Saturday, 16 February 2019

The Palace of the Stars (The Harker Investigates Mysteries #1) by Karina McRoberts

I am a lover of historical fiction if it is factual and The Palace of the Stars did not disappoint. I found my self constantly going to Google to discover more about the time and place this story is set. (This was before I discovered the author kindly included an impressive historical summary at the back of the book.) In fact, Mcroberts raises some little-known social issues of the time.

I am not a lover of time travel, but this is not full of gadgetry and science – just a mysterious portal that adds to the mystery and romance of the story.

I am also not a reader of romance unless, like Palace of the Stars, it is a part of the storyline, not the focus of the story.

I’ve always loved a mystery, adventure and intrigue and Palace of the Stars delivers these qualities in many respects – dappled with a little humour.

Michael Harker, a former policeman is staying in York, Western Australia with middle aged bookshop owner, Mari, while he convalesces. During an earthquake that shakes the shop a portal is revealed and Mike travels back to 1904.

A key character is the charming theatre owner, JT Gordon who befriends Michael and introduces him to Mae, a beautiful dancer and magician.

Together they must solve the mystery of who is killing travellers to the gold fields before Mike returns to the present. Will Mae be willing to go with him? The ending surprised me but was historically factual.

The characters are very likeable although Michael did annoy me at the beginning, but he still had a way to go with his soul healing.

Palace of the Stars transports the reader effortlessly into the past where we meet an eclectic mix of characters. It is an enjoyable, easy to read escapist story.

This book was provided to me for free for an honest and unbiased review.

My rating 4*

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