Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Singapore Sapphire (Harriet Gordon Mystery #1)” as Want to Read:
Singapore Sapphire (Harriet Gordon Mystery #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Singapore Sapphire

(Harriet Gordon Mystery #1)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  96 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Harriet Gordon stumbles into a murderous web of stolen gems and cutthroat thieves as she runs from her tragic past in an enthralling new historical mystery series set in early twentieth century Singapore.

Singapore 1910--Desperate for a fresh start and to distance herself from her tragic past, Harriet Gordon finds herself in Singapore at the height of colonial rule. Hopin
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published August 6th 2019 by Berkley
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Singapore Sapphire, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Singapore Sapphire

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  96 ratings  ·  55 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: pretty-good
Initially the superlative vocab of the book made no mistake. 'Comprised' was not bundled with 'of'. The use of the phrase 'hold the fort' didn't include 'down'. There was the drawn match where 'named for' was used instead of 'named after'.

But the story itself was ill served about halfway through the book. The promising, easy and breezy pacing of the book was butchered in my humble opinion. I am not used to the climax to kick in halfway through.

That fault maybe lies with me but then I can only na
It was 1910 when Harriet Gordon escaped the tragedy of her past to Singapore. Her brother, Reverend Julian Edwards, was master at the local school and Harriet did some unpaid work for St. Thomas. But needing funds saw her advertising herself as a personal secretary and when she began typing the manuscript for Sir Oswald Newbold, she had no idea her acquaintance with him would cause such dramatic changes in her life.

The murder of Newbold was particularly vicious – Harriet finding him was shocking
Anna Lee Huber
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My favorite new mystery series! Set in a unique and compelling setting, and filled with fascinating historical research, deft characterization, and thrilling suspense, readers will devour Singapore Sapphire. One of the best books I’ve read this year. I can’t wait to read Harriet’s next adventure.
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such an awesome story, I do love a good mystery and this one hit the spot, set in Singapore in 1910, MS Stuart took me back in time to murders and a gang smuggling gems and a story that I did not want to put down. I am loving Harriet and Inspector Robert Curran and am truly thrilled that this book is the start of a series.

Harriet Gordon has decided to start afresh in Singapore with her brother, Reverend Julian who runs a school, Harriet has been through a lot and is settling in in Singap
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
After losing her husband and son in India, Harriet Gordon works at a school in Singapore where her clergyman brother Julian serves as headmaster. She decides to offer stenography services to provide income. She discovers her client Oswald Newbold's murdered body. Harriet's skills impress Inspector Curran. A clue VOC, which most people consider the old East India Company, surfaces. Inspector Curran and Harriet both know it must bear a different meaning. As the investigation begins to focus on the ...more
Sherwood Smith
This impeccably researched historical mystery is closer to thriller than it is to romance, though the two lead characters are the widowed suffragette Harriet Gordon and Inspector Robert Curran, who many of the British imperialists living in Singapore tsk over because they feel he's "gone native."

Some readers might object to the very nature of the book, depicting English people during the height of the imperial period (on the verge of its fall); I thought Stuart did a superb job of walking that k
Colonial Singapore and murder! Great reading!

It's the early 1900's in Singapore. So realistic I felt I was there!
Harriet Gordon, widowed and made childless in one fell swoop in India due to Typhus, went home to England. It was there she came in contact with the Suffragette Movement, an organization that espoused those things she'd not only envisioned, but felt deeply. That path ended badly and she joined her brother in Colonial Singapore where he is the Reverend and Headmaster of a prestigious
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the mood for a multiple murder/gem smuggling mystery with a bit of romance and family drama and a fair amount of diverse culture? Then this is your book.
Harriet, newly arrived in Singapore in 1910, is the richly nuanced main character. Most characters are well developed, although a couple surprises near the end seem a bit “out of the blue.” The culture of colonial Singapore is clearly drawn. The main characters are mainly upper class British, with the requisite
Book Him Danno
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A well composed mystery that will take you to Singapore during the early 20th century when it was very much a part of the British Empire. The story will transport you to a time and place you can only imagine. I felt as if I could feel the oppressive heat and humidity in addition to smelling the various odors that were described so vividly. The mystery was well defined and easy for the reader to follow.

I have rated the book 4 stars and would recommend to any who enjoys a period tale.

I voluntarily
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully written, cleverly-crafted murder mystery set in the unusual location of Singapore in 1910. Harriet Gordon is a multi-layered character with a tragic past and a secret she is at pains to keep from the critical Colonial society where she fled in an attempt to leave her past behind.
However, even in the Far East, where nothing is quite what it seems and everyone has secrets, Hannah's suffragette past threatens to cast a blight on her future and that of her bachelor headmaster
In Singapore Sapphire, Harriet Gordon was a fascinating three-dimensional character who had a sorrowful past scattered with dark moments that she desperately wanted to keep hidden. She worried how her past would affect her brother if it was ever to come to light. He was a good man who put himself into a rather precarious position in order to offer her a fresh start and she wanted to make sure that his decision never came to haunt him. To this end, Harriet tried to be as helpful as she could and ...more
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
An engrossing historical mystery with an exotic setting. I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

*Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Some stories you just have to devour, they're so compelling. This is such a one.

Harriet Gordon, widow, stenographer and suffragette, and the dedicated Inspector Curran, the not-quite gentleman detective, are two of my new favourite characters, brought together in colonial 1910 Singapore by a murder that spreads tentacles far and wide.

As the title indicates, precious gems are involved, although Harriet herself is the real 'gem', a woman of education, principles, and, for the times, a very pract
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m a sucker for a good mystery and for me Singapore Sapphire ticked all the boxes. I loved the setting in early 20th century Singapore, a place rich in British colonial history. The setting truly comes alive thanks to the meticulous research of author A.M. Stuart. She clearly knows the area well and has used that knowledge to add an extra layer of richness to the story. It is the unceasing humidity of the tropics that particularly features as the tension escalates.
I was truly invested in the fa
Barbara Senteney
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2019
Harriet is a nice young woman who has lost her husband and child to colera. She decides to move to Singapore for a new beginning. She has to earn a living so after advertising in the newspaper she is hired by a wealthy eccentric to write his memoirs. Reporting to work to retrieve her typewriter she finds her employer and his man servant brutally murdered. Inspector Curran shows up to investigate and the mystery begins.

What I thought was going to be a historical romance I soon found was truly a t
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable mystery set in a part of the world I did not know much about. Harriet Gordon is an interesting new heroine who I enjoyed as a realistic and yet brave woman trying to rebuild her life in Singapore following tragedy in India and as a suffragette in London. She's given a fabulous partner in Inspector Robert Curran. Could I also just give a hat off to the author who has, so far anyway, made it clear this is a friendship and not a romance? The plot moves along nicely and never drags ...more
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Harriet Gordon, who is in Singapore to start her life over, has just started a job helping an old man type up his memoirs when she finds him dead, messily murdered in his haunted bungalow at the beginning of A.M. Stuart’s transporting mystery debut, Singapore Sapphire. Unlike a lot of mysteries in which ordinary people blunder their way into a criminal investigation, Harriet has a partner, Detective Robert Curran, who seems willing to listen to her and never tries to talk her into not doing thin ...more
Cathy Cole
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it
A.M. Stuart's setting of Singapore in 1910 felt so real that, as I read, I wondered how on earth women could survive there back in the days of acres of petticoats, corsets, and no air conditioning. The pace of Singapore Sapphire did drag a bit from time to time, mostly due to its being the first book in a series and the need to set up both characters and story, but there is a strong mystery that kept me guessing. The one thing I didn't keep guessing about-- the single clue about the murderous gr ...more
Jenny T.
A murder mystery set in Singapore 1910 involving many expats. Harriet Gordon hopes to make some extra money by advertising services for shorthand & typing. Unfortunately she finds her first client murdered and with the help of Inspector Robert Curran of the local police uncovers an entire criminal team. I liked how the author depicted the characters during this period of history with sensory capturing descriptions of the country.
Thanks to the Berkley Marketing Team for the copy of this book.
Gemma F
Jul 16, 2019
A historical fiction novel set in my country? I couldn’t ask for anything better!
Lynette Williams
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
a very well researched of life and times in Singapore a hard to put down story until last page --waiting for the next episode in the story
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable read. Looking forward to more Harriet and Curran.
Roslyn Stillman
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book by Ms Stuart that I have read. It is very different from the historical romances I usually read. I found it very well written, with lots of mystery, intrigue and suspense to keep me turning the page. I found as one mystery was revealed another one came along. I enjoyed the fact that I thought I had worked out who done it only to find I was wrong and needed to keep going right up till the end. The characters were well written so that you could relate to them and they worked ...more
Bebe (Sarah) Brechner
I absolutely loved this story, it’s characters (particularly the wonderfully real main character Harriet Gordon), the fabulous setting and period (early 20th century Singapore), and, of course, the truly intriguing plot. This is a very well rendered historical novel which introduces the fascinating Harriet, her supportive brother, and a few other characters which I anticipate will become part of future stories. And we must, must have more stories! This is the first in what promises to be a favor ...more
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, 2019-reads, wom2019
I really enjoyed this mystery for its smart heroine and for giving a good sense of the time and location.
Patricia Revzin
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As fan of historical fiction and suspense, I was drawn into this book from the very first chapter. Set in colonial Singapore in 1910, the densely layered, compelling, and well-thought out plot centers around gem smuggling, murderous thieves, and vividly descriptive and intriguing main characters. The oppressive heat and humidity as well as the overgrown jungle add to the atmospheric tension.
Harriet Gordon, a former suffragette and recently widowed, left London to live in India for ten years, and
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Singapore Sapphire

My daughter recently moved to Singapore and I thought it would be fun to read a book related to the history of this small country. Singapore Sapphire is the first book in a new series called Harriet Gordon Mystery. The story takes place in the early 1900’s. The book stars Harriet Gordon who just moved to Singapore to help her brother to run a school for boy. The school is unable to pay her so she advertises her services as a personal secretary. Her first client is an explorer who wants to publis
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars!
To be honest, the cover of this book really grabbed my attention. It is so different. After my look at the cover, I investigated further and decided to read the book. It was so interesting to me. A foreign land, I know almost nothing about, interesting characters and an intriguing mystery.

The author transports the reader to Singapore in 1910 where a climate I've never experienced is aptly described, along with the life and culture of Singapore. Harriet was the first person I met in the
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Singapore Sapphire" is a mystery set in 1910 in Singapore. The detective asked good questions, looked carefully for evidence, and was able to connect the clues well. Harriet found the body and so got involved. She's observant, and people were more inclined to talk with her than the police. She uncovered some important information that she passed on to the detective.

By about halfway through, there was enough information to guess who was involved but not who did the actual killing. Soon the suspe
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Australian author, A.M. Stuart, began her writing career half way up a tree in the school playground where she wrote her first (unpublished) historical romance. She now writes historical romance as Alison Stuart (a Goodreads author).
Born in Kenya, her family came to Australia when she was ten years old. She has also lived in Singapore.
In her life outside writing, she enjoyed a varied career as a l