City of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn
Rating: 4 Stars
Description: It's the early 1920s and famed aviatrix and widow Evangeline "Evie" Starke gets a photograph in the mail of her late husband. What is disturbing is this isn't a photograph she's seen. This is her husband as with a few extra lines on her face - a man who is older but who shouldn't be older. Desperate to find answers Evie heads to Damascus with her aunt, Lady Dove, the famous Victorian explorer and her aunt's annoying parrot. She finds herself in the middle of an archaeological treasure hunt and a chase through the desert. But can she trust the man who hurt her especially since he's been supposed to be dead these last 5 years?
Pros: I have read one of Raybourn's mystery novels and had been impressed with how richly detailed the background and atmosphere was. This did not disappoint in this book, Evie was both a fearless daredevil and a hurt vulnerable woman who was struggling to find her footing through most of the book in a way that felt natural. This was far more of an adventure novel than a romance which to me wasn't a negative. It felt a bit like a better plotted Indiana Jones movie in novel form. There was some discussion on the political details in the region following World War 1 but not enough to get bogged own in details.
Cons: I wish that Lady Dove had played a greater role in the story. I thought she was an interesting character and she got sidelined for most of the book. The ending felt a little rushed and messy with a time period of months being squished into less than 50 pages. These are all pretty minor complaints and did not affect my enjoyment of the book.
Overall: This was fun unique read. I liked all the characters very much and loved their dash through the desert.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes there's a prequel novella that I'll probably buy today in fact!
Would I Recommend this Book?: Definitely!