Title: ‘Til Death Do Us Part
Author: Amanda Quick aka Jayne Ann Krentz
Date: April 19, 2016
Calista Langley operates an exclusive “introduction” agency in Victorian London, catering to respectable ladies and gentlemen who find themselves alone in the world. But now, a dangerously obsessed individual has begun sending her trinkets and gifts suitable only for those in deepest mourning—a black mirror, a funeral wreath, a ring set with black jet stone. Each is engraved with her initials.
Desperate for help and fearing that the police will be of no assistance, Calista turns to Trent Hastings, a reclusive author of popular crime novels. Believing that Calista may be taking advantage of his lonely sister, who has become one of her clients, Trent doesn’t trust her. Scarred by his past, he’s learned to keep his emotions at bay, even as an instant attraction threatens his resolve.
But as Trent and Calista comb through files of rejected clients in hopes of identifying her tormentor, it becomes clear that the danger may be coming from Calista’s own secret past—and that only her death will satisfy the stalker…
The description of this book is not correct regarding the “trinkets and gifts” Calista is receiving from what we would nowadays call a stalker. However, they are the same sort of thing. The term, which I had never heard before, is momento mori and I am completely creeped out.
Who knew there was ever such a thing?
It’s not like Calista doesn’t have enough problems. She is a businesswomen in an era when respectable people did not work, much less a woman. Her “introduction” agency is doing well, but the slightest bit of scandal will drive her clients away. She has a nineteen-years-old brother who is staying out late and probably associating with the wrong sort. She is being left funerary trinkets by an unknown person . . . one of them in her bedroom.
And then there is Trent. Trent, whose sister is a client of Calista’s. Trent, who thinks Calista might be after his sister’s money, or at the very least will introduce her to a fortune hunter. Trent, who is the most interesting man Calista has ever met.
Many of Amanda Quick’s books have a mystery and suspense element to them. This one, however, takes it a step further. I think it is the whole momento mori aspect that makes this book seem more disturbing than the others.
Which does not mean it isn’t good.
The primary characters are classic Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz. The hero is strong and protective and the heroine can think for herself. The secondary characters have well developed personalities and the villain is easy to hate.
The only difference is that the villain in this book is really, really creepy.
Which doesn’t mean that the plot is completely serious. Trent is an extremely popular author and everyone who meets him thinks he needs their advice on how to improve his books. Watching him trying to remain polite to his readers was fun to read.
All in all, this book was a pleasure to read and that is never a surprise by this author. It does not appear to be part of a series, but who knows?
By the way, momento mori jewelry can be purchased on Etsy and Ebay. I am NOT looking into it myself. Did I mention I find it creepy and disturbing?
This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.