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Singapore Sapphire

(Harriet Gordon Mystery #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  744 ratings  ·  205 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. Hop
Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 6th 2019 by Berkley
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Set in colonial Singapore, Singapore Sapphire introduces us to the strong and unflinching Harriet Gordon, who is trying to earn some money as a typist at a time when women are discouraged from education and properly paying jobs. When her first client is found murdered, she is drawn into the case, along with the kind and intelligent Inspector Curran. As more bodies show up, they realize this case is bigger than anyone initially thought.

I found the mystery to be quite fun. There were plenty of sha
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
***Short version: An interesting setting, likable characters, and a plot involving greed and murder all combined to make a strong start to a new historical mystery series. It was superbly topped off by a stellar performance by the narrator. ***

The year is 1910 and Harriet Gordon, a young English widow, is trying to leave a traumatic past behind her by joining her brother in Singapore where he serves as the Headmaster for a boy's school. She does some clerical work for the school but as that is m
Singapore Sapphire was a mild, if not interesting, historical mystery. Set in 1910 in one of three British colonies known as the Straights Settlements, A.M. Stuart wrote an atmospheric sense of place. The sweltering heat and cultural diversity under British rule offered a different kind of setting. I felt a moderate amount of tension between the Brits, Dutch and native residents as was to be expected.

Mrs. Harriet Gordon and Inspector Robert Curran were an unusual alliance. She was a widow livin
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
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barbara Senteney
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Jennifer Kloester
This delightful book has been my bedtime reading for the past week and I've enjoyed every minute of it. A.M. Stuart is an accomplished writer with the kind of style that lets you see the settings and characters as if you were watching a film. This novel transported me to Singapore in the early twentieth century and was so convincing that I could almost feel the heat and humidity. The sense of the colonial era is well realised and the author has done an amazing job researching the time and place. ...more
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sharon Huether
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lynn Horton
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Singapore Sapphire is a delightful piece of debut historical fiction. Stuart does an excellent job of depicting the setting, and her character development is strong. Each character (of many) is distinct enough to stand apart, and the story moves in a straight line—a good thing. I found myself caring about her protagonist and the police inspector, and especially about the little boy, Will. (The kitten was a bonus.)

Two other (slightly weird) things impressed me about this book. First, the author's
3.5 stars. This started quite slowly, but I'm glad I stuck with it and look forward to more books in the series. This takes place in colonial Singapore, but the main characters, at least, are not blind to the impacts colonialism has on the local people. Harriet Gordon is a sensible widow, but she has quite a backstory--she lost her husband and son to typhus in India, and after returning to England was jailed and force-fed for participating in demonstrations for women's suffrage. Inspector Curran ...more
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

I’m not a big fan of books that have a list of characters before the first chapter. (that usually means there’s going to be a lot going on & the reader won’t keep up)
But I found it unnecessary as I didn’t get confused.

I really liked the characters. It takes place in Singapore in 1910 which was something different in a historical mystery.
I did figure out alot of it but there were still some surprises towards the end.
The writer did a great job of painting a visual picture using adjectiv
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
An enjoyable listen as I drove back & forth to school! ...more
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Are you in the mood for historical fiction that features a very interesting cast of characters faced with solving a series of murders and what appears to be a gem smuggling operation in colonial Singapore? If so, then this is the book for you!

First in a new series featuring Harriet Gordon, a young widow who is staying with her brother, Reverend Julian Edwards, headmaster at St. Thomas School for English Boys. Harriet has a past in England that she was most eager to escape and came to Singapore
Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)
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
This was a fabulous first installment in a new historical mystery series. Set in Singapore in 1910, Mrs. Harriet Gordon has joined her brother in an attempt to start over following a number of traumatic events in her past. Once settled in Singapore, Harriet offers her services as a secretary to Sir Oswald Newbold who would like his memoirs typed for publication. However, on day two of her employment Harriet stumbles upon Newbold corpse, prompting an investigation headed by Robert Curran.

As a la
Craig / Phil
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first book in the Harriet Gordon mysteries Singapore Sapphire drags the reader into a game of peril, treachery and a puzzle than needs to be solved.
Singapore 1910, Harriet Gordon is living with her brother Julian hoping for a fresh start leaving her tragic memories behind.
She advertises her services as a secretary and is soon hired by Sir Oswald Newbold.
Arriving on her first day she discovers Oswald dead with a knife in his throat.
Hot on the case is Inspector Robert Curran who finds Harrie
Nicola Marsh
I don't usually read historicals but I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Loved the Singapore setting of the time and the accurate details.
Harriet Gordon is such a strong character, I'm looking forward to further adventures with her, Inspector Robert Curran and an interesting array of secondary characters.

I also liked how the mystery unfolded.
The entire book had a hint of Agatha Christie about it, and I devoured her books when I was younger.

Bring on book 2!
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't recommend this book highly enough. What a read! The setting is beautifully done, both tropical Singapore and the time period. It was lush and read and so inviting I just had to immerse myself in this book. The mystery is terrific, the characters engaging and I'm waiting avidly for Harriet Gordon's next story. Please, make it soon!
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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

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