Thursday, February 18, 2010

Review: Tears of Pearl by Tasha Alexander

Book Info:
Tears of Pearl by Tasha Alexander
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (September 1, 2009)
ISBN-13: 9780312383701
Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery
Source: For Review from LibraryThing

Looking forward to the joys of connubial bliss, newlyweds Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves set out toward Turkey for an exotic honeymoon. But on their first night in the city, a harem girl is found murdered -- strangled in the courtyard of the Sultan’s lavish Topkapi Palace. Sir Richard St. Clare, an Englishman who works at the embassy in Constantinople, is present and recognizes the girl as his own daughter who was kidnapped twenty years earlier.

Tears of Pearl is the fourth book in the Lady Emily series. Usually I don't start series in the middle, but this one came for review from LT, and while it looked interesting I didn't feel compelled to read all the books. Tears of Pearl is a historical mystery with a cozy feel. I prefer my mysteries a little more hard core, so I'm glad I didn't start the series at the beginning.

Lady Emily is an amateur sleuth. She is independent and determined, but beyond that, I can't actually say much about her. Maybe if I'd read the series from the beginning I'd know more about her, but even starting the series in the middle I still expect to know a little more about the main character once I've finished a book.

The biggest failing for me in the this book though was that it didn't have the feeling I was looking for. When I read historical fiction I want to be transported to a time and place that I cannot visit, and I never got that feeling with Tears of Pearl. There wasn't anything specific that made this book feel modern, but I had to keep reminding myself that it was set in the 1800's. Maybe it was the fact that the women in the harem were so outspoken that threw off the feeling of the book.

I think this series might be a little better suited to readers who enjoy cozies and historical fiction. It was a decent book, but this is one series I won't be continuing with. 3 stars


Sandy Nawrot said...

I guess in the right mood, a cozy mystery can be enjoyable. But I'm with you, normally I like my mysteries with a gritty edge.

Melissa said...

Some days, a cozy mystery is exactly what the day calls for. But, I agree that with historical fiction, or any fiction that isn't set in the US, I want the description to transport me to that time and place. I think I would be disappointed if I read this. Too many books, too little time!

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Zibilee said...

This book doesn't sound like it can deliver the historical ambiance that I often look for in books of this kind, so I think I'll skip it. Your review was very helpful and insightful, and I hope you soon find a book you like better!

kelly said...

I think this looks like a good book pick to read. Very interesting book that I will have to check out.