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A.M. Stuart Books In Order

Publication Order of Harriet Gordon Mystery Books

Singapore Sapphire (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

A.M. Stuart is an accomplished Historical Fiction, Romance and Mystery author who has been writing ever since she was a child. According to Stuart, she wrote her first historical romance halfway up a tree on the school playground while she was in her teens. The novel never did get published but since then she has gone on to become a published multi award-nominated author. She writes her historical romances and mystery novels such as the “Guardians of the Crown” series and several single standing novels such as the “Lord Somerton’s Heir,” “And Then Mine Enemy,” and “Secrets in Time” among others as Alison Stuart. As A.M. Stuart, she has written the historical mystery series the “Harriet Gordon Mystery” series.

A.M. Stuart was born in Kenya and spent much of her childhood there until her family moved to Australia when she was ten years old. As an adult, she spent a lot of time in Singapore and it is during her time there that she got the idea for writing the novel “Singapore Sapphire” the first of the Harriet Gordon Mysteries set in Singapore. Outside writing, she has practiced as a lawyer in several fields including in the military, where she worked and rose through the ranks to become a Major. She was also an executive working in the fire services. Stuart has said that some of her soldier-like heroes are inspired by her days in the fire services and the military. She has asserted that her love for historical romances comes from her father who loved anything to do with history. While she has always loved writing, it was not until 2007 when she embarked on her writing career with the publishing of “By The Sword” the first of her Guardians of the Crown series. She currently has several historical romances and a collection of short stories. When she is not penning her bestselling novels, she loves to travel to derelict goldfields, battlefields and ancient castles.

A.M. Stuart’s “Singapore Sapphire” is the first novel of her Harriet Gordon Mystery series. The historical mystery series is set in Singapore during the early part of the 20th century. The lead characters are Harriet Gordon and Inspector Robert Curran, two people that could not be any more different. Harriet Gordon is starting a new life in Singapore and is living with Reverend Julian who is her brother and owner of a school. She has been through a lot and is happy to find work typing memoirs for Sir Oswald Newbold. Her investigative partner is Inspector Robert Curran, a man who had traveled the world and then surprised his colleagues and friends when he decided to become a police detective in Singapore. Despite being a worldly man, he enjoys being a detective. He meets Harriet and soon realizes that she is good at seeing things that he may miss. Over the first few chapters of the novel, he learns things about her that brings him closer to her that they become friends and fellow investigators. One of the only things to match Curran’s lack of sentimentality is his lack of prejudice. A.M. Stuart writes of a man that instead of dismissing Harriet as a woman, takes her steady manner and keen eye very seriously. Harriet soon proves herself invaluable to the police detective not only for assistance but also information. While she clearly has a distaste for the police, they team up to make one very formidable pair of sleuths.

A.M. Stuart writes a multilayered story in which the villains and allies are unmasked as Curran and Harriet conduct their investigations. Since it is a historical mystery, Stuart makes the choice to not include a romance between the lead characters though they become very close in the course of their investigations. She shuns the usual boy meets girl plotline and instead reinforces Harriet’s sentimentality to the emotions and feelings of other people. Stuart makes the Harriet Gordon Mystery series are more satisfying in not pursuing the boy meets girl trope as the characters are more believable and effective as colleagues. She also makes the novel intriguing with her exceptional and wonderfully evocative descriptions of people and place in the debut. The novel takes a sensitive and remarkable look at Singapore in the first decade of the 20the century by cataloging its history as well as people though rich characterization and historical detail. Inspector Curran and Harriet are excellent leads who should make for some very fascinating stories as they partner up to resolve historical murders in the tropical heat of Singapore.

In A.M. Stuart’s first novel of the Harriet Gordon Mystery series “Singapore Sapphires,” we are introduced to the lead Harriet Gordon. She just stumbled into an intricate web of murder, cutthroat thieves and stolen gems syndicate. She is running from a tragic past and came to Singapore to find a new life but it would seem safety and security is one thing that will continue to be elusive. Early twentieth-century Singapore which is at the zenith of colonial rule is not the best place for a woman like Harriet, desperate for a new start. But Harriet is not one to be cowed by the city and she will find independence through whatever legal means she can find. She advertises herself as a personal secretary and gets an interview with Sir Oswald Newbold. She is happy to get the job with the mining magnate explorer and president of the Geographers and Explorers Club, only for the man to turn up dead stabbed in the throat. Inspector Curran is in charge of the case and he soon realizes that Harriet is not your ordinary witness. She has a strong sense of duty and a keen eye for detail, which gets him interested though it is clear that she is wary of the police. He also learns that she has a traumatic past that she desperately wants to keep to herself as she makes a new life in Singapore. But then another body is found in the canal and Harriet feels that she needs to help. They soon find themselves in an intricate web of mysterious gangsters and stolen gemstones. These are thieves who will not hesitate to kill anyone that threatens their criminal enterprise.

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