cover image ’Til Death Do Us Part

’Til Death Do Us Part

Amanda Quick. Berkley, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-17446-9

Quick’s ambitious Victorian historical mixes witty, occasionally self-referential banter with gothic undertones and a solid thriller plot. Calista Langley has resigned herself to spinsterhood now that she’s in her late 20s. She runs a discreet matchmaking and salon service, pairing each singleton with a potential partner of the person’s preferred gender. She’s also being stalked by a mysterious person who leaves ominous memento mori in her house. Successful mystery author Trent Hastings, dubious about the service Calista is offering his sister, Eudora, confronts her. After some initial hostilities, he finds himself drawn to her and begins helping her investigate the stalker. They’re joined by Eudora as well as Calista’s younger brother, Andrew (a talented investigator in his own right). The four begin to uncover a series of murders, and soon their lives are threatened. Along with the danger, Quick throws in a great deal of humor (including a wonderful running gag centered on Hastings’s latest story), a large cast of well-rounded characters, and lots of solid red herrings. This is a true delight for fans of historical romances and mysteries. Agent Steve Axelrod, Axelrod Agency. (Apr.)