TEARS OF PEARL
Somewhat reminiscent of the Amelia Peabody mysteries by Elizabeth Peters, the fourth book of Alexander's Victorian-era series has a lush setting and beautiful details. Minus the biting humor of Peters' books, the romance and lovely writing sweep the reader along. Emily is a most independent woman for her time. Her voice and the accurate historical details will keep the reader enthralled.
Newlyweds Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves are in exotic Constantinople when they meet Sir Richard St. Clare, an Englishman who works at the embassy. His wife was murdered and his young daughter kidnapped 20 years ago. The child was never found.
Their first night in the city, a harem girl is murdered in the courtyard of the sultan's palace. When Sir Richard recognizes her as his missing daughter, Emily and Colin swear they will find the killer. The killing continues, and soon another girl has been kidnapped. She's threatened with death unless Emily comes alone to meet the kidnapper. Emily must use her wits to outsmart a killer bent on revenge. (MINOTAUR, Sep., 320 pp., $24.99)