Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Two Historical Mystery Reviews - The Other Lady Vanishes + A Wicked Conceit


Goodreads:  The Other Lady Vanishes (Burning Cove #2) by Amanda Quick

Blurb:  After escaping from a private sanitarium, Adelaide Blake arrives in Burning Cove, California, desperate to start over. Working at an herbal tea shop puts her on the radar of those who frequent the seaside resort town: Hollywood movers and shakers always in need of hangover cures and tonics. One such customer is Jake Truett, a recently widowed businessman in town for a therapeutic rest. But unbeknownst to Adelaide, his exhaustion is just a cover.
In Burning Cove, no one is who they seem. Behind facades of glamour and power hide drug dealers, gangsters, and grifters. Into this make-believe world comes psychic to the stars Madame Zolanda. Adelaide and Jake know better than to fall for her kind of con. But when the medium becomes a victim of her own dire prediction and is killed, they'll be drawn into a murky world of duplicity and misdirection.

Neither Adelaide or Jake can predict that in the shadowy underground they'll find connections to the woman Adelaide used to be—and uncover the specter of a killer who's been real all along...

My Thoughts:  I really enjoy Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz's books and I think this book is a great example of why.  I really liked by Adelaide and Jake as well as Rayna and the rest of Adelaide's friends in Burning Cove.  As well the plot had a good helping of suspense with enough twists and turns to keep it a fast paced read without getting confusing.  For the most part we know who the bad guys are from the beginning so the main question is who is the worst of the bad guys and just what are they up too.  As well there are a few surprises along the way.  This isn't a book I'll be able to recall in detail in a few months but it is one I will remember enjoying reading.  My Rating:  Really Liked It!

Goodreads:  A Wicked Conceit (Lady Darby Mystery #9) by Anna Lee Huber

Blurb: Edinburgh, Scotland. March 1832. Kiera and Gage have been eagerly awaiting their bundle of joy, but trouble has been brewing in the form of the roguish criminal, Bonnie Brock Kincaid. A new book and subsequent play features some of Kincaid's daringly heinous exploits, although he swears he had nothing to do with it or the characters which are obvious representations of Kiera and Gage. While the scoundrel's fury seems genuine, as well as his determined quest to uncover the real identity of the author, the Gages still hold doubts about his innocence.

A rash of crimes break out across the city, seemingly inspired by the play and book. When the publisher is found brutally murdered—in an imitation of a gruesome scene—the finger not only points to Bonnie Brock as the possible culprit, but also the Gages, who have been outspoken in their condemnation of the tale. Now, the Gages are on a hunt to unmask the killer. Between the infamy garnered by the play, the cholera outbreak still wreaking havoc throughout the city, and the impending birth of their child, they will need all the resources they can garner.

But family quarrels and the revelation of a secret Kiera has been keeping from Sebastian threaten to undermine everything they have overcome. When they find themselves in the crosshairs of the killer, trapped in the squalid underground vaults of the city, they will soon discover that the truth does not always set you free, and death can lurk around any corner.

My Thoughts:  If you have never read this series this is NOT the book to start with.  The plot relies heavily on situations that occurred in the last book or two and I found it a bit confusing and I've read those books!  Kiera is incredibly pregnant and is pretty angsty both regarding the secret she is keeping from her husband and her relationship with her sister (they're both behaving like children and could both use a time out).  The book felt a bit disjointed with bits of plots from previous plots being brought up and Kiera and Gage kind of bouncing around interacting with various people without a strong rhyme or reason.  Once the first murder occurs things get much better and the story feels like it really starts to gain traction and pulled me in.  I love Anna Lee Huber's books but this wasn't her strongest.   My Rating: Liked It


  1. I have not read an Amanda Quick book in years. I need to read more of her books.

  2. A Wicked Conceit sounds interesting. 🙂

  3. I like a book that you might not remember too much about down the track but it was enjoyable. The Anna Lee Huber book - well what I noticed in her other series I've been reading is that her books carry on and link so I'd always read from the beginning, as I know you have done with this series pretty much.