Monday, May 22, 2017

The Girl Who Knew Too Much

Title:  The Girl Who Knew Too Much
Author:  Amanda Quick
Publication Information:  Berkley. 2017. 368 pages.
ISBN:  0399174478 / 978-0399174476

Book Source:  I received this book through the Penguin First to Read program free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Opening Sentence:  "The abstract painting on the bedroom wall was new."

Favorite Quote:  "Both of them had been damaged when they arrived ... Each of them had made a fresh start in a town that encouraged reinvention. Each had done a good job of concealing the damage, but neither of them tried to pretend to the other that the damage didn't exist. Maybe that was the real reason for their friendship."

What a fun book, perfect for a summer beach read. A gusty independent heroine on the run. An handsome, injured, brooding hero. A mysterious book that many people are after. A glitzy 1930s Hollywood setting. Three women, all dead by accidental drowning. A mob connection. Some magic. A little romance. This book has so many fun elements, perfect for a summer read.

Anna Harris aka Irene Glasson is the girl who knows too much. The book begins on a bloody murder scene as Anna discovers the body of her boss and a message written in blood. Run. Anna heeds the warning and runs, going from the east coast to the place where so many reinvent themselves - Hollywood. Anna becomes Irene, a novice reporter for a small Hollywood scandal sheet.

This job brings her to the small town of Burning Cove, home to an exclusive resort where the rich and the famous come to play and to hide in privacy. The same job and the same resort unfortunately land Irene into the middle of another mystery. The woman Irene is supposed to meet ends up dead in the resort pool. Now, Irene has a mystery to solve and a story to scoop.

This predicament brings Irene to Oliver Ward, mysterious ex-magician of the Oliver Ward Show and now owner and operator of the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel. Oliver has an investment to protect; a murder at the hotel with other guests as suspects is not a good combination for business.

Irene and Oliver meet, and sparks fly.

Of course, Irene's aka Anna's past is not done with her yet either. Two mysteries intermingle, and her past comes back to haunt her.

Both mysteries of course come together in a dramatic conclusion. Along the way, the book throws out a lot of red herrings to keep you guessing as to the identity of the murderer. The murderer is in plain sight throughout the book, but I did not guess that ending, making it all the more fun. When I finally connect the dots, my reaction is, "Of course!" That is the best kind of mystery - one in which the ending is a surprise but at the same time not so far out of reach that there was no way a reader could have seen it coming. Too easy to guess leads to the reaction what's the point. Too hard to guess makes it frustrating. This book finds that perfect balance.

The book does end in a neat package with all the mysteries solved, all the "bad guys" in a bad state, and all the "good guys" with a happy ending. However, the ending in its own way is a beginning. Perhaps, another book with these characters is to come?

This is my first book by Amanda Quick who was born Jayne Castle and also writes under the name Jayne Ann Krentz. So, I cannot compare it to other books. I just know I am adding this author under all her names to my list for when I need a quick, light escape into a fictional world.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

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