I think it’s safe to say that I cannot WAIT for the next book in this series. I have devoured this series over the last week and have loved every single book and this one ended on quite the cliffhanger and I NEED the next book! The series has such wonderfully written characters and each one stands independently strong in the story. Meaning neither character is fully dependent on the other if that makes sense. Curran and Harriet are both strong leads and watching their friendship evolve through the series has been so great, they don’t need each other to shine but they choose each other which makes this series stand out for me.
I highly recommend reading this series in order, especially this book. This book draws on bits we explored in book two, so starting this book without reading the others would be a disservice and not do this book or characters justice. If you have been thinking about reading this series but haven’t decided if you should pull the trigger or not—-do it. I was on the fence when I picked up the book at a used bookstore and then forgot about it. I wasn’t sure, however I only regret that I didn’t read the books earlier. They have all been great so far and this one is no exception.
The setting of the books really adds so much to the story. The setting is almost its own character. I really feel like I am there in Singapore and experiencing the weather and culture just like Harriet and Curran. But it’s not so heavy on history and culture that it dominates the narrative. The author does a wonderful job incorporating the culture and history into the story without it being overpowering. Do not miss this series with all it’s goodness!
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. (summary from Goodreads)
It’s hard to say which book in the series has been my favorite thus far. I mean the first book was a solid intro to the characters and world of Harriet and Curran, the second book set us up for this one, and this book paves the way for the future of Harriet and Curran in a new and exciting way. I liked this one because it ended on a very different note and gave readers the sense that big changes were coming. I mean nothing ever stays the same right? I know in a lot of lady or general detective novels, the story and formula stay the same and can sometimes limit the character growth and trajectory of the greater narrative. But in this book we really see that the characters and their lives cannot remain the same and it’s time for new things. I don’t want to give away much in this story but I ended the book feeling sad that things were changing for them but also excited for what is to come in future books. This change made the books and characters feel very real in a way that other books simply have not. I feel like the characters and plot are really progressing and developing like normal people—change is inevitable.
In this book, we get to really see Curran’s character go through some changes and I think his reaction to those changes are believable and realistic for his character. I love seeing how Harriet also responds to those changes in him and see how she adjusts to her own life changes and what the future might hold. Harriet’s character has evolved so much in such a short period of time but not to the point of not recognizing her. I just love how well the characters develop and evolve in this series so much! It makes the story authentic feeling and when you pair great characters with a genuine love of Singapore and its culture/history then you have a truly great series on your hands.
In this book, I enjoyed the murder mystery too! I loved reading about the insurance fraud and how that might or might not have played a part in the murder. I find things like that really interesting especially in history and how the fraud might have been perpetrated. For me this was one of the most interesting elements in the story. I really liked reading about the shipping history and fraud. This is a smart, well written murder mystery and series overall. If you are looking for something truly unique to satisfy your reading desires, this is the series for you! I cannot wait for the next book and frankly I am worried I will have to wait like a year before reading it as I don’t see that it has a release day yet! And considering this one just came out in March 2022, I think I will likely have to be waiting for awhile! But that gives new readers time to read this series beginning to end if they haven’t already! Don’t miss this series, it is full of so many wonderful things!
Book Info and Rating
Paperback, 347 pages
Published March 29th 2022 by Berkley Books
ISBN 0593335481 (ISBN13: 9780593335482)
Review 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