This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Library. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance
Release Date: April 19, 2016
The author of the New York Times bestseller Garden of Lies returns to Victorian London in an all-new novel of deadly obsession.
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...
I was introduced to this book through a fellow blogger’s book review. This is what hooked me:
She belonged to him. He was locked inside a cage the size and shape of a coffin. A dark thrill heated his blood like a powerful, intoxicating drug.
When the time came he would purify the woman and cleanse himself with her blood. But tonight was not the time. The ritual had to be followed correctly. The woman must be made to comprehend and acknowledge the great wrong she had done. There was no finer instructor than fear.
He huddled inside the concealed lift, listening to the sounds of someone moving about in the bedroom on the other side of the wall. There was a narrow crack in the paneling. Excitement sparked through him when he caught a glimpse of the woman. She was at her dressing table, adjusting pins in her dark brown hair. It was as if she knew he was watching and was deliberately taunting him.
Did that excerpt just grab you?? It did me. I had to read this book after I read that.
What I liked:
Calista Langley – Spinster that she may be, she is a strong independent woman who has a head for business and came up with a clever business model in order to support her and her brother. I really liked her as a protagonist.
Trent Hastings – He is written as a local author, has a strong sense of chivalry and thanks to a traumatic incident in his past has developed many associations that are instrumental in the investigation. I loved that he was written as an author of detective novels and that he researched every aspect of his novel. I can just imagine him learning how to pick locks and follow suspects. He made it interesting.
The mystery – This was by far the best element. It was creepy, suspenseful, morbid and creative. I liked the addition of the memento mori objects (objects for those in mourning), and the overall morbidity of the antagonists.
What I did not like:
The romance element – Words that spring to my mind, forced, cliché Victorian romance, and pragmatic. I wish the romance between Calista and Trent had been smoldering or they had an attraction that they never acted on because the way it was written, in my opinion, detracted from the story.
The “red herring” in the mystery element was so very obvious to me that it was just that, a red herring. If you are going to try and distract me please just do not make it so obvious.
The story was interesting and kept me reading to the end. For me, I found it difficult to really enjoy due to the mystery and romance combination. If you can set aside romance and focus on the mystery element then you might truly enjoy this book.