The Yellow Diamond

Michelle Grahame

Publisher: AuthorHouse Pages: 270 Price: (paperback) $15.71 ISBN: 9781728374796 Reviewed: May, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

In this Regency mystery and romance, a 28-year-old widow protects her ward’s dowry but loses her heart to a marquis.

Amanda Fletcher arrives at the home of the dowager Marchioness of Coverdale with her charges, Rosalie and Sir Piers Abbot, to prepare for Rosalie’s first London season. Having received anonymous notes demanding the return of Rosalie’s dowry—a flawless, 63-carat yellow diamond—to its “rightful” owner, Amanda asks the Marchioness’s son, Justin, to safeguard the gem.

A mutual attraction grows between Amanda and Justin, but there’s a serious impediment to a future together. Meanwhile, although Rosalie glitters in society, she’s drawn to a mystery man closer to home whose identity—and motivations—she struggles to discover.

Incidents and excitement abound, from a masked ball and an abduction to dramatic family reunions, and Regency fans will enjoy descriptions of dress, décor, London concerts and a harvest feast in the Essex countryside.

But despite the novel’s likeable characters and flashes of wry humor, its core mystery—who is sending the chilling notes, and why?— is rather thin; in a Jane Austen novel, the issue would have been resolved with a single, well-written letter. Additionally, postponed revelations substitute for true suspense: Characters halt important conversations to repair to another room for privacy—or put them off to another date and location entirely. In one instance, Justin is cut off as he’s about to reveal the identity of the note sender; Amanda thinks he looks tired, so the conversation is tabled until the next day.

Frequent typographical errors make for bumpy reading, as do occasional anachronisms, wrong words (e.g. “I counselled most venously [sic] against it”), and awkward writing: “I believe Lord Benedict has visited the music room and spoken to Rosalie. In fact, I know it is so, because she told me.”

In sum, this book requires revision to be fully enjoyable.

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