cover image ’Til Death Do Us Part

’Til Death Do Us Part

Amanda Quick, read by Louise Jane Underwood. Recorded Books, unabridged, 8 CDs, 10 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-5019-2448-4

Quick, the pseudonym author Jayne Ann Krentz uses for her Victorian thrillers, delivers a funny, romantic historical whodunit featuring very likable sleuths. Calista Langley, a self-described spinster in her late 20s, is the owner/operator of an exclusive London matchmaking agency. When an apparently demented unknown stalker begins leaving sinister memento mori in her home, she eschews the ineffectual police, instead teaming up with popular mystery writer Trent Hastings to uncover the perpetrator. Their sleuthing includes a warming romance between them, witty bickering, amusing amateur detecting fumbles, oddball suspects, surprising twists, hairbreadth escapes, and several seriously horrific murders. Actress Underwood, whose British accent sets the stage appropriately, skillfully adds more than just another dimension to the material. She follows Quirk’s lead regarding the main characters. Her Calista is every syllable a British businesswoman unsuccessfully fighting her feelings for Trent. He’s initially stolid and wary, but both qualities thaw in Calista’s presence. Underwood is especially effective in delivering both sides to a conversation, be it adversarial or romantic. And she goes all in, vocally, when it comes to the author’s blustery British aristocrats, snarky suspects, and loony eccentrics, as well as the book’s moments of sheer knife blade-flashing terror. A Berkley hardcover. (Apr.)