Cover Image: The Secret of the Lost Pearls

The Secret of the Lost Pearls

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Member Reviews

I thought the story or mystery was interesting. I felt the the story did have a very slow start. The writer accomplished their goal of sticking close to the stories plot. The story is a good read for the mystery sleuth readers. I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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I thoroughly enjoy the protagonist, Rosalind Thorpe. Her position in society is such that she has to be useful in order to make a living but her history is such that she is accepted into the circles of the privileged and is appreciated for her ability to discreetly assist. The storyline this time was complicated and so too intriguing. It's about so much more than locating a lost string of pearls. A real mix of characters and some unexpected twists and turns in this historical cosy mystery.,

It's Four out of Five on the enjoyment scale.

My thanks to the author, Kensington Books and #Netgalley for my advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review

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I really enjoyed this book! The Victorian era mystery had both an intriguing plot and engaging characters. I loved the author's writing style and will definitely be looking out for more books from her!

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Rosalind is asked by an old friend, Bethany, to investigate the disappearance of a family heirloom within her household. Everyone suspects her sister, Nora, who has recently returned after a "marriage" to a conman using the name Cantrell. But once as she grows more intimate with the household and its inhabitants, the more Rosalind suspects others in the house, as simultaneously learn more about Cantrell's other activities.

Rosalind is occasionally assisted by her friend, Adam, a Bow Street officer, with whom she has a budding relationship.

I expected to love this book, but I did not. Too many characters and too many subplots dumped on the reader too quickly. But bigger fans of Regency novels will undoubtedly adore it. Rosalind is a clever and memorable character. #TheSecretoftheLostPearls #NetGalley

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Rosalind Thorne may lack wealth and grand apartments, but she holds other assets almost as coveted — a keen eye, a knack for solving puzzles, and connections that spread far and wide. It is those merits that make her invaluable to the society ladies.

When a valuable pearl necklace goes missing, Bethany Hodgeson calls on her old friend Rosalind. Bethany’s husband blames her fallen sister, Nora, who scandalously eloped at sixteen and has returned three years later.

Using the guise of helping the young ladies of the house prepare for the London season, Rosalind utilizes her skills to investigate. Her discoveries soon reveal fraud, blackmail, and murder.

I’ve procrastinated writing this review unsure of how to pinpoint my thoughts, let alone express them. I can’t find anything particularly wrong with The Secret of the Lost Pearls. It was a fun, entertaining, but sadly “putdownable” tale. When I read, I found myself engaged by the characters and story, but as soon as I set it aside, I would leave it for days before returning. I didn’t find myself drawn back.

Darcie Wilde penned intriguing and likeable characters, yet I didn’t connect with them. I wish I could say why. Rosalind is the type of heroine I enjoy. I appreciated that she has a love interest, but romance plays a minor role in the book. The focus fell squarely on the case. The mystery itself offered a combination of things I saw coming and surprises. The pacing wasn’t fast, or too slow — perfect for something on the lighter, cozy side of mystery.

Despite being book six of a series I’ve never read, I didn’t feel lost or confused for a second. Wilde dropped me into this ongoing storyworld so seamlessly that I would have thought I’d been along for the adventure from the start.

In the end, the only thing I can come up with is timing. Maybe I, and not the book, was off. After all, Regency and mystery are two of my favorites, and Wilde’s writing style delivers everything one would expect from the genre and era. I will probably try picking up The Secret of the Lost Pearls again in the future to see if my experience is different. I can definitely see myself reading another book by this author.

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I didn't like some of the characters or content in this book at all, but I have to give the cover/graphics designer points for this beautiful and captivating cover that grabbed my eye! The art is quite lovely. Sad to say, the book's content did not match the gorgeous cover. There's a man in this book from the beginning that had such predatory thoughts and vibes that I wanted to retch. Many times there's characters like this in books that are portrayed as the villain they are, but this didn't seem to be the case here. I'll be searching for another spy/secret agent book elsewhere.
I received this e-book from the publisher through Netgalley and was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts above are my own.

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I enjoyed this story. The mystery kept me guessing and I look forward to more in the series.
I like the characters and the historical London setting.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I love the way this series is progressing. Seeing the growth of the characters is so rewarding as a reader. Looking forward to the next one.

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Rosalind Thorne is in a class of her own. While her family was wealthy enough to be regarded as gentry, her father disgraced them and left Rosalind penniless. She knows how society works and how to help the women who have gotten themselves into a compromising position. For a fee, she’s available to help. Of her problem-solving abilities and her discretion, it’s hard to know which is more important.

In her current case, a string of distinctive pearls has gone missing. Usually the blame would fall on a servant who would be promptly sacked and unable to get another job. Bethany’s pearls have disappeared. Her husband firmly believes Nora, Bethany’s disgraced sister, stole them which would create a bigger scandal than Nora’s previous indiscretion at age sixteen, of eloping with a man who previously showed attention to another woman.

Now, Nora says they married, and he’s since died. Bethany’s younger sisters are ready for their debut. Such a scandal as Nora’s would prevent the sisters from marrying well. Rosalind must find the pearls, the real thief, and smooth the way for the girls’ first season.

A complication is the pearls were left out overnight instead of being locked away which means anyone in the household could have taken them. One maid goes missing, Nora’s husband returns from the ‘dead’ and stalks her, and everyone has secrets. Rosalind will have a difficult time with this case since no one is telling the whole truth or sometimes any of the truth.

This is the sixth book in the series. I like Rosalind. She’s in a difficult position, gentry but not exactly, working but dependent on the money the women are able to give her without their husbands finding out. Luckily, Rosalind has friends in both the gentry and the working class who can be relied upon to help.

It’s refreshing to read about a time when there were no cell phones, no casual dress, and strict rules for behavior no one now would believe was a way of life. The women were strictly controlled by their husbands who controlled the money, yet some wives found a way to circumvent the rules. Not all of them got away with it.

Take a trip back in time and watch as Rosalind works miracles to save a family torn apart by lies, secrets, and even murder.

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Rosalind Thorne is a “most useful woman.” She helps those in need, whether it be locating something or making the necessary introductions. When an old friend asks for help with a delicate matter, Rosalind is ready to help. Locating a valuable pearl necklace shouldn’t be too difficult, but a family full of secrets on the edge of scandal is not a safe place to be. And the truth just might be more destructive than anyone can imagine.

Well, I didn’t know I was jumping into the middle of a series when I began reading this, so I was a bit confused at the start. I soon felt up to speed, though there were a few character interactions that left me confused. Rosalind’s creative solution to being an unmarried young woman was admirable and she excels at her choice of career.

The mystery itself was a tangle! Secrets everywhere! I guessed the solution early on, but didn’t really have any clues for the why. The narrative jumped around more than I personally liked. Some chapters followed Rosalind, others followed her maid, still others were with the secondary characters. It was a lot to keep track of.

Overall, I did enjoy it, though I would recommend it might be best enjoyed by readers who know what has come in the previous seven books.

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The Secret of the Lost Pearls is the 6th installment in author Darcie Wilde's serious one source is calling Rosalind Thorne Mysteries, while another is calling it the Useful Woman Mystery series. Take your pick. This story is set in the Regency era circa 1920. Timeline wise, it has been a month since King George III died, and the country is in mourning until the new King can be coronated. Series protagonist Rosalind Thorne is a lady of quality in reduced circumstances who makes her living as a “useful woman” – one who helps wealthy women with their personal problems.

Charming and resourceful, she is a woman adept at helping ladies of the ton navigate the darker corners of Regency England—without revealing Society’s most shocking secrets. This series is catnip for readers who love Regency mysteries by authors such as Andrea Penrose, Alyssa Maxwell, Deanna Raybourne, and Lauren Willig. Also appeals to readers who love Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and Conan Doyle, as well as their and the modern sequels, and those who want to explore the historical setting as well as the lives of the characters.

Mrs. Gerald Douglas, née Bethany Hodgeson, presents Rosalind with a particularly delicate predicament. A valuable pearl necklace has gone missing, and Bethany’s husband believes the thief is Nora, Bethany’s disgraced sister. Nora made a scandalous elopement at age sixteen and returned three years later, telling the family that her husband, a Man named Cantrell, was dead. But as Rosalind begins her investigations, under cover of helping the daughters of the house prepare for their first London season, she realizes that the family harbors even more secrets than scandals.

The intrigue swirling around the Douglases includes fraud, forgery, blackmail, and soon, murder. The family is a mess with a father who seems to be occupied elsewhere, a mother who is controlling, three sisters who all have secrets, and a wife who is trying to keep her family from falling apart. Rosalind, aided by charming Bow Street officer Adam Harkness, as well as lady's maid Amelia McGowan, to untangle the shocking truth and discover who is a thief—and who is a killer. At times, this story does have narratives from various characters including Adam who is apparently Rosalind's love interest in this story. Adam hasn't exactly been given levity when it comes to making mistakes that apparently happened in another story.

Rosalind Thorne is an excellent main character with wit, intelligence, and a heart of gold with a feistiness that makes her solve the crime. Societal problems and murder/mystery are included with questionable relations, family, and possible theft. She has her finger on the pulse of the London society, and has made some important contacts and friends along the way. Some of those friends play key roles in determining the outcome of this story. I would say that this is a standalone, but I am not one to recommend going back and trying reading the books in order as they were released.

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This was a pretty good mystery. I liked it and it was interesting but nothing colossal happened. I wasn’t even surprised when it revealed “who done it?” But many like this kind of mystery and I do as well at times, but I need a bit more surprises or gasp 😱 moments hahaha. Recommend to anyone who likes cozy mysteries, but it’s good for everyone.

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This series has gotten better and better as it has gone along. The Secret of the Lost Pearls is by far my favorite. I love how Rosalind Thorne's life and career are progressing. In the first few books, it felt like there were too many characters and too many directions. Now the series and Rosalind's life seem more streamlined and are hitting their stride.

Rosalind is a clever and unique character who does a wonderful job of discovering culprits and fitting in with the Ton.
This latest mystery she finds herself involved with is gripping, highly entertaining, and kept me guessing until the end.
I can't wait to see what adventures she finds herself involved in next.

Thank you, Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me an ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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The new cover style attracted me to trying out this series in its sixth installment and I may come back for more. I am a rabid historical romance reader who likes to mix in historical romance-mystery series too and sounded right up my alley. I'd compare this series to Andrea Penrose's "Wrexford & Sloane" books for the amount of romance, well-plotted mystery and fun secondary characters involved.

The love interest, Bow Street Runner Adam, was sadly missing for the first 60% of this book. His promised return is what kept me turning pages even as the mystery lagged in the first half. It really kicked into gear and held my attention after his return and now I'm curious about how these two met and what other mysteries they've solved together. I'm hoping our local library may have some audiobooks by Ms. Wilde that I can check out.

The Secret of the Lost Pearls starts out with a friendly investigation into a missing pearl necklace but Miss Rosalind Thorne quickly finds herself wrapped up in a far more interesting family drama, murder, art fraud and more. Was there ever a busier villain than Mr. Cantrell? I loved watching Rosalind and her "Scooby gang" untangle the many twisted threads of this mystery. It could definitely be the next Masterpiece mystery series.

Much thanks for the ARC opportunity to sample this series. Take it from me, you do not need to have read the first five books to enjoy this installment.

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Miss Rosalind Thorn is a “useful woman” that is, she has a knack for detective work. She makes a living discreetly solving thefts, murders and other crimes within the “ton” of 1820s London.

In this story, Rosalind is helping a friend find out who stole a pearl necklace from her bedroom. A simple crime turns into much more as Rosalind learns that just about everyone in the family has something to hide.

Overall, for me, this was just an OK story. If you need a book to escape into, love a good mystery and regency fiction, you’ll enjoy this one.

Note: This is book 6 in this series. My review is based on not having read the previous books.

Rating: 3/5 ⭐️
#TheSecretoftheLostPearls #DarcieWilde
*ARC courtesy of @NetGalley

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The Secret of the Lost Pearls introduced me to Rosalind Thorne who lived during Victorian time, in England. Once part of a grand family, while still retaining a name that means something, since the family money has run out. And we find out what is really, in a name, without means (money) as Rosalind finds she must discover ways to support the small family she left. To do so, she has solved multiple "problems' ', mysteries that people want to keep quiet and that the police have not been able to solve. Having been called by a friend from her youth to solve the mystery of pearls that have gone missing, when she arrives to stay at the family home of Bethany Douglas, under the guise of helping Bethany’s husband’s sister, Penelope, be presented to the best of society, there are a few suspects to choose from close at hand as all who are family to the victim are those that are suspects.

Well, all are suspects, to Rosalind, when it comes to the family, most have named Nora, Bethany’s younger sister (but, in the middle of three sisters), the culprit when Rosalind arrives at the family home. Since Nora has harmed the family in the past, by eloping with Bethany’s husband, Mr. Douglas's former friend, Cantrell, causing great damage, she, of course, has been judged and convicted. And while this is only because of how she has acted formerly, in the past, Rosalind cannot completely dismiss Nora as the criminal as the woman needs some way to survive in the world because Nora cannot take the kindness or, more likely, the abuse, of living at the family home, forever. And, as Nora is only back in the home because Cantrell had passed away and, when he pops up at the home, threatening if he does not get his wife back, Nora’s guilt only seems greater because of all her lies.

This means to solve the mystery of where the pearls are Bethany must first unravel the mystery of Nora and Cantrell, what really happened between the pair, how they supported themselves when they were gone together, as a married couple, why Nora left, and why Cantrell came back. As that is not much of a mystery, why the husband is back for Nora, as he, when they eloped, tried to blackmail them, why Nora came home, why the pair parted and Nora lied to the family, Nora has left many unanswered questions that need to come to light. But, it seems, Nora will stay closed mouth forever, Bethany having to figure a way to find out all the answers elsewhere, before the family and Cantrell seal her fate and Nora is left to her demise, which may be total banishment from the family home. If this happens Nora has absolutely nowhere to go and Cantrell has only ever been in Nora’s life to use and abuse her.

Yet there are other members of the family that could be the culprit, as they all take their own unique place in the madness of the display they put on for Rosalind, when she first meets them and as she spends time living in their home, among them. There is Bethany’s father, Mr. Hodgeson, who sees her daughter married to a man who has had a good inheritance and, as a man, Mr.Hodgeson, on the other hand, has only lost whatever he gained. The father now has to depend on his daughter's husband’s generosity to live and continue to provide for his household. And, he still has an unwed daughter, Mariah (the youngest sister), that lives with them. At times he appears very angry even when watching family scenes that should bring one joy.

Nora’s little sister Mariah, is a fierce protector of her sister but quiet and seemingly lost, when it comes to what she knows of herself. As she never thought her family to be in a place to present her to society, just as Mr. Douglas did not think to have an inheritance to do this for his sister Penelope, because Mr. Douglas inherited money unexpectedly, they are both looking to Rosalind to solve their family’s problems, the other issue, Mariah and Penelope’s introduction to “grand society”. And, while the pearls are important, the girls' presentation to society, so that they may one day marry and find the protection Mr.Hodgson has not been able to bring as a man, must take center stage and planning. Rosalind finds she has her hands full with the two families both at war in the one household and helping the girls get the very best futures possible. In the end, Bethany’s greatest hope and Rosalind’s real job is the preservation of the two families, and their happiness together. But, can that ever happen in this madhouse? (Mad, in many more ways than one).

The Secret of the Lost Pearls by Darcy Wilde is a book in the Useful Women series, finally, the title of a series that I love. And it is the perfect definition of Rosalind Thorne and how she makes her way in a world where women are supposed to be seen and not heard. I have never read of a woman who walked that tightrope so delicately, when they were meant to be only arm candy, becoming so much more, however delicate or however dangerous, the problem solved. Thorne finds a way to flush out what needs to be discovered, whatever that may be. Here, it is the missing pearls that need to be found and in all that Thorne does in this household in disarray, she helps the most, in putting it back into some form of family, she does that best here, in the Douglas/ Hodgeson home where everyone has their own agenda and rarely does one look out for the whole. In the end, readers may be surprised who is the real victim here, in Wilde’s historical mystery.

Happy Reading!

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I really love this series. I started reading regency romance books in high school and the moved on to other ares and mystery is one of my favorites so this is the perfect mix. This is a great book, well written and great historical aspects. I set down and just ket reading until it was done. I loved it!
I just reviewed The Secret of the Lost Pearls by Darcie Wilde. #TheSecretoftheLostPearls #NetGalley
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I had no idea this book was part of a series when I requested to read it, but now aftrer finishing and totally enjoying it, I may have to go back to the first in the series so I can see just how Rosaling came to be a "most useful woman".
When Rosalind is approached by an old acquaintance, Bethany, who is seeking her help in finding a thief, thus proviing Bethany's sister, Nora did not steal a valuable string of pearls. Bethany is desparate to prove Nora's innocence and save her from being cast out of the home by Bethany's husband, Gerald.
There is much more going on in this story than simply the stealing of a pearl necklace. Along with Bethany and her sister Nora, Rosalind encounters a whole cast of suspicious characters, from a mother who likes to push her "herbal remedies" on everyone and is convinced that only she can save her family, to a father who hates everyone in the household and a husband or maybe not a husband who is supposed to be dead walking through the door.
You never know what is going to happen next in this attention grabing, twist and turn of a mystery. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon by the fire, with the fast pace, livley conversation and never ending secrets, this one holds the reader's attention to the end.
Thank you to Kensington Books and to Net Galley for the free ARC, I am leaving my honest review in return.

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.After a bit of a slow start, this Regency tale picked up speed and twists, to come to a satisfying conclusion.

Heiresses. A disgraced and compromised sister. A lost necklace. Murder. Mayhem. Twists and turns. Ballrooms. Bow Street Runners. My goodness there was so much to process.

I have not read Darcie Wilde before this book, and now feel like I should take a look at her other works. Although this book began slowly, the second half rocked right along. I enjoyed the book and it's only 4 stars since the beginning was slow.

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I am obsessed with historical mysteries and love the British best of all!

This series is fabulous and this latest addition holds everything I love! A strong heroine who helps negotiate society to help others, wonderful characters, humor and a romance lurking with the man who helps her solve the mystery.

This author has become one of my favorites and cannot wait for the next in this series!!

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