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Tears of Pearl (Lady Emily Mysteries, Book…
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Tears of Pearl (Lady Emily Mysteries, Book 4) (edition 2009)

by Tasha Alexander

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4683233,248 (3.49)27
Member:lauranav
Title:Tears of Pearl (Lady Emily Mysteries, Book 4)
Authors:Tasha Alexander
Info:Minotaur Books (2009), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:To look at
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Tears of Pearl by Tasha Alexander

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Lady Emily has married her late husband's best friend, Colin Hargreaves. As the embark on their honeymoon to Constantinople via the Orient Express they meet Sir William, a British diplomat who lost his wife(murdered) & 5 year old daughter (kidnapped) to bandits on an archaeological expedition. While in the dining car w/ Colin and Emily he nearly succumbs to an overdose of chloral hydrate.

Both Colin & Emily, along w/ Sir William are invited by the Sultan to attend a Verdi opera w/ a G&S ending . Afterwards while strolling through the Palace Gardens they come across a screaming concubine and the body of another, that turns out to be the lost daughter of Sir William.

Things are kind of a mish-mash after that. Emily is allowed inside the harem to question the concubines and the two Valide Sultans (Mother of Sultan). Both Valides make things difficult for Emily & hamper her investigation. Also making things difficult for Emily, is the concubine Roxelana, a christian, who convinces Emily to help her escape.

I really didn't warm to any of the characters, I had no empathy for any of them and I figured out who the bad guy was near the beginning.

Although I usually like Lady Emily, I find Alexander's writing uneven and unstable from one adventure to the next.... This book had so much possibility & I found it fell short. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 14, 2019 |
I wanted to like this book more, since I enjoyed the previous three in the series. But I just couldn't get into the mystery--it wasn't as personal to the characters as in the previous books. Hopefully in the next book, Emily will get back to England to do some detective work. ( )
  bookhookgeek | Sep 7, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Tears of Pearl is the fourth in the Lady Emily series, in which we find Emily and Colin happily honeymooning in Constantinople. Of course, the couple immediately becomes involved in a murder mystery. I found the sequence of events that led to Emily's investigation and solving of the mystery somewhat implausible, but then this whole series tends to strain the bounds of reality. For readers looking for a cozy historical mystery, this pleasant but not terribly deep novel should do the trick. ( )
  NeedMoreShelves | Aug 1, 2018 |
Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves travel by the Oriental Express to Istanbul, they attend an opera in the Sultans court and afterwards one of his concubines is found dead. She's the long-lost daughter of one of the British Diplomats and this sets off a cascade that Emily and Colin have to investigate.

Entertaining with great characters. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Mar 9, 2018 |
I was tempted to give another 3.5 stars to this book, but I think personal bias might be getting in the way on this one, so I'll err on the side of optimism.

The whole of this book takes place in Constantinople, during Lady Emily's honeymoon. They become embroiled in a murder investigation that involves the Sultan's harem and the son of an Englishman.

I'm of two minds about the setting; I've never found sultans or harems romantic or intriguing or even interesting. But I've always been fascinated by the advanced learnings of the Arabian culture. So while I found the whole sultan/harem thing a giant yawn, I did enjoy the glimpses of beauty, culture and education - especially on the part of the Turkish women (although I was struggling to keep track of who belonged to which palace). The author writes a fair story: she doesn't deny the harems are at their base a form of slavery, but she is quick to point out that the English system wasn't a model of feminism either; I thought she did a very good job comparing each against the other.

The murder mystery itself was again diabolical, but this time I knew the killer from the start. The motivation was a complete mystery until it's revealed to Lady Emily, so my sureness as to the villain didn't detract from my investment in the story.

I love Lady Emily and Colin's relationship: it's the stuff of pure fantasy - the ideal relationship. Real life lacks enough of any ideal that I thoroughly enjoy it in my books, and it's this relationship as much as anything else that keeps drawing me back in. I've been wondering how, now that they are married, the author was going to keep real Victorian life at bay and I have to say she found a very clever, if not pleasant, way of doing so. Within the world she's created for Lady Emily and Colin it's an entirely plausible and realistic outcome. And yes, I'm being purposefully vague so as not to spoil anything for anyone.

I'm definitely taking a break now; time to step back and return to the series at a later date, but I'm looking forward to enjoying the next book when I do. ( )
  murderbydeath | Oct 18, 2016 |
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Epigraph
I fain would go, yet beauty calls me back.
To leave her so and not once say farewell
Were to transgress against all the laws of love,
But if I use such ceremonious thanks
As parting friends accustom on the shore,
Her silver arms will coil me round about
And tears of pearl cry, "Stay, Aeneas, stay."
Each word she says will then contain a crown,
And every speech be ended with a kiss.
I may not 'dure this female drudgery.
To sea, Aeneas! Find out Italy!

- Christopher Marlowe, Dido, Queen of Carthage
Dedication
For my parents, who taught me to love books
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It is always a mistake to underestimate the possibilities of a train compartment.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.… (more)

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