Monday, May 6, 2013

The Mystery Woman by Amanda Quick

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.

I usually gravitate to Ms. Krentz books under her Jayne Castle pseudonym but for a historical The Mystery Woman wasn't bad. It's got Krentz's usual tricks, a forthright heroine and a hero with a dangerous past, but the story is still interesting to read. 

Beatrice's connection to her psychic abilities and Josh's vehemence that he doesn't have them is a familiar dynamic but one that works for me. I mean the book summary says a lot about what happens, so let me say in the end this was entertaining but not terrifically different from anything else Krentz has done. It was good enough that I've put the first book on hold at the library and will be checking back in with these characters in the future. If you like Krentz you should like this!

Overall Feeling - B

Series - 1) Crystal Gardens 2) The Mystery Woman