Author: Tasha Alexander
Provided Synopsis: Emily and Colin Hargreaves make it a rule to spend as little time as possible with her parents in Kent, but are unable to refuse Lady Catherine Bromley’s invitation to join them for a pre-Christmas party that includes the family of Ala Kapur Singh, a powerful Punjabi maharaja who has come to England after receiving the Order of the Star of India.
Lady Bromley, quite taken with the exotic beauty and spectacular jewels of the maharani and her daughter, Sunita, throws herself with abandon into her own version of Indian culture, planning a feast she is certain will be more spectacular than any seen on the sub-continent. When a priceless diamond maang tika and a simple gold bangle disappear from Sunita’s room, a diplomatic incident seems imminent, particularly after the maang tika turns up in Emily’s possession.
Emily may have what appears to be the more valuable of the two pieces, but the maang tika cannot be worn without the bangle, upon which is engraved the words necessary to ward off a curse placed on the set five hundred years ago by a princess forced to forsake the man she loved. Sunita must wear the maang tika at her wedding but cannot do so without the bangle. Can Emily convince the maharaja that she is not a thief? And, more important, can she and Colin find the bangle?
Review: Lady Emily, Colin, and their three sons are summoned to Kent when the maharaja of India and his family arrive to stay at the country estate of Emily’s mother and father. The quiet house party is unsettled, however, when a diamond and a gold bangle belonging to the maharaja’s daughter are stolen. To add even more allure to the mystery of the stolen jewelry is the diamond’s reputation of being cursed if it is not worn with the bangle.
I wish I could say that I enjoyed this more. Truth be told, I found myself glazing over it much like I have done with the two previous full-length novels of the series. Emily and Colin continue to solve mysteries together, yet they also continue to lack any depth of character. I know their quirks, now I would like to see some more growth or to feel something when they show passion for each other. Bland main characters mean that the stories they feature in follow suit. The resolution of the mystery did not seem to fall in line with the presented clues at all, did it? The perpetrator was simple to discern, the motivations behind the act were not.
Unfortunately, it might be time for me to admit this is no longer the series for me.