Sunday, September 6, 2020

In today's spotlight I'm joining 
Berkley Mystery
in celebrating the release of  
Book 2 in the Harriet Gordon Mysteries
by A.M. Stuart

Revenge in Rubies (A Harriet Gordon Mystery Book 2) by [A. M. Stuart]

When Harriet Gordon receives word from a friend about a tragic death, she and Inspector Curran are thrust into a web of family secrets that threatens to destroy them both in this all-new mystery from the author of Singapore Sapphire.
Singapore, 1910—Harriet Gordon has found fulfillment at last. Her young ward, Will, has settled into his new home with Harriet and her brother, Julian. And Harriet’s employment as a typist at the Straits Settlements Police Force has given her an intriguing way to occupy her time and some much-needed financial independence. But when her friend and employer, Inspector Robert Curran, is called to the scene of a brutal murder and Harriet is asked to comfort the victim’s family, her newfound sense of contentment is abruptly shattered.
Sylvie Nolan, the new and much-younger wife of Lieutenant Colonel John Nolan, has been bludgeoned to death in her bedroom. The tightly knit military community in Singapore quickly closes ranks to hinder Curran’s investigation, and Harriet realizes that her friendship with the colonel’s sister might prove useful. But to get close enough to the family’s secrets, Harriet must once again face her painful past, and Curran is forced to dredge up some long-buried secrets of his own. And when more shocking deaths occur that all seem linked to Sylvie’s murder, Harriet and Curran discover that they too are in the sights of a callous killer. . . .

A.M. Stuart

Thank you for hosting me today. REVENGE IN RUBIES is the second in the Harriet Gordon Mysteries (the first book is SINGAPORE SAPPHIRE). For those new to the world of Harriet Gordon, the stories are set in Singapore in 1910 and feature two protagonists, Harriet Gordon and Inspector Robert Curran of the Straits Settlement Police.

So why Singapore? I have had the privilege of living in both Kenya and Singapore and those wonderful evocative countries are part of my DNA and secondly, I love the challenge of bringing to life a time and place that no longer exists or only lurks in the shadows. If you have visited Singapore in recent years, you will find a vibrant, modern city which changes, for me, on every visit but the bones of the original town that my protagonist, Harriet Gordon, knew are still there if you know where to look!

So how did I go about recreating Harriet’s Singapore?

Being a visual learner, the best research for me, is to visit the location – breathe in in the humidity and the smells of spice and chrysanthemum. Having lived in Singapore this comes easily but there are still places I want to revisit (such as the Cameron Highlands… the setting for Harriet 4) and I am chafing to be free of Covid19 and able to travel once again! In the meantime, my second favourite research tool are maps and I came across a detailed map of Singapore in 1913 which is the basis for every step my characters take. It is so detailed it names all the various properties that still sat on former plantations around the town as well major buildings. I draw detailed floor plans of the houses that are mentioned in the story (based on existing house plans) so I can move my characters around without them tripping over the furniture.

Then there are the contemporary travel guides to the area – now available by reproduction from Amazon or downloadable as pdfs (what did we do without the internet!). Finally (visual again) there are contemporary photographic images (which I collect and paste to my Pinterest profile)… those more than anything else are the pictures I paint in my mind as I write.

REVENGE IN RUBIES throws my two protagonists into the closeted world of the military… a world Curran is all too familiar with and the ghosts of his past association with the Second Batallion of the South Sussex Regiment will come back to haunt him. Likewise Harriet is forced to face her more recent past as they try to resolve the brutal death of the lovely Sylvie Nolan, the much younger wife of the commanding officer of the regiment.

I do hope you enjoy it!

Available now!

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  1. Thanks, Lisa. Sunday blessings, to you.
    Pat T.

  2. Thank you for bring "REVENGE IN RUBIES" by A.M. Stuart to my attention.

    This is a new to me author, but one I'd love to get to know with the opportunity to read this great sounding book. Love the time period it takes place in. Wonderful cover!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  3. I have the first book so I'm looking forward to this one.