||Setting: Regency England
A London lady who's skilled in the practice of mesmerism, Lavinia Lake has launched a new career as a private investigator, a startling and slightly scandalous occupation for a woman in Regency England. Strong-willed and independent, Lavinia isn't a typical society widow, a fact which alternately attracts and frustrates her enigmatic partner, Tobias March. Lavinia and Tobias have a prickly and passionate relationship, and Tobias is determined to protect her, while Lavinia is just as determined to be an equal partner in their business.
When the wife of mesmerist Dr. Howard Hudson is murdered and a rare antique bracelet known as the Blue Medusa disappears, the doctor seeks Lavinia's help. Tobias is reluctant to become involved in the matter but Lavinia feels compelled to help her late father's associate. Their attempt to uncover the murderer leads them to obscure antiquities dealers, secret organizations, amoral heirs, and ladies of the evening. And when a madman threatens Lavinia's life, only Tobias can hope to save her.
Lavinia Lake and Tobias March began their adventures in the novel Slightly Shady, and in this second installment, author Jayne Ann Krentz, writing under her Amanda Quick pseudonym, further develops the couple's romantic relationship while entangling them in a murder mystery enhanced by an exploration of ancient British jewelry. The author also introduces a charming secondary couple in the mix of eccentric and interesting cast members. Fans of historical romance and mystery will welcome this latest offering from bestselling author Krentz. --Lois Faye Dyer