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.
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…
What I liked: I'm not going to regurgitate the synopsis but talk about the book in general and the writing.
I especially liked that Ms Quick (aka Jayne Ann Krentz, aka Jayne Castle) picked an unusual time period. Most of her books written under the Quick moniker as historical romances and I mean back in the early days with all the rules for proper feminine behavior and gallant rakes. The Girl Who Knew Too Much is set in the 1930s and it’s setting deals with Hollywood. I wasn’t sure about the time period and the setting to begin with but I certainly enjoyed how Ms Quick drew me in.
The heroine, Irene Glasson and Oliver Ward, the hero, are also a bit different. Imagine a female reporter back in the 1930s, it was a bit eye opening and then throw in the Hollywood Studios, who really were like little powerful kingdoms who controlled all aspects of their stars lives. It was interesting to see how far the stars have come and how less controlling the studios evolved. Oliver, a former famous magician who suffered a horrible accident (I love tortured heroes who move on with their lives) runs an exclusive hotel that guarantees privacy is just enough of a mystery to keep your attention. I absolutely loved all the secondary characters working at the hotel. In some cases, I found them just a bit more interesting than the lead characters, including the bad guy(s).
When you read an Amanda Quick book, you should know it will be a quality, researched adventure with some romance and plenty of humor. Her heroines are strong and brave and spunky, her heroes charming, smart, and protective. Ms Quick has developed her historical mystery romance books in a kind of formulaic way but she always finds something to keep the reader engaged either through the characters or the mystery.
What I didn’t like: While I did enjoy The Girl Who Knew Too Much, it wasn’t one of my favorites. I didn’t feel as invested in the main characters as I normally would. The mystery/suspense portion of the story felt a little to scripted and wasn’t as exciting as I would have expected. I did however enjoy the mystery around our two leading characters, Irene and Oliver.
The Kindle edition is a bit pricey as the release is in hardcover. I guess it depends on the reader. I would borrow from the library.
I received an ARC from NetGalley for a fair and honest review.
If you are an Amanda Quick fan, you will enjoy The Girl Who Knew Too Much but if it’s your first read by her, try some of her earlier books especially if you like historical romance that is heavier on the mystery than the romance. The humor also is quirky and enough to make you smile.