March 29, 2022
Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Friendship, Paris
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Thanks Turner Publishing Company @TurnerPub for a complimentary e ARC of #TheHoneybeeEmeralds upon my request. All opinions are my own.
An historical fiction/mystery mashup, The Honeybee Emeralds is the compelling and well-written story of a mysterious and valuable emerald necklace. Alice Ahmadi, an intelligent and shy intern at a struggling Parisian magazine, discovers the necklace in the pocket of an elegant, green coat in the building’s musty and dark basement the day the heat goes out and she enlists the help of the kind (and hunky) perfumer next door to find the fuse box. Alice ( the intern), Lily (the magazine editor), Daphne (a friend of Lily’s), Alexander (the guy next door), Luc (the magazine owner), and Jacob (a writer) join forces to solve the mystery of the beautiful necklace in hopes that the discovery and the story will help solve the magazine’s financial shortfall. The group calls themselves “The Fellowship of the Necklace” (a nod to another group of disparate adventurers trying to complete a mission in The Fellowship of the Ring).
Structure: Although The Honeybee Emeralds is a dual timeline story, most of the story takes place in the present from three main perspectives with some flashbacks and background stories as the mystery is unraveled. Even though numerous characters and time jumps to the past can be confusing, I didn’t find it especially difficult to keep track of everyone once I was fully involved with the story. However, you might want to take notes in the beginning. For a debut novel, Tector attempted a lot (bordering on too much?). As a side note, you’ll love the chapter titles and the hints of romance!
Characters: I appreciate the diverse set of characters and perspectives. Alice and Lily are likable (we learn to like Daphne) and I enjoyed the camaraderie…..that is until the discovery of the necklace is leaked to their competitor who threatens to scoop the story. Can the group trust each other? I think the character development for the three main characters is satisfactory and enjoyable, their voices are distinctive, and their storylines tie up neatly in the end.
All in all, it’s a well-told and unique story of an esquite necklace once owned by Mata Hari and Josephine Baker with an atmospheric setting, diverse characters, unique perspectives (French, English, and American), and a few poignant themes including trust, rivalry and competition, and friendship (with a hint of romance).
Enthusiastically Recommended for fans of Parisian histfic who enjoy heirloom jewelry, interesting characters, a generous side of mystery, and hints of romance.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Meet the Author, Amy Tector
Amy Tector’s debut novel, THE HONEYBEE EMERALDS (Keylight March 2022) is a lighthearted mystery featuring four women in Paris who unravel the history of a fabulous diamond and emerald necklace once owned by Mata Hari and Josephine Baker.
Amy has been writing for many years and her work has appeared in The Montreal Gazette, The Sherbrooke Record, and thehairpin.com.
Amy holds a PhD in English literature from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and has worked at Canada’s national archives, Library and Archives Canada, for twenty years.
She lives in Ottawa with her husband, daughter and dog.
Is The Honeybee Emeralds on your TBR or have you read it?
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