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I found myself repeatedly sighing out loud and rolling my eyes at the ridiculous, unlikely, unbelievable and melodramatic events and dialogue throughout this mediocre murder mystery.

I know Tasha Alexander can do better. She created wonderful characters in Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves in ‘And Only to Deceive’ and she continued to develop their relationship in ‘A Poisoned Season’. I thought both books were wonderful and I would recommend either of them to any one who enjoys good historical fiction or likes mysteries.

Unfortunately ‘Tears of Pearl’ has little or no character development, a poor mystery at it’s core, unrealistic dialogue and a completely unbelievable string of events. There is an overwhelming amount of trembling and tingling being described but sadly there wasn’t any chemistry between the characters. The constant double entendres exchanged between Emily and Colin seemed forced and far too contemporary.

The reader does learn some new things about Lady Emily’s youth but they feel as if they are facts given to fill in the blanks, some of which were repeated a bit too often for my tastes. Alexander also includes letters in the book that add nothing to the story. She did this with ‘Fatal Waltz’ as well.

The only thing I liked about this book was when Lady Emily recalled events that happened in the first two books.

I thought the mystery was lack-luster the events ridiculous and the author turned what had been very likable characters into caricatures. This, the double entendres and unbelievable dialogue has made me swear off any more Tasha Alexander novels until she returns to the quality of writing that she produced in her first two novels.

Ms. Alexander please stop resting on your laurels and get back to work writing something you can be proud of.

I never would have finished this if I hadn’t selected it through the Vine program and been obligated to review it. Had I paid for this book I would have been very angry to have wasted my money on this.

I would recommend some similar but very well done historical mysteries; Deanna Raybourn’s ‘Silent’ series and Kate Ross’ ‘Julian Kestral’ mysteries. And Ashley Gardner has a nice series set in a little bit earlier time period, the ‘Gabriel Lacy’ series.

*S*P*O*I*L*E*R*S
And I will now be specific about some of the things that had me rolling my eyes.

Emily and Colin listen to Sir Richard tell about how his daughter, Ceyden, was abducted as a child and how he has never stopped looking for her. Then *bam* there she is.

Ceyden was abducted at the age of three yet her father instantly recognizes her as a grown woman.

And in case the reader had any doubt about her father’s ability to identify her, the author has given Ceyden a unique tattoo so her identity can be confirmed.

Ceyden was abducted and later sold into the harem by some one other than her abductor, but she somehow still maintains her birth name.

Sir Richard has supposedly searched the world over to find his missing daughter yet she uses her birth name. Perhaps if he had just searched the world over looking for people named Ceyden we would have been spared this story.

There were some interesting ways that people died; a child burned to death playing with matches, a son commits suicide by cutting himself with scissors.

The anachronistic use of words like crash and stalking.

Emily suggest that Benjamin is having an affair with his sister, who is still called Ceyden. Perhaps he might have noticed the family resemblance AND her name before he fell in love with her?

Emily is being comforted in the mosque by complete strangers while her husband is a short walk away.

Emily cries at will in order to get the caretaker at Nuruosmaniye to leave.

Margaret “crashes” Emily and Colin’s honeymoon.

Colin catches Sir Richard as he falls at the reception at the British Embassy.

When Emily tells Roxelana that she has a plan to help her escape Roxelana falls to the floor with joyful prayers even though we know that someone is always listening and often watching the women. Perhaps they might have noticed Roxelana’s happiness and wondered what the cause was?

Emily tells Roxelana that she doesn’t believe that she has been completely honest with her but that she will help her escape the harem anyway.

Emily gives no thought to how Roxelana will survive in the world after she escapes.

The bad guy tells Emily where to meet him and only because she has read so extensively about the area does she know about the location.

Emily and Roxelana are trapped with the bad guy in the dark
Luckily Emily still has a candle and matches in her reticule.
Luckily the bad guy is afraid of the dark.
Luckily the door keeping them trapped with the bad guy has just the type of latch that Emily knows how to open from the inside.

Pleeeeze…

Okay, I think that might be more than enough.

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