Review: Evil in Emerald (Harriet Gordon Mysteries #3) by A. M. Stuart

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!

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Review: Singapore Sapphire (Harriet Gordon Mysteries #1) by A. M. Stuart

I have had this book on my TBR shelf for A WHILE now. I randomly picked it up at a used bookstore forever ago and thought it sounded good. I liked that it was set in a different location than I was used to reading and perhaps might have a hint of adventure in ways that I haven’t experienced before in some ‘far east’ mystery books.

But like so many readers, I took it home and set it down on my bookshelf for another day. Every time I would go looking for something to read, I would pause at the title but then keep going in favor of another lady detective novel where I had known and loved already instead of picking up someone new. But then I was sitting at my sister in law’s house in Arizona desperate for something new to read and for some reason this book popped up on my Kindle App as recommended reading.

Not wanting to spend money on a dud, I downloaded a sample and it was clear from the very beginning that after three chapters I desperately needed the full book—-and the next three books in the series! I will admit that at first I was intimidated by the ‘glossary’ and cast of characters listed at the beginning. I was unfamiliar with many of the words and there seemed to be a lot of characters but I am glad I didn’t let that throw me off and instead it enriched the story for me!

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Review: The Key to Deceit (Electra McDonnell #2) by Ashley Weaver

This series captured my heart last year with it’s debut! I have read other books and series by Ashley Weaver but this is the series that has captured my attention the absolute most! After book one I was so eager to see what happened with Ellie next! Did she go back to safe cracking and stealing or did she keep on the straight and narrow?

I grabbed this book as soon as it was released and since it was on the shorter side (under 300 pages) I basically read it in one sitting—on my flight to Cabo. It was a super quick read and I found that the magic and allure of the book and characters didn’t change for me from book one to two and I am once again eagerly awaiting the next book in the series! If you are a historical mystery fan you need this book series. The first and second books are short and can be read in one or two sittings. I would recommend starting with the first book so you can enjoy all the character relationships rather than diving in with this one first.

But if you do decide to dive in with the second book and not start with the first one, not a huge big deal as the author keeps you fully abreast of events of the previous book and the character relationships. Ellie is a lovely modern character with wit and charm but also an edge. If you love authors like Anna Lee Huber and Deanna Raybourn then you will no doubt find a winner with Electra “Ellie” McDonnell!

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Review: A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons by Kate Khavari

This book has me written all over it! The cover, the title, the summary! I couldn’t wait to check this one out and start reading it! I loved that it was set in post WWI England, though to be honest I missed in the summery that it was set in 1923 when I read it. I spent the first 10-20 pages of the book trying to figure out of it was the Victorian era or post WWI!

At any rate, the setting was great and it had a very ‘adventurer,. explorer, intellectual’ vibe from the very first page and I was eager to see how the story panned out. If you enjoy books with a fiesta female sleuth then you will find a lot to love in Saffron Everleigh! Saffron was fun, relatable, and intelligent and I really liked getting to know her throughout the book.

This is author Kate Khavari’s second book and even though I haven’t read the anything else by her, I would be happy to read another historical fiction by her as this was enjoyable and generally good. If you enjoy a ‘whodunnit’ with intelligent characters and a lovely setting then you don’t want to miss this one! Plus look at that cover y’all! It’s so pretty!

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Special Feature: Three Debts Paid (Daniel Pitt #5) by Anne Perry

Historical mystery serial killer themed by Anne Perry? Need I say more?! Anne Perry is a rather prolific writer with a large fan following and multiple series under her belt. I have read some of her mysteries and found them smart, well written, and interesting. I wish I had found her books early on in my reading career since there are just so many great ones to choose from!

This latest book is from the Daniel Pitt series which isn’t too many books into the series (only five at this point!). I have skipped around with Perry’s books and series and I always feel like she does a good job catching readers up to speed with the main characters and their relationships as well as other larger plot points in the larger series not just for the immediate book. So I would feel comfortable saying new readers of Perry’s books could likely pick up any book in the series and feel fairly caught up and able to dive in to enjoy a great mystery.

The thing that appealed about this one to me was the serial killer plot. I think serial killer stories are always so fascinating and I am so excited to see how this one plays out in a historical mystery setting. It also sound like there is going to be an interesting character study and room for character growth in this one with the lead protagonist Daniel Pitt having to deal with a potential killer who is also a respected friend. I love when there are stories like this where the main character has to try and remain objective—it always makes for great character building in novels! This one is out now so if you love historical mysteries this might be the book you are looking for!

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