Series: Ladies of Lantern Street
Author: Amanda Quick
Read copy: eBook
Published: April 23, 2013
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
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.
This came completely out of the left field for me. The story simply didn't suck me in as Ms. Quick's novels usually do.
Let's start with the title—The Mystery Woman. That was supposed to be the heroine. To me, she was no mystery. I would've preferred her secrets to be revealed more slowly, not giving it all up front (to the reader, that is). She was also the usual Quick-heroine that often annoy me with their behavior, notions and convictions.
The hero also wasn't of much help to make me enjoy the story. Though he was (at least in appearance) the usual Quick-hero, the rest simply fizzled. Though the new approach Ms. Quick chose with him not believing in the paranormal was indeed refreshing, it quickly turned annoying.
Also, I didn't feel the connection between them, not the attraction, not the affection, not the love, not the sex. Nothing. It just didn't work.
The suspense part of the story was also incomparable with Ms. Quick's other novels. Maybe it was the fact the main reason the villain wanted to kidnap Beatrice (the heroine) was utterly out there—yes, the guy was completely nuts, but still. Maybe it was the fact I didn't much care what happens to the heroine (or hero), but I had a really hard time getting though the book. Kudos for the other villain, yet it took me way too long to finish this one.
Still, the writing was good, the plot also (despite everything I've listed), so I decided to give it three stars. I'm quite disappointed, though. I expected more.