LOOKING FOR TROUBLE
This compendium contains three novels by Anne Stuart and they whisk the reader away to a world full of surprises – fantasy, danger, humor and romance. In Cinderman reporter Suzanna Molloy sneaks in to a building where dodgy experiments are suspected of being conducted and meets the handsome genius Dr Daniel Crompton. Daniel is the typical alpha male beloved of romance novelists who exists to be cut down to size by the heroine and this is just what is about to befall him, along with the after effects of his formula which gets tested out in rather a hurry! I felt that this was the least original story in the book for me with characters that were a little too “stock” and a plot that has been used rather too often. Some interesting touches here and there and some lively humor kept the pace rolling along though.
The second story Cry For The Moon features a yuppie widow who finds herself and her two children penniless but for a creaky old apartment block in Chicago. This ramshackle place houses all sorts of misfits including the Baluchistani royal family, more than one would-be witch, the ghost of a gangster and a cynical DJ. Somewhere there is supposed to be treasure hidden but this seems as unlikely as the ghost being real, or grumpy Simon Zebriskie falling in love with owner Marielle Brandt but it is Hallowe’en and strange things can happen…a heartwarming tale, a bit too sweet in places but it kept me guessing who was behind it all and whether people in Baluchistan are quite as portrayed here – I suspect not.
For Chasing Trouble Stuart has taken the plots of more than one hardboiled detective novel and we have ditzy heiress Sally MacArthur finding the perfect PI to find her sister and a missing jade falcon – Jack Diamond. All her lacks is a fedora but as the pair go racketing off in pursuit of sister Lucy and her gangster boyfriend Jack has more than enough to put up with and not merely Chinese hoods, a bogus health farm and dodgy motels. I enjoyed the humor in this story particularly and the delightful take on the world of Dashiell Hammett and Humphrey Bogart. This was definitely the strongest story in an entertaining volume. I hadn’t read any of Anne Stuart’s work before but she has a knack of keeping the pages turning so I will be looking for more of her work in the future.