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Tears of Pearl (Lady Emily Mysteries, Book 4) Hardcover – September 1, 2009

123 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Alexander's lackluster fourth Lady Emily historical (after A Fatal Waltz), Emily and her new husband, British intelligence agent Colin Hargreaves, are honeymooning in Constantinople when a half-English harem girl is murdered. After Colin is charged with the investigation, the British crown reluctantly allows Emily to handle questioning within the harem. Emily follows the clues much farther afield, exploring the tangled histories of the victim's diplomat father from whom she was abducted many years before, her troubled archeologist brother and sultans both current and deposed. The author deftly handles the exotic setting and a subplot in which Emily worries she may be pregnant, but a lack of tension and a number of implausibilities, starting with the ease with which a Western woman can play detective in despotic, late 19th-century Constantinople, make this a relatively weak entry. Hopefully, Emily will recover her usual sparkle once the newlyweds return to more familiar ground. Author tour.(Sept.)
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Review

“The forth book of Alexander’s Victorian-era series has a lush setting and beautiful details. . . . The romance and lovely writing sweep the readers along. Emily is a most independent woman for her time. Her voice and the accurate historical details will keep the reader enthralled.”—Romantic Times (4 ½ stars, Top Pick)

“The author deftly handles the exotic setting and a subplot in which Emily worries she may be pregnant.”—Publishers Weekly

“The strong female lead and historically accurate details will please readers of Anne Perry, Laurie R. King, and Deanna Raybourn seeking a new fan-favorite author.”—Library Journal
“Infused with wit and charm, with just the right amounts of danger, romance and detection blended in.”—Denver Post

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312383703
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312383701
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #709,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tasha Alexander is the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Emily series and the novel ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE. She attended the University of Notre Dame, where she studied English and Medieval History. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. She and her husband, novelist Andrew Grant, divide their time between Chicago and the UK.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm6772 on September 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Wow, was this book awful! I found the first novel in this series wonderful with a great strong, witty, interesting new character. Book two was also excellent. While book 3 was predictable at least it was good. But this book was horrible. Poorly written, predictable, cliche, and so full of sticky sweet romance as to be a complete bore. This character went from independent, intelligent, clever, and revolutionary to a typical simpering, whimpering, swooning female. And the end! Oh please! Like you couldn't see that a mile away. What a ridiculous solution to an obvious problem.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Nick VINE VOICE on July 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I like the Lady Emily series. I've had a weakness for strong female detectives (including the awesome Veronica Mars tv show). Miss Alexander's writing has grown stronger and more developed with each passing novel, and it's kind of cool to see growth in an author. If you follow a character through multiple books, you want to see them grow and the author develop as well.

One of the highlights of this book was reliving a trip I made to Istanbul (Constantinople) a few years ago and getting to explore it through someone else's eyes. From a historical standpoint, it was an interesting time period before the fall of the Ottoman Empire and before the country became Turkey. I was able to retrace my own steps through the city and felt like I knew the landmarks of where Lady Emily's adventure took her.

The plot itself is interesting enough: On her honeymoon with her new husband (who, hopefully in book #5, won't disappear in Africa while big game hunting) stumbles into a mystery involving a slain harem girl and her diplomat father. The book contains really interesting descriptions of the life inside a harem, which will probably intrigue and yet disgust readers with our modern day virtues. And Emily's ingenuity and talent as a detective are put to the test as she gets deeper into the mystery.

I know that some people will say - wait, this is the Ottoman empire! How can an English woman run around all willy-nilly and solve a mystery? Well, it's fiction, but based on truth: Lady Paget and other important women who actually did mingle with Sultans. So for the most part, I'm inclined to believe that had Lady Emily existed in real life, she would have been able to do these things (Victorian women were more bound by class than being a woman.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Anne Heiner VINE VOICE on August 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It's hard for me to keep perspective on these books because they have been part of a special bond between my mother and myself. My mother doesn't read fiction very often while I read it endlessly in great variety. A few years ago I offered the first Lady Emily book up for her consideration. She read it, or should I say devoured it. She has been a fan through the entire series and as such I have been able to enjoy a series with her, discussing and even attending a few of Tasha Alexander's book signings together. That, in itself, has been a great gift.

Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves are finally married--another plus for this series is that the central relationship has been a key part of the series and has moved along at a fine pace, neither too slow or too fast--prior to the beginning of this fourth novel. (Alexander has a short story of their nuptials available through Amazon and her website if you are a fan and didn't want to miss the event.) Now they are on their honeymoon and of course fall into a mystery of kidnapping, murder and danger. Emily and Colin work together and learn about another culture as they explore Istanbul.

Is this novel the height of excitement? No, but it is intriguing and keeps the reader involved as the mystery takes twists and turns. This is a light historical mystery, well-executed. I'll continue to recommend the series to friends. Best yet, Mom and I will look forward to hopefully a fifth entry in the series.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Doman on September 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves are newly married and on their honeymoon in Constantinople. Soon after the couple's arrival, they become involved in a murder investigation of one of the sultan's concubines. The murder victim turns out to be the long-missing daughter of Sir Richard, a British Embassy official whom they have met on the Orient Express. Sir Richard implores Colin to investigate the murder of his daughter, but since men are not allowed inside the harem, Emily has now been recruited to investigate in an official capacity.

Tears of Pearl, Tasha Alexander's fourth Lady Emily mystery, was a book I looked forward to reading. Even though I found the third book (A Fatal Waltz) disappointing, I was still enamored enough of the first and second book in the series to pre-order this latest installment. Unfortunately, I found little that appealed to me when it came to the main character. Those who have read the third book may recall that Emily was often compared to that paragon of female beauty and intelligence: Countess von Lange, who was essentially a poisonous, adulterous, conceited woman with an air of supreme superiority ... and she was't even funny. If this was the author's way of telling readers what to expect of Emily's future character development, then I should have taken the author seriously and stopped with the third book.

Emily's character is not so far gone as to be completely intolerable in Tears of Pearl, but I found her grating nonetheless. And this starts immediately in the first chapter on the train: her presumptuousness in thinking that people not so much as WANT her help, but essentially NEED her help, this is what she thinks. Even when she tries to be sympathetic to someone, it comes across as condescending rather than compassionate.
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