Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Book Review: The Girl That Knew Too Much

Author: Amanda Quick
Title: The Girl Who Knew Too Much
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publish Date: May 9, 2017
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool…

The dead woman had a red-hot secret about up-and-coming leading man Nick Tremayne, a scoop that Irene couldn’t resist—especially since she’s just a rookie at a third-rate gossip rag. But now Irene’s investigation into the drowning threatens to tear down the wall of illusion that is so deftly built around the famous actor, and there are powerful men willing to do anything to protect their investment.

Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago…

With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…

Review: I was so excited to read this book. I have always loved Amanda Quick's Regency and Victorian period novels. (She's Jayne Ann Krentz for those that don't know) I don't wan to get excited about books anymore, because lately the ones I get really excited for disappoint me. This book has a lot of issues. First lets start with the cover. The picture is of a flapper. The book is set in the 1930s. That in itself makes for some problems with the story for me. Throughout most of the book I struggled to figure out exactly when things were taking place. The actor that Irene is trying to get the scoop on is often described as the next Cary Grant, but he didn't really achieve stardom until 1937. (Its little things like this that bug me) The subplot of the romance also reminded me a lot of a book I had read recently, The Illusionists Apprentice. The owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, Oliver Ward was a magician that gave up his career after a near fatal performance. It isn't identical to that book, but it definitely made me thing of it while reading. So there are two mysteries going on. 1. Irene's boss who she finds murdered at the beginning of the book that causes the whole string of events to follow.

2. Who is killing the women that seem to know something about Nick Tremayne.

Like all good mysteries, it is never who you expect. The only part of the story that lost its intrigue was the original murder, because it really got cast aside until well past the halfway point of the novel.

The focus is on Nick and the reporters and women that keep turning up dead as well as the attempts to silence Irene.

Then there's Irene and Oliver. So there's romance too, which added another layer to the story. Oliver was probably my favorite character and definitely a complex one. The romance though...just didn't cut it for me either.

This book needed more research and more oomph. I almost gave up on it several times, and only finished it because I had requested it from another library and hated to have it out of circulation there and for nothing.

I did like the main characters in this book, but the secondary characters seemed to suffer. Nick, in particular was pretty flat. Also with Hollywood types being part of the book, why were there no names other than Cary Grant mentioned?

The last quarter of the novel did pick up... and the ending was definitely a "WOW!" because of the whodunit and the reason why.

The first mystery got resolved in a strange, haphazard way that made me think that the author was looking for an easy way to tie up loose ends.

I hope the next book under the Amanda Quick name for Jayne goes back to a time period she's more comfortable with, or that she researches the period a bit more.

This book definitely left me disappointed especially from an author that usually delivers great stories.

Rating: 3 flowers


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