MINI-REVIEW: Smoke in Mirrors (Jayne Ann Krentz)

April 10, 2017 Book Reviews 6 ★★★★

MINI-REVIEW: Smoke in Mirrors (Jayne Ann Krentz)Smoke in Mirrors on January 7, 2002
Pages: 272
Purchase: Amazon
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Charming, seductive scam artist Meredith is dead, and the job of proving that death was no accident is left to Leonora Hutton, who has always been there when Meredith needed her. Thomas Walker has something to prove about Meredith, too -- that the million-dollar inheritance she left Leonora was embezzled from a college endowment fund entrusted to his brother. He gives Leonora two choices: Turn the money over to him or be named an accomplice to Meredith's crime. Leonora makes the blackmail mutual. To gain her cooperation, Thomas must help her investigate Meredith's death, which shows some uncanny similarities to the supposed suicide of Thomas's brother's wife, who had also worked in the campus building known as Mirror House. Their first clue is a folder of clippings about an unsolved murder in Mirror House 30 years ago, so academic librarian Leonora secures a job cataloging the building's vast collection of antique mirrors and books about them, to search for reflections of that past case in their present situation.

Smoke in Mirrors tells of a looking-glass world, where academic jealousy, murderous rage, and deadly passion are superimposed, and nothing is as it seems.

Quick Review

I really enjoyed Smoke in Mirrors. Leonora and Thomas are both interesting characters. Leonora’s loyalty to her friend Meredith’s memory isn’t naive or deluded; she understands clearly who and what Meredith was, but she will doggedly pursue answers about Meredith’s death anyway. Thomas is a craftsman but also an investment whiz; his loyalty to his brother is as strong as Leonora’s to Meredith. That similarity of character — a deep-seated loyalty — is an important part of why their relationship works. The supporting characters fit well within the story, and I enjoyed Deke and Cassie’s romance. On the mystery side, this one is typical Krentz (in a good way): Plenty of twists and misdirection kept me guessing right up until the end.


About Jayne Ann Krentz

author photo of Jayne Ann Krentz (2018 photo by Marc von Borstel)

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.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • The Backlist Reader (TBR) Challenge 2016

6 Responses to “MINI-REVIEW: Smoke in Mirrors (Jayne Ann Krentz)”

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Krentz was my gateway into contemporary romantic suspense. It’s due to reading her that I gave Nora Roberts a try, and fell in love with her books too. (By contemporary, I mean books by authors writing now about characters living now. I had discovered the earlier writers Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and Phyllis Whitney in high school in the 1970s, though the only one of those I still reread is Mary Stewart.)

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I’m glad I could help you identify it! It’s so frustrating when you know you liked a book, but you can’t remember what it was. (I do that with music, too.)