Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: The Mystery Woman by Amanda Quick

The Mystery Woman
by Amanda Quick
Series: Ladies of Lantern Street #2
Publisher: Penguin
Publication date: April 23, 2013
Genre: Adult Historical Romantic Suspense
Source: Purchased
Purchase* Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
My review of book one: Crystal Gardens


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.
Can I just have a fangirl moment? Squee! This is one of my favorite authors and one whom I would love to meet and share a coffee with. Amanda Quick is one of Jayne Anne Krentz’s pen names and the other is Jayne Castle. I adore her books in all three genres; historical, contemporary and futuristic. The Mystery Woman is the second book in the Ladies of Lantern Street and Quick truly delivered. The tale is filled with spies, mystery, romance and danger all wrapped in a little paranormal woo-woo. Set in historical London I quickly slid into the world and its characters. Three word review: Suspenseful, romantic, captivating.

The Ladies of Lantern Street work for a private investigation company and its employees are mostly female. These trained women often disguise themselves as companions as they solve cases and protect young woman. Beatrice Lockwood is on case to protect a young lady from a fortune hunter when she encounters Joshua North, a former spy for the crown. He assists her and then informs her he has been searching for her. Beatrice has a secret past and it’s all about to catch up with her when she is suspected of blackmail and murder. When Joshua interviews her, he quickly realizes all is not as it seems and together the two must find the blackmailer and stop a madman.

The ladies of Lantern Street are bright, feisty and witty. They each possess some kind of paranormal talent and I found them fascinating. Beatrice is clever and her ability to see emotional footprints and access situations was believable and interesting. Her fiery red hair matches her witty and sometimes snarky personality. Joshua North has been recovering from injuries he suffered during his last case. He has been melancholy and suffers from both physical scars and emotional ones due to the accident. He is tall, angular and while not classically handsome his strong presence draws the female eye. Meeting Beatrice and working this case has given him a new vigor for life. The banter and slow building romance was quite good and I found myself rooting for them. The mad scientist and his obsession with an ancient Egyptian formula added suspense to the tale. The assassin was positively creepy and learning about him as he pursued them was quite fun. We briefly see the other ladies of Lantern Street and their employers. I enjoy this group and I am looking forward to more tales.

One of the things I love about Quick (Krentz) is that she knows how to spin a captivating tale. She carefully weaves all of the threads together at a beautiful pace that allows the reader to completely immerse themselves in the world and characters. Time and time again she gives me that book high I so desperately chase. I found the mystery and Beatrice’s part in it quite clever and the mix of Egyptian mythology added to the paranormal woo-woo of this tale and felt genuine. There were quite a few twists in the mystery and while a part of me suspected, it wasn't until close to the end that I was sure. The romance was splendid, built slowly and had moments of humor and sweetness. We do get a little heat and it was hot but discreetly done. Each of these books contain one mystery and one romance and I look forward to the next ladies story.

I highly recommend The Mystery Woman to fans of historical romantic suspense and mystery wrapped in paranormal woo-woo. Crystal Gardens was the first book in this series, and the third is expected in 2014. Amanda Quick is on my auto buy list and I've read almost everything written by Jayne Anne Krentz and her pseudonyms.

Four and half cups of coffee out of five
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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62 Comments:

At July 17, 2013 at 8:44 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ha...i can not help myself I am a total fan girl over all three :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:44 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

it was quite good Diana:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:44 PM , Anonymous Diana Leigh said...

Wow, the mad scientist story line is verrry interesting!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:44 PM , Anonymous GRgenius said...

Love the fan girl nature of the post and wow...I did not know those three were one in the same person. See...you learn something new every day. ^-^

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:44 PM , Anonymous Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf said...

I have not...I'm debating making 2014 the No review book year where I only read what I want to read so I can catch up! I only have time to read 1-2 books a week & just can't keep up with everything now:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:44 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I adore her, have you read the Arcane Society?

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:44 PM , Anonymous Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf said...

I haven't read this author in ages...I put her aside for fear of finishing all her books and going into serious withdrawl...but now I think I have let more than enough of ner newer books pile up!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:45 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

sweet, another fan:) but I am not surprised since you like a mix of genres like me!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:45 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I will look for your review :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:45 PM , Anonymous Aurian said...

Yes! It is so rare to find another fan of all three pennames! I so love her books. I have about 20 of the older Krentzes to go, and I try to safe them for when I need a pick-me-up book. I loved this one a lot.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:45 PM , Anonymous Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

I forgot to say that my review goes up on Thursday!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:45 PM , Anonymous Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

I'll second Kimba's recommendation of the Arcane Society novels. They are what got me started on Krentz (under all her names.)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:45 PM , Anonymous Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

Great review, Kimba! You already know I'm a fellow Krentz/Quick/Castle fangirl! I really liked this one; she had a few books that weren't quite up to the usual standard (though still fun), but the last few have definitely been good. She's on my autobuy list, too.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:45 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ha...no I love the cover too:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:45 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I totally love her Arcane Society novels, they are paranormal mysteries with a side dish of romance and suspense. It is written under all three names and starts with Second Sight.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous Pnrurbfantasyreviews said...

You know I have several books by this author and never knew she used a pen name, thanks to you, I DO NOW! I haven't started any of her books, but they look good and the covers have always caught my eye, hence why I own some of her books o.o :D

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous Jennifer Bielman said...

Is it sad that I want this book just because of the little gun she is holding? I have a weird thing for little guns, lol. great review.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Hope you try it Heidi:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I am glad you are trying new genres. I am behind on Dexter..lol

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous Heidi said...

Smoking hot cover! Love it! I like that each character has their own unique talent, kind of like the Wird Girls. I've got to check this out!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous Bella's Shelf said...

This looks gooood my friend! Because of you I have ventured into other styles of books I rarely read in the past. Especially the romances! I like JAK a lot too. I will def check out mystery woman :) I got a book a few weeks ago recommended to me the gal helping me set up my hosted wp from GoDaddy and it was really cool. A book I would of NEVER read otherwise.
Are you keeping up w/Dexter?

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

hahaha...yeah it makes me giggle every time I write it, and so when I can..i do! LOL

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I read all of her historical which led me to the Arcane Society series and her other names..favorite series ever.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Enjoy, this was fantastic!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh you and I like a lot of the same things..and my favorite series by her is the Arcane Society, the first book is under Amanda Quick, but she also writes some of the books under her other names as the series goes from past to present to future. The first book is Second Sight :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

SWEET! i hope the audio version is good too:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Candace while it's historical in setting the case and mystery and romance aren't bogged down by historical details and the pace is fab.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

hahaha....me too Brandi it makes for an exciting read!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

she is a complete sweetie! My favorite series which uses all of her names is the Arcane Society and begins with book one by Quick called Second Sight..i cannot say enough good things about her or the series..total friggin' fangirl here!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Jenea it was the perfect blend.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I love all of them. Krentz is contemporary, Quick historical and Castle futuristic. I adore her Arcane Society books...she uses all three names and some are trilogies within the series but really all can be read as a standalone. The first book is Second Sight under Quick and was my first intro to this author and paranormal novels.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I love her too:) I think I did :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:52 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

oooh excited for you!! Enjoy!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:52 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

you are welcome, this author is auto-buy for me under all of her names:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:52 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh, thank you *blushes*

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:52 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Trish, it was a fun ride!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:52 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

yeah I like the little paranormal element mixed in

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:52 PM , Anonymous Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh I do enjoy these kind of books. So putting this series on my wishlist. I do have to laugh... I loved the phrase, "paranormal woo-woo"! :D

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:52 PM , Anonymous Blodeuedd said...

I read a few quick books like 10 years ago and I do remember enjoying them :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:52 PM , Anonymous Tanja said...

Oh I haven't seen this name in a while. My mother is a great fan of Amanda's novels and I actually enjoyed one or two. I haven't heard of this one but if I find it at the library I'll pick it for sure. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! Great review :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:52 PM , Anonymous Andrea @The Bookish Babe said...

Suspenseful and captivating sounds like a win to me! I'm not familiar with this series but I've heard of the author. And I definitely wouldn't mess with that chick on the cover! Great review, Kim.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:52 PM , Anonymous candacerobinson said...

I love "bright,
feisty and witty" so that bit gets my attention! I didn't know all those authors are the same person, holy cow~ she's a busy lady!
I don't often pick up historical romance but this sounds like one series I should!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:52 PM , Anonymous thegeekyblogger said...

I have this one on audiobook to review! Can't freaking wait :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:52 PM , Anonymous brandileigh2003 said...

I love some fiesty ladies!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM , Anonymous Barbara Walker said...

The synopsis sounds so creepy! I wouldn't have expected it of a Quick, but I guess I haven't been keeping track of her for a while. It sounds like something I'd love, especially Beatrice. Fantastic review!


Side note: I was looking for a book and unsure of the author (pulling my hair out). I wrote to four different authors, asking if rang any bells, if it might be one of theirs and the only one who wrote back to me was Jayne Ann Krentz. She wrote a lovely email saying the book wasn't one of hers, giving me a couple of suggestions and thanking me for being such a passionate reader. I think it was one of the first times I'd written to an author and I wanted to print it out and frame it. :D

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM , Anonymous Jenea Whittington said...

A mystery with paranormalcy to it too, and great characters, sounds good to me. Great review. :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM , Anonymous Debbie Haupt said...

Great review, I love her Kim. I hope you got to see my interview with her about this book.
deb

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM , Anonymous Liviania said...

I've only read Quick writing as Krentz, but I enjoyed the ones I read. I do need to catch up on my romance reading.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM , Anonymous Silvia @ Darkest Sins said...

I'm lucky then, I got Crystal Gardens to review from the UK Publisher and hearing such enthusiasm about this series makes me really excited to read it!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM , Anonymous Nick said...

Great review, Kim! This sounds so much like my kind of book! Plus, I adore that cover.
I'm also quite intrigued by how the author incorporated Egyptian mythology into her book. And the romance sounds perfectly well-written!
Can't wait to meet the cast! I hadn't heard of this before, so thanks for sharing! :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM , Anonymous Vilia said...

On to my TBR pile it goes - you haven't led me wrong yet :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM , Anonymous Trish Hannon said...

Sounds cool and exactly the way I like my female characters! Great review, makes me excited about this book and I love the mix up of the different genres.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM , Anonymous Christy (Love of Books) said...

Loving the sound of this, especially the characters. That's cool that they have a little paranormal something.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh when you are ready we shall talk and I will help you select the perfect book to start with!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 8:53 PM , Anonymous kindlemom1 said...

Alright you have raved about this author more than once and now you really have me wanting to try her work, I think I am going to have to break down an try one of her books when I finally tame my TBR pile!
Awesome review!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 11:15 PM , Anonymous Danielle Chapman said...

I just devoured this book as soon as I could. I loved it and your review was spot on! :)

 
At July 18, 2013 at 12:38 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Yay, so glad you enjoyed it too and thanks :)

 
At July 21, 2013 at 12:36 AM , Anonymous Belle Read said...

I love this genre. Pacing is a big thing for me and it certainly sounds like this is done just right. Thank you for the wonderful review.

 
At July 21, 2013 at 11:43 AM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I am a total fan girl for this author!

 
At July 21, 2013 at 4:40 PM , Anonymous Marlene Harris said...

I'm so glad to see you liked this one. My hold just came in at the library and I'm even more eager to read it now!

Marlene @ Reading Reality

 
At July 21, 2013 at 8:01 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I love this author and all of her pen names..enjoy Marlene this was quite good!

 
At July 21, 2013 at 8:45 PM , Anonymous Marlene Harris said...

I do too! But at the time, Crystal Gardens didn't grab me. Wrong mood, I think. But now I have the lovely excuse to go back and wallow in it!

 

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