Genres: Historical Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Berkley
Released on May 8, 2018
A mad house, a drug ring, a psychic to the stars, blackmail, and secrets pepper this installment of the smoldering Burning Cove historical romantic suspense series set in the 1930’s. I eagerly sought out the older books in this series to catch up on the earlier stories because I knew they were not to be missed.
The Other Lady Vanishes is book two in the Burning Cove series. Each book stands alone quite well and I can say from experience that they stand up well to being read out of order as I started with book three and only came back for the first two after reading the fourth.
Adelaide makes her carefully-planned escape from the mental institution on a night when other sinister intentions are about so she sees murder done and attempted murder toward herself. She can’t go back to her old life where they will find her and bring her back so she runs to Burning Cove and uses her intimate knowledge of herbs to bring a tea shop into fashion as a place where the Hollywood elite come for their herbal teas. She feels paranoia rise each time she thinks about getting caught and sent back. This is why giving in to the attraction and curiosity she feels for one of her regular customers is a really bad idea.
Jake is shrewd and is well aware that Adelaide has secrets. He does, too. She’s welcome to them. Then one of her customers falls to her death the same night her house is broken into. He doesn’t like those sorts of coincidences. Adelaide wants to get to the truth of Zolanda’s death because she knows that the drug, DayDreams, her parents invented was used in the death and it was no suicide. Just like she feels the net closing in. Jake is after a blackmailer and their goals are separate, but involve the same people. He can keep Adelaide safe while getting back his late wife’s tell-all diary.
Meanwhile, a certain lady PI and a suave night club owner match wits and more. Burning Cove is the playground of the rich and famous, but it has a dangerous side.
I was so certain that Luther Pell, owner of the Paradise Club and man with shadowy ties to the government and the mob, and Raina Kirk, remade woman and private detective, were getting their story next. But no, we get all new characters, Adelaide and Jake. After a brief pout, I jumped back into the story and enjoyed both of them.
We all have our fears and for me sanatoriums, insane hospitals, etc scare the bejeebers out of me. This one had to be some monstrosity of a Gothic Victorian Mansion set off by itself with a creepy scientist and skeevy doctor experimenting on their patients to promote their drug ring. Yeah, not worked up at all…
In truth, most of the story takes place in Burning Cove, but the heroine, poor Adelaide, got locked up in that place so the two creeps could treat her as a science experiment and the man she thought loved her could abscond with her inheritance. After time spent in the place, she can be forgiven for being shaky on the point of her own sanity and clutching her secrets to her. She remakes herself as an herbal tea specialist and a waitress in a tea shop. She had nothing and a lucky break in her kind-hearted boss, but she made the most of it. She is wary of trusting people especially a man, but eventually chooses to partner Jake even though he has his own agenda and secrets.
Jake’s wife died of suicide or so it is thought until he tells Adelaide differently. He is convinced the psychic to the Stars, Madame Zolanda isn’t just a fake showy psychic, but also a blackmailer and he plans to get back his wife’s diary. It’s obvious he has a colorful, exciting past when he hooks up with Adelaide, but it was fun seeing him open up and share with her. With this pair, the sharing of secrets was tantamount to most romantic pair’s falling into bed together- they do this, too, eventually.
The Other Lady Vanishes offers up several suspects at first and more than one motive. I had no trouble putting my finger on the murder, the motive, and the obvious means after the first murder. I felt it was foreshadowed strongly so the final twist was no surprise. I admit that I would have liked to be surprised, but the dangerous and exciting scenes that came before it along with the romance kept me happily occupied.
Luther and Raina’s first encounter was fun and I’m glad to have it along with a few other brief encounters, but I have to say that I was left wanting way more than I got. No surprise since I was anticipating this being their story. I can only hope for more later.
Meanwhile, I will savor the story I got and my visit back to Burning Cove. I love the lush, but sharp Old Hollywood world that is portrayed in this series and can’t wait to move on with the next new release in the series. Those who love spicy historical romantic suspense should definitely pick these up.
Library Love #11
Historical Fiction #72
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