The Mystery Woman (Ladies of Lantern Street #2) By: Amanda Quick
Beatrice Lockwood, one of the intrepid ladies of Lantern Street, is in the middle of a case when her past comes back to haunt her. Joshua North, a former spy for the Crown, has come out of a self-imposed retirement after a disastrous case that left him scarred and forced to use a cane. He is hunting the villain who is blackmailing his sister.
The trail leads him to Beatrice who is his chief suspect. But when he realizes that she is not the blackmailer they set out to find the real extortionist. Passion flares between them as they dodge a professional assassin. Meanwhile a mysterious scientist intent on resurrecting his dead lover using an ancient Egyptian formula for preserving the bodies of the dead is also hunting Beatrice. He is keeping his dead love perfectly preserved in a special, crystal-topped sarcophagus filled with the special fluid. But he needs Beatrice’s paranormal talent to activate the reviving properties of the preservative in the coffin. Time is running out for everyone involved.
The two cases collide at a mysterious country-house filled with artifacts from ancient Egyptian tombs. The drama concludes in the mad scientist’s laboratory where Joshua discovers that the past he thought was dead is still very much alive — sort of.
I love Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle, whatever she wants to call herself. Under her Quick name her books are more historical but they still have the paranormal bent which is great. I’m not a huge historical romance reader but the addition of psychic powers makes it so much more fun.
Joshua was, possibly, the first male lead I’ve read who openly refuses to believe in psychic abilities. He’s polite to Beatrice and never really calls her a liar or fraud, but he says that her observations were made because of logic. It’s cute and never really gets annoying and was actually kind of refreshing.
Beatrice was your normal strong female who has psychic powers and lives in the Victorian age. Nothing really amazing about her, I liked her, but nothing really stood out. I did feel bad for her sexual encounters, though, Joshua could have worked a bit harder in that area, if you know what I mean.