Revenge in Rubies (A Harriet Gordon Mystery)

Written by A. M. Stuart
Review by Ellen Jaquette

The second installment in the Harriet Gordon series follows the aforementioned intelligent and energetic police transcriptionist all over Singapore in her efforts to solve a new mystery. This time, the crimes entangle the local British military presence when a military officer’s young bride is murdered. With regiment nuances clouding the investigation, both Gordon and her colleague, the Inspector Robert Curran, must uncover what is truly happening despite pressure to rely on the most expedient answer. Of course, there is more to this crime than meets the eye.

Harriet is an engaging and sympathetic character, and it is easy to ride along as she flies all over the city in her personal quest to get to the bottom of the case. Her investigation offers a glimpse into the complex and diverse demographics of Singapore under British rule, and readers interested in this time or location will delight in some of Stuart’s descriptive and vivid imagery. While this mystery is an easy and entertaining escape, Stuart hints at the racist and classist tensions permeating all aspects of life in the colony, painting a complex portrait of Singapore in 1910 while still entertaining and endearing the reader to Harriet and her friends and family. One hopes that future installments will continue to explore the diverse perspectives in Harriet’s world, as future mysteries inevitably arise, so that intriguing secondary characters can see more of the limelight and share in the (hopefully upcoming) escapades of Harriet and Inspector Curran.