The Lady Has A Past (Burning Cove Book 5)

Amanda Quick (Jayne Krentz)

Berkley Pub

May 4th, 2021

The Lady Has A Past by Amanda Quick (the pen name for Jayne Krentz) is another winner. This historical novel explores California in the 1930s with riveting characters and a suspenseful mystery.

“The whole fantasy side of California at that time was sold to the public by the movie studios.  I have in my head the quick lines that were in the movies and the brilliantly written plots.  I love that fast repertoire and the quick wit. This suits my style because I am a very dialogue driven writer.  Everybody has a sense of what the 1930s California setting looks like.  They are iconic. I enjoy going through books and newspapers about that time-period, and picking up odds and ends, bits and pieces. I stumbled across what happened in the spas and cosmetic industry that were quite the rage in the 1930s.  These made perfect settings for a murder.  I got an interesting question in my mind, looked for an answer, and then one thing led to another.”

The plot has private investigator Raina Kirk disappearing after spending a night with her boyfriend Luther Pell.  Her apprentice, Lyra Brazier, Luther, and his private investigator Simon Cage realize that Raina has traveled to the plush spa resort of Labyrinth Springs Hotel.  Simon and Lyra team up, posing as a honeymoon couple, and check in to the hotel to try to find Raina. They become suspicious of those working and staying at the hotel, discovering that the health spa is a façade for kidnappings and ransoms.  Both must watch each other’s back and race with time to find Raina before it is too late.

Lyra is a great character with an uncanny intuitive nature.  She is fearless, smart, and works well under pressure. She realizes that she and Simon make a good team considering he senses emotions from objects.  Although he gives off an aura of nerdiness, he is nothing of the kind and is very good at connecting the dots.

“She is the siter of Vivian, the heroine of Close Up. Lyra is optimistic, smart, curious, and genuinely interested in people who respond and speak with her.  She is also calm, sophisticated, and intuitive.  Although coming from wealth and society she is now looking to be a private investigator.  Basically, she is a half full person who is positive with good energy. When needed for the investigation she played a role of being dipsy, shallow, arrogant, and self-centered, but this is not really her.”

Readers will enjoy not one, but two relationships in the book.  Raina and Luther’s feelings about each other are explored, while Lyra and Simon realize they care for each other deeply.  Besides the double romance people will be treated to a gripping mystery, tidbits of 1930s California, and very captivating characters.



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About the Author

Elise Cooper

Elise writes book reviews that always include a short author interview.