cover image Deadly Obsession

Deadly Obsession

Maggie Shayne. HQN, $7.99 mass market (304p) ISBN 978-0-7783-1680-0

Shayne’s fourth Brown and de Luca romantic mystery (after Innocent Prey) is as smart and clever as its predecessors. Self-help author Rachel de Luca and sometime psychic and detective Mason “Mace” Brown are just winding down after a lovely evening when they spot a raging house fire. Gawking neighbors say there are kids inside. The words ignite Mace’s adrenaline, and without regard for himself, he sprints into the house, emerging moments later with a child under each scorched arm. Their mother, Rebecca Rouse, dies in the fire, and police and fire officials suspect arson set by estranged husband and father Peter. While the ever-foulmouthed Rachel curses herself for not responding in kind to Mace’s L-word declaration, danger lurks as the arsonist aims for the hottie detective. Shayne keeps the plot moving by alternating chapters from the perspectives of Rachel, Mace, Mace’s sister-in-law, and the killer. In lesser hands that technique might fail, but not in this diverting nail-biter. Agent: Eileen Fallon, Fallon Literary Agency. (Dec.)