This was my first time reading Amanda Quick and I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed not only this book but the way she writes. This will not be the only book I read by her and would like to continue this series.
Anna works for a wealthy woman on the East Coast and is enjoying her life when her boss gets killed in a violent manner and she is forced to flee her home with only a few possessions and a mysterious notebook left to her by her boss. Anna becomes Irene and finds herself a few years later working for a gossip newspaper and trying to forget about the past. When a dead woman is found drowned in the pool of the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel, she must figure out why the women wanted to meet with Irene and if her death is not an accident as the police say. She teams up with the hotel’s owner, Oliver Ward, a former magician with secrets of his own, to find out why women keep being found dead and what exactly that mysterious notebook contains.
This book felt like an old Hollywood movie from the 1930’s which I am thinking was Quick’s intention. The writing style immediately set the tone for the story and I knew what to expect. This is in our fiction section at the library but I came across it due to an assignment of having to read a romantic suspense novel. However, I honestly don’t know what genre this book belongs in. It was part mystery, part historical fiction, with a dash of romance thrown in. The story was interesting and I couldn’t figure out how both mysteries fit together, even with some good clues along the way. I thought the characters were unique, especially Oliver, and the writing was great. The dialogue between Irene and Oliver felt true to the time period and their banter was fun. The romance was tame in comparison to other romance novels with some kissing and implied sex. I wish Quick had connected the two mysteries more as I was left scratching my head at the end as to what the notebook and the murders had in common. Another minor complaint I had was the introduction of so many characters in the beginning of the book. I had a hard time keeping them straight at times and found myself flipping back a few times to make sure I knew who was who. In the end, the mystery kept me guessing and I enjoyed the relationship between Oliver and Irene.
This was a fun read and I would recommend to fans of historical fiction and mysteries. I enjoyed Quick’s writing and this made me want to read more of her work. I could see this being a great summer read.
Author: Amanda Quick
Rating: 4 Stars