Happy December. I can’t believe 2016 is almost over already!
Alice Jones: The Ghost Light is coming out next month (5 January!) and I thought it might be fun to ‘lift the curtain’ and share some of the things that inspired me while I was writing this mystery.
In her second case, Alice investigates a possible haunting at an old theater. While looking into the theater’s history, Alice discovers a fabulous diamond necklace went missing the same night a fire nearly destroyed the building. The necklace was called The Midnight Star, and it was never found.
I looked at a lot of pictures of famous necklaces while I was plotting The Ghost Light, but the second I saw The Patiala Necklace, I knew I’d found ‘the one’.
The Patiala Necklace was designed by Cartier for Maharajah Bhupinder Singh in 1928. It took three years and 2930 diamonds to create (962.25 carats of diamond!). The square yellow (tobacco colored for you fancy people) diamond pendant is the De Beers diamond and is the seventh largest diamond in the world.
It is a stunningly beautiful bib of jewels and I was entranced the moment I saw it. But, as I did more research, I discovered there was another reason to be inspired.
Like The Midnight Star in Alice Jones: The Ghost Light, The Patiala Necklace mysteriously disappeared from the royal family’s treasury in 1948. No one knows who took the necklace (or if the family sold it off on the quiet), but it resurfaced in a second-hand jewelers in London in 1998. All of the large gems had been removed from their settings. Cartier bought the necklace and spent the next two years restoring it to its former glory.
Like Alice, I spend a lot of time wondering just where the Patiala Necklace WAS for all that time. And how did it come to be in that second hand jewelers? It makes me wonder about all the other missing treasures out in the world: Where are they hiding right now? And who will find them? Maybe, it will be me.