The binge reading continues with the second book in the Harriet Gordon series. I loved the first book so much that I downloaded the next two in the series and read them each in a day! This is a wonderful series and I cannot believe it took me this long to discover it—-ok rather not discover it since I have had the first book sitting on my shelf for a couple of years—-but read it!
There is so much to love in this series. Complex characters with their own unique stories and history, who don’t try to control or overly protect each other. They are independent and self assured without being arrogant. The setting is exotic and adds a lot of romanticism to the setting, plus gives readers a feeling of escapism, and last but not least the mysteries are top shelf! I always find myself wondering what’s going on and who the killer could possibly be!
If you love historical mysteries that are a little on the cozy side, you need to read the Harriet Gordon books. You will not be disappointed and no doubt longing for more—just like me! I know this book is only the second in the series but I feel like this series has the makings of a longer series. The characters have a lot of depth and the setting offers endless opportunity for exploration. Do NOT miss these books!
When Harriet Gordon receives word from a friend about a tragic death, she and Inspector Curran are thrust into a web of family secrets that threatens to destroy them both in this all-new mystery from the author of Singapore Sapphire. Singapore.
1910 Singapore. Harriet Gordon has found fulfillment at last. Her young ward, Will, has settled into his new home with Harriet and her brother, Julian. And Harriet’s employment as a typist at the Straits Settlements Police Force has given her an intriguing way to occupy her time and some much-needed financial independence. But when her friend and employer, Inspector Robert Curran, is called to the scene of a brutal murder and Harriet is asked to comfort the victim’s family, her newfound sense of contentment is abruptly shattered.
Sylvie Nolan, the new and much-younger wife of Lieutenant Colonel John Nolan, has been bludgeoned to death in her bedroom. The tightly knit military community in Singapore quickly tries to close ranks to hinder Curran’s investigation. Harriet has ties to the Nolan family and realizes that her friendship with the colonel’s sister might prove useful to Curran’s efforts to find the culprit. But to get close enough to the family’s secrets, Harriet must once again face her painful past and Curran is forced to dredge up some long-buried secrets of his own.
And when more shocking deaths occur that all seem linked to Sylvie’s murder, Harriet and Curran realize that they too are in the sights of a callous killer. (summary from Goodreads)
I think the thing I loved about Curran and Harriet the most in these books are that they respect on another. As a police officer Curren is protective but he doesn’t overly try and protect Harriet or even Li Ann. I really appreciate that about his character. In so many lady detective novel the man is always SUPER protective of the female and sometimes it gets tiresome. Curren really let’s Harriet be her own woman and gives her the space and respect to grow in her own ways. He also allows her to help him in his profession not just as a typist but as an investigator in her own right. I really love their relationship dynamic and is a welcome change from other lady detective novels. I also love that the author really gives them space as characters to grow into their friendship.
As with the first book, the mystery is top notch! Every time I thought I had it figured out, my suspect ended up dead leaving me to wonder who the culprit might be! I loved navigating the military component as well. I love military history and I thought this aspect added a lot to the mystery and story for me. The characters and suspects all had appropriate motive and opportunity for the murder/s and like Curran and Harriet, I had to try and discern who the killer could be. With all the twists, my interest was held and I couldn’t put it down until I knew who was responsible and why. I did wish however, that gemstones somehow played into the story. I loved that part of the first book and based on the title of this one I thought we might get more gemstone trade info, but it wasn’t really part of the story. Ultimately it was fine, but it was just something I noted while reading that I wanted more of. The military aspect gave me something else to sink my teeth into though. I also liked how Curran’s past seeped into the story through that avenue too. It was a nice segway into future books and sets readers up for the third book really well.
This was another winner for me and easily a 5 star book and series thus far. It’s very rare for me to find a series that every book holds up. Obviously some books will be better than others or I might enjoy something more than another in certain books but so far this series has been strong and solid. In this book we get to know more about Curran’s past but his illness forces him to take a bit of a back seat at times and as a result we see Harriet grow into her character without Curran overshadowing her. It’s really a great transitional book and installment to the series. Highly recommend this series so far! I would say read the first book before reading this one. You will appreciate the characters and story much more!
Book Info and Summary
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published September 15th 2020 by Berkley Books
Book copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: historical mystery, detective novel, cozy mystery