by Amanda Quick
I am not a big romance reader but I do enjoy Amanda Quick’s (Jayne Ann Krentz) Historical Romances. Most of them are set in the 1800s but this book is set in 1930 during the Golden Age of Hollywood. I love everything about old Hollywood so I was really looking forward to reading this book. I listened to it on audio and the reader, Louise Jane Underwood, was adequate but not one of my favorites.
The story begins in New York City where Anna Harris is working for a wealthy socialite as her personal assistant. Anna returns home to find her employer dead on the floor and the words “Run!” written on the wall with her blood. Anna runs out of the room, in a panic, and sees that the safe is open. Inside it is a valuable necklace, a notebook and money. Anna also finds a note that says “don’t trust anyone, not even the FBI.” Anna grabs the money, that her employer owes her, the notebook and gets into the Packard that her employer has also given her. She drives across the country, changes her name to Irene Glasson and begins working for a small newspaper in the Los Angeles area. One night, Irene is called to meet with a woman at the Burning Cove Hotel. The woman promises her a scoop on a great story about a famous movie star. The Burning Cove Hotel is known for its discretion and famous stars often stay there. When Irene arrives, it is only to discover that her contact has been murdered and is floating in the pool.
Then she meets Oliver Ward, the owner of The Burning Cove Hotel. Oliver was a famous magician who was badly injured in his last performance and now owns the hotel. He wants to prevent a scandal for his hotel and Irene wants to find out what is happening, so they form an uneasy alliance. Of course, this being a romance, sparks fly but Irene/Anna doesn’t know who to trust. Everyone seems to have secrets, including Irene’s deceased employer. As more deaths occur, she realizes that she is in danger, too.
This was an enjoyable book but not my favorite Amanda Quick novel. The killer was unexpected, so that was nice. Can’t quite put my finger on why I didn’t like it that much. Not a horrible book but not a great one, either.