Tears of Pearl

Tears of Pearl

Book - 2009
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Honeymooning in Constantinople, newlyweds Emily and Colin Hargreaves find a young harem girl murdered and promise a heartbroken father they'll find his daughter's killer, a promise that soon leads Emily into the forbidden world of the Sultan's harem where she quickly discovers that its mysterious, sheltered walls offer no protection from a ruthless murderer.
Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, 2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780312383701
Characteristics: viii, 307 p. ;,25 cm.


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Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Nov 08, 2015

While believability has never been a particular strength of this series (nor, in fairness, that of any mystery series featuring a lady detective in olden times), I thought this installment in particular strained credulity. The setting of 19th century Constantinople was intriguing--and, indeed, the constant change of scenery is a strength of this series--but the plot really beggared belief, and I wasn't as intrigued by the mystery as I hoped to be, though I thought the conclusion was quite exciting. I like this series well enough to continue reading, and Alexander has done quite a good job of getting me invested in Emily and Colin as characters, but I'll make the note that fans of period mysteries looking for a better Victorian-England-lady-detective mystery series should check out Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia Grey books.

Aggie3 Oct 23, 2014

I usually don't like mystery novels, and didn't know "Tears of Pearl" was a murder mystery. I was pleasantly surprised as I was pulled deeper into the story. I like nothing more than reading stories that are somewhat based on the truth with the intertwining imagination of the author. I thoroughly enjoyed the exotic setting and the intrigues in the harem and beyond.

Mar 18, 2013

I enjoyed the central characters but the plot was overwhelming with meetings, appointments. characters etc. The setting was a nice change though. At the end I only wanted to know who the murderer was.

Jun 08, 2012

I liked the lead characters but had a hard time keeping the secondary ones straight then decided I didn't care. finished it so 2 stars. It's just not compelling in the believability sector, why would the most powerful person in Turkey allow a couple of Brit's this kind of access to his closed world. Go for Beekeepers Apprentice or Mallory's Oracle instead for better heroines and great writing.

DanniOcean Mar 08, 2010

reviewed in Stratford Gazette March 12, 2010

Feb 11, 2010

Alexander does a great job of painting a picture and putting the reader into a particular scene or location where her stories take place. As with the other books in this series, I almost felt I was there, and found myself wanting to visit everywhere Emily has been. My only complaint would be that Emily still — despite a couple experiences you would have thought would make her more respectful of her friends' advice — very much has an "I can do anything just as well as a man, therefore I should and will do whatever I want/I'm invincible" attitude that is great in that she doesn't allow herself to be limited by what society at the time expected of women, but also means she ignores the cautionary advice of more-experienced friends (some of them male) thereby putting herself at risk unnecessarily. Makes you want to shake her sometimes.


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DanniOcean Mar 08, 2010

Once Lady Emily Ashton and now happily Mrs. Colin Hargreaves, this fourth novel featuring this independent, often rebellious and always clever Victorian woman takes us to Constantinople, still under the rule of a Sultan and his complicated political and familial relations. Even before they arrive in the great city, strange things begin to happen – their dining companion on the Orient Express recounts a sad tale, and nearly succumbs to a mysterious seizure. Upon arrival, they learn of the death of a young concubine with links to this same dining companion, and Emily is given the highly unusual – for a woman of the day – position of investigator for the British Crown: for the answer lies somewhere inside the Sultan’s harem of beautiful wives and concubines, to which no man would ever be allowed access. This employment does not entirely interfere with Emily and Colin’s honeymoon, and soon Emily begins to fear that her nausea is not entirely caused by seasickness. When she accidentally crosses the Sultan and is given a grave warning from the valide sultan, Bezime, about her future, Emily’s confidence wavers at a critical time in the investigation, causing tension between the happy couple. Feeling alone and afraid, Emily is buoyed by the sudden arrival of a dear friend, but puts her life at risk as she comes close to solving the murder, and in helping another young concubine escape the Sultan’s harem. This novel further develops Emily’s personality, and is written with light language that enriches the many other intriguing characters. With its exotic setting and relaxed pace even, the plot twists and red herrings keep you guessing until very near the end. No need to read the first three novels in the series, the author fills in the back-story in bits as she goes, and her attention to historical detail is wonderful.

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