The Mystery Woman

Amanda Quick. Putnam, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-399-15909-1
If not exactly a taut thriller, Quick’s second Ladies of Lantern Street installment (after 2012 ‘s Crystal Gardens) is a breezy, fast-moving Victorian whodunit. Our intrepid heroine, the attractive and resourceful Beatrice Lockwood, is an agent for the private inquiry firm of Flint & Marsh, a sort of prefeminist detective agency staffed by women with extrasensory abilities. Through a series of deft plot twists, Beatrice’s powers are brought to bear on solving the murder of her boss, finding a blackmailer, and stopping a mad scientist from using an Egyptian artifact to resurrect the dead. Quick applies the fantastical elements with a light touch as Beatrice explores her growing romance with Joshua Gage, a formidable, legendary ex-spy with whom she finds herself allied and magically connected. The dialogue throughout rings true and is often clever. Some weak spots in the plot might dismay hard-core mystery fans, but the novel as a whole is likely to delight fans of romantic period fiction. Agent: Steven Axelrod, the Axelrod Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/18/2013
Release date: 04/23/2013
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