Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ARC Review: The Mystery Woman by Amanda Quick

The Mystery Woman
Author: Amanda Quick
Publication: Putnam Adult (April 23, 2013)

Description: Under the plain gray skirts of Miss Beatrice Lockwood’s gown, a pistol waits at the ready. For Beatrice is a paid companion on a secret mission—and with a secret past—and she must be prepared to fight for her life at any moment.

Yet she is thrown oddly off guard by the fierce-looking man who joins her in foiling a crime outside a fancy ball—and then disappears into the shadows, leaving only his card. His name is Joshua Gage, and he claims to know Beatrice’s employers. Beyond that, he is an enigma with a hypnotically calm voice and an ebony-and-steel cane. . . .

Joshua, who carries out clandestine investigations for the Crown, is equally intrigued. He has a personal interest in Miss Lockwood, a suspected thief and murderer, not to mention a fraudster who claims to have psychical powers. The quest to discover her whereabouts has pulled him away from his mournful impulses to hurl himself into the sea—and engaged his curiosity about the real Beatrice Lockwood, whose spirit, he suspects, is not as delicate as her face and figure.

He does know one thing, though: This flame-haired beauty was present the night Roland Fleming died at the Academy of the Occult. Guilty or not, she is his guide to a trail of blood and blackmail, mesmerism and madness—a path that will lead both of them into the clutches of a killer who calls himself the Bone Man. . . .

My Thoughts: In this second book in the Ladies of Lantern Street series, Miss Beatrice Lockwood is working for Flint & March and is undercover as a paid companion protecting a young heiress when she meets Joshua Gage who helps her foil the abduction of her charge. Joshua is recovering from injuries that happened when one of his investigations as an agent for the Crown went badly awry, He has spent the past year in isolation at his family estate and has been left with a scarred face, a week leg, and a determination to leave investigations in the past.

Joshua is called back to London from his brooding when he believes that Beatrice is the one who is blackmailing his sister. Psychic sparks fly between Joshua and Beatrice when they meet though each is wary of the other. The running joke through this whole story is Beatrice's acceptance of her psychic powers and Joshua's determination to deny that they exist and to rely instead on logic. Joshua quickly comes to see that Beatrice is in danger and it looks like the case that injured Josh so badly isn't over. 

This story had all the elements of an intriguing mystery and an inevitable romance. Both Beatrice and Joshua are strong characters who have a great deal in common as they are both investigators and competent adults. However, they come from different social classes. Beatrice can't see a future for them but Joshua is not a conventional sort of man. The villains include a Russian assassin called the Bone Man and a truly mad scientist.

This was a fun story for all of Amanda Quick's fans and anyone who like paranormal historical fiction. 

Favorite Quote:
"I make my living as a private inquiry agent who poses as a paid companion," she said, trying to catch her breath. "Before that, I pursued a career as a paranormal practitioner for a certain individual who was evidently engaged in blackmail. I assure you, it takes more than a few snide comment from my betters to insult me."

"They aren't your betters."

She paused in the act of adjusting her hair. "What?"

"You are so much better than they are," he said, his voice roughening. "Better in spirit  better in character, better in every way imaginable. You are...amazing, Beatrice."
I won this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program. You can buy your copy here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity.

Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!