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The Annam Jewel
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Group reads > The Annam Jewel - SPOILER thread

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Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4692 comments Mod
This is the spoiler thread for The Annam Jewel: A Golden Age Mystery. Spoilers can be freely posted here as it is assumed that anyone reading this thread has finished the book.


Jill (Dogbotsmum) | 711 comments Not sure if this is a spoiler or not but I was extremely disappointed with this book.
At first it put me in mind of Indiana Jones, which had me hooked. Then it shifted to the story of two young children and their lives, which was interesting and held my attention. However, as they grew older and their childishness should have left them, it continued with the girl talking in a very babyish way and the boy becoming a real pain. After a pretty farcical skirmish with a what can only be called a villain, I had,had enough of them, but saw it through to the end.
Having read another of this author's books, I did feel let down. I want to continue with the detective stories from this author, and will probably try another book in this Golden Age series to see if they improve at all.


Susan | 5613 comments Mod
I think I would continue with Miss Silver, definitely, but yes, this book was extremely annoying! I would happily have killed Rose Ellen myself, probably quite soon into the book... That said, it was interesting to read just to see where she started from as an author.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4692 comments Mod
Jill, the beginning reminded me of Indiana Jones too. The jewel is very much a "McGuffin" I think - and quite hard to keep track of where the real jewel is, as with the Attenbury Emeralds!

I also enjoyed all the part where they are children - the way Peter finds Rose Ellen a home is extremely farfetched but still fun. I also enjoyed the plotting of bad girl Sylvia though I will admit it is all completely unbelievable!


message 5: by Sandy (last edited Jul 02, 2017 04:31AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Sandy | 1024 comments Mod
I didn't enjoy this much, but it also took very little of my time. I suppose Rose Ellen was an adorable child, perhaps even intuitive of others' feeling for someone that young, but she never matured a whit. Peter's rescue of her from the orphanage was the highlight of the book for me. I didn't like either of them very much, nor did I care who got the jewel. I was hoping someone would return it to its original shrine.

Bad girl Sylvia might have been my favorite character. I didn't like her what so ever, but was amused by her decorative style and use of expensive flowers. Without money she must have known a tolerant florist.

A character with potential was the uncle whom Peter liked, but he reappeared and then disappeared, and there was no explanation of how he made his wealth. I was confused why he existed other than to invite Peter to dinner in the hotel. Did I miss something? I may have been reading too quickly by that time.

I didn't notice it at the time but the beginning was very much like Indiana Jones!


Susan | 5613 comments Mod
I would agree that the beginning was the best part of the book. Peter seemed to do things without any real feeling behind them. It was a combination of duty and independence, which probably made more sense to that generation than this one. Not using his uncle's money on the train was meant to show how honest he was, but just made him seem very single minded. Rose Ellen hardly seemed worth the effort, but, still, he did his best and, without a plan, managed to find the only childless woman in the area, luckily rich, and quite willing to take her. Of course, she could have probably visited any orphanage then and taken her pick...

What did everyone think of Peter's character? He seemed a very strange young man to me and I would agree that Peter's uncle had promise and Sylvia was the best character in the book.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4692 comments Mod
I really liked Peter - the poems he writes to Sylvia are hilarious, and I thought there was a lot of humour in his character.

I think I've come across something like him refusing to use his uncle's money somewhere else, but I'm not sure where! I also liked him posting back the jewel - there can't be many characters who have less interest in money!

I agree the finding of the childless woman who is ready to love Rose Ellen seems very unlikely, but I loved that section - almost like a dream sequence.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4692 comments Mod
Sandy, I totally agree about the kind uncle not making a lot of sense - I didn't understand why he didn't have Peter and Rose Ellen to live with him in the first place, but maybe there wouldn't have been much plot if he had done that!


Sandy | 1024 comments Mod
Judy wrote: "Sandy, I totally agree about the kind uncle not making a lot of sense - I didn't understand why he didn't have Peter and Rose Ellen to live with him in the first place, but maybe there wouldn't hav..."

I think the uncle was leaving the country to make his fortune when the children future was determined.


message 10: by Jill (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jill (Dogbotsmum) | 711 comments I thought the uncle was single, penniless, and seeking fortune aboard so he couldn't have Peter. But his giving Peter a coin was a sort of show to the other relatives just how mean they were being.
When he reappeared he had in fact made his fortune,and was prepared to help Peter. I think he hoped to help Peter by getting the Jewel expert to access the stone and get the best price.


message 11: by Sandy (last edited Jul 02, 2017 04:37AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Sandy | 1024 comments Mod
Peter was rather odd; very morally upright with a strong sense of duty. I never warmed to him.

Wentworth gave him a trait of always fidgeting with something - knots when he was a boy. This allowed him to discover Sylvia's father's first name was Rowan. Did it figure in the plot in any other way? He broke a couple of items.


message 12: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4692 comments Mod
Ah, thanks Jill and Sandy - I obviously lost track of the uncle. That makes sense.


Susan | 5613 comments Mod
I also thought Peter strange. He had a real sense of responsibility, but no real feeling about it. He kept getting himself into difficult situations - such as, at the end of the book, where he had decided he no longer wanted to marry Sylvia and yet went when she said she was in trouble against his better instincts...


message 14: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4692 comments Mod
I thought he was supposed to consider Sylvia as a friend, even though she doesn't exactly treat him as one - he and Rose Ellen are still worrying about Sylvia even at the end!


Susan | 5613 comments Mod
She was horrible to Rose Ellen too...


Carol  ꧁꧂  | 483 comments I liked this one (other than when Peter rescues Rose-Ellen - that was just painful) but I certainly didn't love it. Rose-Ellen calling him Peter De-Ah was totally getting on my nerves & the whole Rose-Ellen being providentially adopted by Dearest (who drops her like a hot potato when she has a child of her own) - well, that was just bizarre.


message 17: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4692 comments Mod
Glad you liked this even if you didn't love it, Carol! Your comments made me smile.

To go off at a slight tangent, I knew I'd read another book where a child calls their mother Dearest, and suddenly remembered it was Little Lord Fauntleroy! I wonder if many children ever did this in real life?


Carol  ꧁꧂  | 483 comments Judy wrote: "Glad you liked this even if you didn't love it, Carol! Your comments made me smile.

To go off at a slight tangent, I knew I'd read another book where a child calls their mother Dearest, and sudden..."


Isn't Joan Crawford supposed to have insisted on being called Mommy Dearest? :o


Susan | 5613 comments Mod
Carol, I sympathise. I felt much the same way!


message 20: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 541 comments Jill wrote: "Not sure if this is a spoiler or not but I was extremely disappointed with this book.."

I am also disappointed. I've only gotten as far as Peter's 25th birthday and finding the fake jewel, but I am either going to quit here, or skim very rapidly to the end (though skimming on a Kindle isn't as easy as with a real book).

I don't believe either Peter or Rose Ellen as a character. The finding Mrs. Mortimer and having her adopt RE is absurd. As was the escape from the orphanage. It's not fantastic enough to be fantasy, but too fantastic to find a proper mystery genre.

Since I haven't read beyond the 25th birthday, and this is a spoiler thread, I can speculate on what I think the next 3/4 of the book will bring.

It's obvious that Sylvia's father has something to do with stealing the jewel. It's obvious that Peter will eventually find and recover the real jewel.

Not sure what he will do with it. Pretty sure he won't marry Rose Ellen, and won't give it to her since she isn't a real sister. He might marry Sylvia and give it to her, but I think that romance is not going to go anywhere so I don't see that as the result. He ought to give it back to the temple it was stolen from, and I'm hoping that's the final outcome.

Now I'll go read the rest of the comments and see how close I got.

Oh, I got VERY tired of the constant "de-ah." I didn't care for it the first time it came out, and by the fiftieth time I wanted to scream. I felt as though I had been plopped down in the middle of Gone with the Wind.


message 21: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 541 comments Judy wrote: "Jill, the beginning reminded me of Indiana Jones too.."

Also reminiscent of The Sign of the Four.


message 22: by Robin (new) - rated it 1 star

Robin | 174 comments The de-ah is getting to me too. However, perhaps we are supposed to smother ourselves in the period and maybe de-ah is part of that? I have the sample and might resist buying the novel. However, I'll give it a try as I've not read many detective stories in this period.


message 23: by Robin (new) - rated it 1 star

Robin | 174 comments PS I don't mind spoilers so am happy reading this thread. I tend to re-read books anyway.


Leslie | 517 comments Robin wrote: "The de-ah is getting to me too. However, perhaps we are supposed to smother ourselves in the period and maybe de-ah is part of that?..."

I am another who found this annoying. Overall, I thought that the final quarter of the book was the best but I still much prefer the Miss Silver mysteries. The romance subplot was very indicative of that aspect of her later books.


Susan | 5613 comments Mod
I liked Miss Silver too (although I have only read the first one that we read as a group). There were definite echoes in the books though. Still, this was an early novel and so I am sure she was still finding her feet. I think most of us found the beginning the best part.


message 26: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4692 comments Mod
We haven't said all that much about Sylvia - what did anyone think of her character? I thought she was quite an interesting villain, with hints that she could possibly reform - in fact she possibly steals the book from Peter and Rose Ellen!


Carol  ꧁꧂  | 483 comments Judy wrote: "We haven't said all that much about Sylvia - what did anyone think of her character? I thought she was quite an interesting villain, with hints that she could possibly reform - in fact she possibly..."

I think she does steal the book. I also found Anita quite interesting.


Pamela (Bibliohound) | 126 comments I enjoyed the scenes with Sylvia more than those with Rose Ellen, and I would have liked her to have found some way of joining forces with Peter rather than abandoning him. But that wouldn't have worked with the stereotypes of good girl, bad girl.


message 29: by Sandy (new) - rated it 1 star

Sandy | 1024 comments Mod
I enjoyed Sylvia; she is an excellent villain. I think she has talents, and the nerve, that could have been used for good if her life had a focus. She is certainly more interesting Rose Ellen.

I don't remember Anita.


message 30: by Jill (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jill (Dogbotsmum) | 711 comments Strange. I thought of her as a greedy airhead. She had no loyalty to anyone , just her own greed. I was wishing Peter to wake up to her right from the start of her meeting him and playing games with him and the other chap. The plot for the Jewel,I thought could quite easily have gone on without her.
Now we know who these stories are aimed at , I suppose she could have been included to show young women that no good ever comes to girls like her.


message 31: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4692 comments Mod
Pamela wrote: "I enjoyed the scenes with Sylvia more than those with Rose Ellen, and I would have liked her to have found some way of joining forces with Peter rather than abandoning him. But that wouldn't have w..."

I would have liked her to work with Peter too - there keep being hints that she feels guilty about her selfish behaviour and might change her ways, and that she has genuine feelings for Peter, but then she just looks after her own interests anyway, and as Jill says she has no loyalty to anyone!

I did enjoy her character though and found her by far the most memorable of the villains in this book - the others have blurred together for me fairly quickly.


Carol  ꧁꧂  | 483 comments Jill wrote: "Now we know who these stories are aimed at , I suppose she could have been included to show young women that no good ever comes to girls like her.

Oh I'm sure that's the message we were meant to get. But the reward of being good would have been presumably marrying (the dull) Peter De-ah!


message 33: by Jill (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jill (Dogbotsmum) | 711 comments Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕ wrote: "Jill wrote: "Now we know who these stories are aimed at , I suppose she could have been included to show young women that no good ever comes to girls like her.

Oh I'm sure that's the message we w..."

Yes Carol. Indeed a choice between the Devil and deep blue sea.


message 34: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4692 comments Mod
Sandy wrote: "I don't remember Anita ..."

I'd forgotten who Anita was too, but have just checked back in the book and I see she is the beautiful woman with a mysterious/shameful past married to the American villain - I agree with Carol that I also found her quite interesting.


Susan | 5613 comments Mod
Sylvia was a terrible person, but she just looked interesting next to Rose Ellen. I have to agree with Carol that I don't think Peter was much of a prize catch!


message 36: by Michelle (last edited Jul 16, 2017 12:48AM) (new) - added it

Michelle (Michelleae) | 299 comments I still think Sylvia was a bit of a pantomime/cartoon villain. I amused myself every time she appeared by shouting (in my head) "she's behind you!" every time she appeared.


message 37: by Sandy (new) - rated it 1 star

Sandy | 1024 comments Mod
I agree with the cartoon vision of Sylvia, but, in my opinion, none of the characters are layered.


Susan | 5613 comments Mod
Sylvia seemed to suffer angst, but, despite the fact she was painted as a villainess, she seemed to be caught between what various men wanted her to do, or be scared of them and act accordingly. Her actions were not really her own.


message 39: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4692 comments Mod
Yes, Sylvia seems weak rather than evil - and wildly extravagant of course.


message 40: by Jill (last edited Jul 17, 2017 02:54AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jill (Dogbotsmum) | 711 comments Nobody forced Silvia to steal from Anita, she did it for herself ,to be able to spend money on herself. She lived beyond her means. I think the angst she felt was about being found out about being a thief , and betraying just about everyone,her friends ,her father and Peter


message 41: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4692 comments Mod
What does anyone think about the final fate of the jewel? Did this come as a surprise and do you think it's a good ending? I was a bit taken aback by the waste of it but it does show that Rose Ellen isn't after Peter's money!


message 42: by Sandy (new) - rated it 1 star

Sandy | 1024 comments Mod
I wanted so much for it to be returned to the temple.

It got me thinking that the fake jewel was just as good as the real one and what really made the real one more valuable.

And it seemed they could have done some good with money and not just toss it away.

Didn't Rose Ellen have her own fortune by that time?

I was sort of surprised and it was a 'good' ending in that Wentworth didn't have deal with what this idealistic couple was going to do with stolen property.


message 43: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4692 comments Mod
Sandy wrote: "I wanted so much for it to be returned to the temple.

It got me thinking that the fake jewel was just as good as the real one and what really made the real one more valuable. ..."


I'd never thought of returning it to the temple until it was mentioned in our discussion - must agree it would be the perfect solution, but I suppose there would be a risk that somebody would steal it and the whole thing would start all over again.

Also I think the place was hard to find in the first place so maybe it wouldn't be practical? (If we need to worry about that in this book, that is!)

I agree with you about the fake jewel - since it seems to be just as beautiful, hard to see why it isn't a treasure in its own right. I also felt that selling the real jewel could bring money which could do good, as you said - but it is a grand gesture and shows how both of them don't care about riches.

I don't think Rose Ellen does have all that much of a fortune, because she isn't an heiress after all following the birth of Jimmy - but there is no suggestion she is short of money.


Susan | 5613 comments Mod
I wanted it to be returned to the temple. I wouldn't have thrown it in the water, so am clearly not worthy of Peter's attentions!


message 45: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4692 comments Mod
I don't think I would have thrown the jewel in the water either!

On Rose Ellen, I was wondering if there would be a revelation about her birth parents near the end, as this happens in so many Victorian novels and I think has featured in one or two other Wentworth books.

Quite refreshing not to get this plot twist for once.


message 46: by Michelle (new) - added it

Michelle (Michelleae) | 299 comments I think there is an argument to chuck everyone in the water in this book.......


Susan | 5613 comments Mod
Ha ha, Michelle :) Yes, I would have been tempted to shove Rose Ellen in, for sure.


message 48: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 541 comments Sandy wrote: "I wanted so much for it to be returned to the temple.."

That's what I though would (and should) happen. It's wrong to destroy another culture's treasure. Even in fiction.


message 49: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 541 comments Sandy wrote: "
It got me thinking that the fake jewel was just as good as the real one and what really made the real one more valuable. "


Boy, is that a great question.

What makes a picture worth a few hundred dollars until it's believed that it was painted by Vermeer and then suddenly it's worth millions? Same painting.

Also happens with books, of course.


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