By Amanda Quick
Robert Hale - October 2002
ISBN 0709071655 HB
Historical Romance / Romantic Suspense
Regency London

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde,
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If you want to read a Regency romance and a historical whodunit you might think of getting two books, but why bother when you can have both in this delightful novel? Following on from the events in Slightly Shady, Lavinia Lake enjoys a turbulent relationship both at work and between the sheets (if they can find anywhere so conventional to do it) with Tobias March. Being a private enquiry agent is an unconventional job for a woman, and Tobias spends more time looking out for Lavinia than he does actually doing his share, or so it seems. Now Lavinia's niece Emeline and Tobias' young brother-in-law Anthony want to join in the fun and become agents as well, and there is a juicy case that will involve them all. An old friend of Lavinia's (and fellow mesmerist) has appeared out of the blue with his young wife but before they can truly become acquainted, the wife is killed and a valuable bracelet called The Blue Medusa has been stolen. This was once coveted by an obscure cult in the 5th century, but now there are equally unscrupulous people after it!

Here are most of the ingredients of classic Amanda Quick Regency romance - London, a ball or two, plenty of humor, misunderstandings between the protagonists and a happy ending (of course). If you want adventure and mystery too, you will find those in abundance. The teasing (but unsatisfying) references to the lost civilization have gone, but in their place are plenty more mentions of strange cults and such to give a Gothic frisson to the tale. This is the smooth and practiced style of an author at the peak of her powers and long may she continue to enchant us by adding something different and new to the Regency sub-genre. This really is a lot of fun.

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