Review of THE RIVER KNOWS by _blankAmanda Quick (see her website)
G. P. Putnam's Sons, April, 2007
Louisa Bryce was never the life of the party. Supposedly a distant relative of the respectable Lady Ashton, Louisa stays invisible by being dowdy--and serves as an investigative reporter, reporting on scandals in 'society' in Victorian England. She's hot on the trail of a rumor that a respected gentleman is actually part owner of a notorious brothel when she runs into someone else investigating--a man who just might be a jewel thief. She and Anthony Stalbridge form an alliance--they'll pool their knowledge to learn the secrets that both of them need.
What starts out as strictly a business arrangement takes a turn toward the sensual when Louisa and Anthony are forced to rely on an ancient device to escape detection--they pretend to be lovers, kissing. But pretend kissing has a way of turning into real kissing. Unfortunately, Louisa has a secret that she knows will ever keep her from finding love and marriage--and everyone knows an illicit relationship can only lead to an unhappy ending.
Although Louisa is certain their relationship is doomed, the investigation goes well. Louisa's evidence is only the beginning of the evils Mr. Hastings has undertaken. He's certainly conducting blackmail. Could he also be guilty of murder--including, perhaps, the murder of Anthony's ex-fiancee?
Author Amanda Quick (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Quick) writes an engaging story with a light touch. Neither Louisa nor Anthony is a particularly complicated character, but their clever dialogue, the cute misunderstandings, and a nice mystery with just enough twists to keep the reader involved add up to an enjoyable novel. THE RIVER KNOWS is summer-beach reading, but it doesn't pretend to be anything more than that and we all need a nice desert from time to time.
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