Wednesday, January 29, 2014

review: THE MYSTERY WOMAN by Amanda Quick

THE MYSTERY WOMAN
by Amanda Quick aka Jayne Ann Krentz
Series: Ladies of Lantern Street #2
Penguin: Putnam Adult
Released: April 23, 2013
Source: Bookstore
Page Count: 357

Rating: Liked It

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.

My Thoughts
With Krentz's Arcane series, I tended to put up with the historical installments under the Amanda Quick pseudonym because they were part of the series. Historical is not a genre that I generally enjoy. There is too much formality, especially with the era featured in The Mystery Woman. That is why I am not rating this book overly high - it's just not something that I enjoy reading as much as my regular genres.

We were introduced to Beatrice in Crystal Gardens, yet The Mystery Woman does not touch much upon Evangeline the third friend in their trio, except in the very last chapter. I found that to be a little odd and had rather hoped to read at least a little about them.

The story was formulaic, although this is not entirely surprising as most of Krentz's books read the same way. What makes some of them stand out over the others is the characters, and I did not find myself falling for any of the characters in The Mystery Woman.

At the end of the day, I would only recommend this book for hardcore fans of Krentz's paranormal stories. Otherwise, it is rather forgettable and does not serve as a tie-in with any other books.

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