person he has always counted on delivers him some devastating news, the line between his personal and professional life begins to blur. Now, more than ever, Curran needs Harriet’s steadfast assistance, and when another cast member meets a violent end, Curran and Harriet will have to close in on a killer determined to make this case their final curtain call.

My Thoughts: This is the third Harriet Gordon mystery. It is set in Singapore in 1910. This time the first murder is that of the leading man of the musical society Harriet has joined. Anthony Dowling was a handsome young insurance agent with a penchant for affairs with older, married women.

Inspector Robert Curran is on the case which seems to be intersecting with a case that didn't go well for 
him. Planter Lionel Ellis had beaten one of his native employees almost to death and was just given a slap on the wrist by a sympathetic judge. Ellis has sworn revenge on Curran for causing him trouble.

Curran is also dealing with the dissolution of his relationship with Li An. After getting together after a near death experience for both of them, she is ready to go back home and deal with her family and her past. Since she is native Chinese, their relationship has been difficult with neither culture accepting them. But Curran is deeply in love with her and doesn't want her to leave. 

Then Curran meets an unknown brother who comes to him with a problem with their missing sister. Curran's own childhood was negatively impacted by the loss of his father. He has very mixed feelings when he learns that his father had a second life and second family in India. He is also determined to help his new-found brother find and rescue their sister. 

With his personal life imploding and a man who wants revenge lurking, Curran needs to solve the murder which has a plethora of suspects. Dowling's death could relate to some insurance fraud he was a partner in, or it could have been the result of a jealous woman or jealous husband. And Dowling's is only the first death...

I liked the picture of life in Singapore during that time period. The characters were well-drawn and intriguing. Harriet's past as a suffragette in England plays a part. I liked the fact that Harriet is falling for Curran who is totally oblivious to her interest. The mystery was nicely twisty and the villain and motive was something of a surprise. The clues to that solution were dropped into the story throughout though for the observant reader. 

I'm looking forward to seeing where this story goes. Curran seems to be off looking for his lost sister on some sort of undercover mission. 

I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. The setting of this historical mystery series makes it interesting.


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