The Mystery Woman, by Amanda Quick

July 18, 2013 Book Reviews 4 ★★★★

The Mystery Woman, by Amanda QuickThe Mystery Woman by Amanda Quick
Series: Ladies of Lantern Street #2
Published by Putnam on April 23, 2013
Genres: Historical Romance, Paranormal romantic suspense, Romantic suspense
Pages: 357
Format: Hardcover
Source: the library
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Garden of Lies, 'Til Death Do Us Part

Beatrice Lockwood, one of the intrepid ladies of Lantern Street, is in the middle of a case when her past comes back to haunt her. Joshua North, a former spy for the Crown, has come out of a self-imposed retirement after a disastrous case that left him scarred and forced to use a cane. He is hunting the villain who is blackmailing his sister.

The trail leads him to Beatrice who is his chief suspect. But when he realizes that she is not the blackmailer they set out to find the real extortionist. Passion flares between them as they dodge a professional assassin. Meanwhile a mysterious scientist intent on resurrecting his dead lover using an ancient Egyptian formula for preserving the bodies of the dead is also hunting Beatrice. He is keeping his dead love perfectly preserved in a special, crystal-topped sarcophagus filled with the special fluid. But he needs Beatrice's paranormal talent to activate the reviving properties of the preservative in the coffin. Time is running out for everyone involved.

The two cases collide at a mysterious country-house filled with artifacts from ancient Egyptian tombs. The drama concludes in the mad scientist's laboratory where Joshua discovers that the past he thought was dead is still very much alive -- sort of.

Review

Amanda Quick delivers another gripping paranormal romantic suspense novel set in 19th-century England.  The Mystery Woman feature Beatrice Lockwood, a secondary character in Crystal Gardens and an agent employed by Flint & Marsh of Lantern Street.  Like the firm’s other agents, Beatrice possesses a paranormal sense, in her case the ability to perceive the energies in others’ psychic footprints.

Joshua North, a former agent for the Crown, doesn’t believe in psychic phenomena — or in love.  He has come out of retirement in pursuit of Beatrice, whom he believes is a fraud now intent on blackmailing his sister.  Once he accepts that Beatrice is not guilty of the latter crime, at least, Joshua turns his attention to the question of who is, and why — all the while fighting his attraction to Beatrice.

The plot of The Mystery Woman is satisfyingly complex, with plenty of twists and turns.  Quick effectively weaves the paranormal elements with the historical setting, taking full advantage both of the era’s fascination with psychic abilities and its mania for all things Egyptian.  Beatrice is a typical Quick heroine: resourceful, determined, and willing to step outside the conventions which traditionally hemmed in “the fairer sex.”  Joshua is less straightforward; he hides much of his past from Beatrice, and his own psychic ability from himself.  I really enjoyed the interactions between them, particularly as things began to heat up a bit — not just between them but in terms of danger and intrigue.

I can almost always count on Amanda Quick (a.k.a. Jayne Ann Krentz) for several hours of sheer suspenseful fun punctuated by a bit a of romance.  The Mystery Woman delivers.  I enjoyed this book nearly as much as her Arcane Society novels.

four-stars

About Amanda Quick

AMANDA QUICK is a pen name of Jayne Ann Krentz. The author of over 40 consecutive New York Times bestsellers, JAYNE ANN KRENTZ writes romantic-suspense, often with a psychic and paranormal twist, in three different worlds: Contemporary (as Jayne Ann Krentz), historical (as Amanda Quick) and futuristic (as Jayne Castle). There are over 30 million copies of her books in print.

She earned a B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to obtain a Masters degree in Library Science from San Jose State University in California. Before she began writing full time she worked as a librarian in both academic and corporate libraries.

Ms. Krentz is married and lives with her husband, Frank, in Seattle, Washington.

Pseudonyms: Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, Stephanie James, Jayne Bentley, Jayne Taylor, Amanda Glass.

4 Responses to “The Mystery Woman, by Amanda Quick”

  1. Herding Cats - Burning Soup

    Oh I LOVE her books. When I first found her a couple years ago I devoured them. It’s been a while since I’ve picked one up though. I’d just been thinking I need to try another. Think I’ll pick this one up. Has a great cover too! Thanks for the nudge Lark!

  2. kimbacaffeinate

    Here Arcane novels are my favorites too, delightful review! I love what this author delivers and agree it is always a good read.