Tears of Pearl (Lady Emily Mysteries, Book 4)
I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation, smart reviews for modern readers on Sirius XM Book Radio. The book is Tears of Pearl (Lady Emily Mysteries, Book 4) by Tasha Alexander.
Those who’ve been with me for a while will remember Tasha Alexander from our conversations last year and I think the year before as well. Her 19th century amateur sleuth, Lady Emily Ashford, is back for her fourth outing, solving crimes and helping her extended circle of friends and family in and out of trouble. One of the many pleasures of this series is how Alexander has allowed her creations to change and grow and not just our heroine.
In Tears of Pearl, Lady Emily has just (finally!) wed her dashing, handsome (brooding, tends to disappear) beau, Colin Hargreaves, making her Lady Emily Hargreaves née Ashford, and I have to thank Tasha because I don’t believe I’ve ever had occasion to “née” someone before!
This being the 19th century, and the new couple being both wealthy and adventurous, they head for the mysterious east, and Istanbul not, I hasten to point out, Constantinople. Anyway, they haven’t even gotten off their lushly appointed train berth when the trouble starts. Before you know it, there’s a dead girl in the harem and if I’m not mistaken Lady Emily is a little relieved to be on the case. How else was she going to find an excuse to sneak into the Palace and talk to the sultan and his many concubines? I don’t know if she was as happy to see her old friend Margaret show up (I love my pals but I specifically didn’t invite them on my honeymoon), but it’s a good thing she’s there because two heads are more fun than one when it comes to sleuthing. Oddly, this free spirit, whose head had always been stuffed with dangerously modern ideas, is getting a little tired of gallivanting and is making noise about settling down. Emily is suitably confused if her best friend can change, then anything is possible and nothing is dependable! Emily herself is put to the test and by the end of the book she’s forced to look her own future (and Colin’s) in the eye. That’s best left to the next book, where (I am told) Colin may actually unburden his old, brooding (yet hot) self. In this book, despite murder and mayhem and treason (oh my!) it’s all gorgeous gowns, rippling water, veils of silk and veils of hair: total costume porn of the most deliciously Eastern variety. Whatever Emily decides to do with herself I am only too happy to come along for the ride; I know we’ll be well dressed!