The Honeybee Emeralds by Amy Tector
Published by Keylight Books
Publication date: March 29, 2022
Genres: Debut, Fiction, Historical
The Honeybee Emeralds is about a young woman working at a Parisian magazine who discovers a gorgeous necklace in the pocket of an old coat. Is it real? Who did it belong to? The hunt is on in this fun, light novel.
The magazine Alice interns at is failing fast, as evidenced by the fact that the heat has been off in the building for weeks. She and a surly neighbor are navigating a labyrinth of hallways in the ancient building’s basement when the power goes out. In her panic Alice runs and when the lights finally come back on she finds herself in what seems to be Aladdin’s cave of gorgeous clothes. It is in fact an old costume storage room for the long defunct theater upstairs.
Time to digress. Alice finding herself in a room overflowing with dresses, jewelry, and shoes, is a fantasy of mine. Looking for treasure in my grandparents’ attic was a favorite pastime of mine as a child. Then, discovering a necklace dripping with diamonds and huge emeralds in the shape of a bee? Yes! Alice shares the find with the magazine’s editor, Lily, who immediately sees it as an opportunity to save the dying magazine by researching the necklace and publishing a huge attention-getting cover story about it. She enlists the help of an art appraiser friend and the magazine’s publisher and they all begin trying to identify the necklace. Deadlines, unethical competitors, famous French celebrities of the 1920s, and family secrets all come together to give The Honeybee Emeralds its pace.
Even though much of this novel is dreamy for me, there are issues. Many of the descriptions in the book are wonderful, but if I had to read about Alice biting her lip and blushing one more time, I was going to smack her (not really). That and some of the other characters’ back stories gave the story an uneven feel—missteps that editing could have resolved because the bones of the story are good. All of which is to say, The Honeybee Emeralds is not literature, but is a fun, snack for anyone needing a break from heavier reading. A quick vacation novel.
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