Title: The Palace of the Stars, Harker Investigates Mystery 1
Author: Karina McRoberts
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Time-Travel Romance
Time travel adventure, romance, and mystery! This richly realised and highly evocative novel will appeal to crime, mystery, and romance readers alike.
In 2014, Michael Harker, rookie ex-cop, has been badly beaten but is determined to re-invent himself as a crime fighter. While convalescing with the spry, quirky bookshop owner Mari Linden, an earthquake opens a time portal and Mike finds himself over a hundred years in the past. He befriends JT Gordon, the magnanimous impresario of The Palace of the Stars, a grand musical hall theatre. Mike battles with strange shifts in consciousness, sleepwalking, restrictive dress standards, and the strict morals of the time. And, his love for a beautiful dancer and stage musician, Mae Belle. Mae has a strange bond to her on-stage magic partner, the mysterious Chan Li. Her off-stage lover? The mother of his young children? She says no, but Mike hears otherwise. Should he stay or go back? Can he go back? Does he have any right to take Mae with him, even if he can convince her he's not a nut case? Before Mike can sort out this dilemma, Mae begs him to solve a series of gruesome murders. Mike joins with his friends from the Palace to trap the murderer, but realises no justice will be done and he must make a horrible choice. In the present day, Mari must deal with a cunning book thief and a bureaucrat who would shut down her shop. If the building's condemned, the portal will close and Mike will never be able to return!
Welcome to the Palace - you're in for a treat!
A wonderfully written supernatural mystery that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. It starts off in an energetic, chaotic fashion that immediately grabs attention. The reader feels for Mari, and wonders what is going on with Michael. I, for one, never expected the portal.
Rare is the author who can engage effectively in duality. Telling the story of Mari in the present and of Mike in the past at the same time. . . brilliant! I was never confused which is the danger of this written approach.
Michael finding himself and love in 1904 was the most incredible part of the book. I loved the intricate details of history and the growing connection with Mae. I was brought to tears with the tragedy in 1904. I was blown away beyond comprehension by the end of the book!
This is one of the best books I have ever read and highly recommend to everyone!
My Rating: 5+ stars
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Karina lives on a rural property outside the historic town of York, Western Australia. She and her husband are converting the block from degraded farmland to natural paradise.
Once a scientist, and forever interested, Karina is now a writer, musician, painter, theatre producer, and workshop presenter. She writes to give joy, entertainment, and enlightenment. All things she finds can be lacking in the everyday lives of many people. She wants to put some of the “magic” back!
Karina is intensely interested in history and social change, in particular, the people and stories not headlined in standard take. The scope of human consciousness is another focus of her writing.
Social Media Links:
Author website: leela5chelandra.wixsite.com/chelandra
Reviewed by: Mr. N