This evening, the group met to discuss The Great Pearl Heist by Molly Caldwell Crosby. As it turned out, we had a lot of the same reactions to the book, so my summary here won’t be very long:
- Everyone said it was a quick read, and that the setting and time period details were very interesting.
- However, everyone also felt the overall book was a “meh.”
- Elaborating on that last comment, readers pointed out a lot of the details in the book that they enjoyed. For example, the author’s research really made the setting come alive. Readers enjoyed learning about life during that time period, and found some details to be really interesting. For example, one person pointed out that she enjoyed reading about how at that time, there were no photo IDs, so people could easily change their names, and travel to other countries pretty easily. We also talked about the profiling that was being done at the time, and how difficult it could be to solve crimes like the pearl heist.
- Readers also liked learning about the pearls, and pearl diving. They also appreciated that at the end of the book, the author followed up on the various people involved — that we could learn about what happened to them (for better or for worse).
- The one thing that readers mentioned, though, was that they did not feel connected to the people in the book. One person said she felt that the “Holmes versus Moriarty” aspect was played up, but when she was reading, she didn’t feel that the two men were as much like those characters as she had hoped.
- One reader commented that he would have enjoyed the book more if there had been details left until the end (revealed in court, etc), making more of a mystery for the reader to solve. He felt it was a bit too chronological, and this made it less exciting.
- Overall, readers agreed that this might have been a better book if it were fiction — but because some details cannot be known (or proved), that the author was somewhat restricted by the truth.
We welcome more discussion, so please feel free to add a comment (or two)!