Jayne Ann Krentz, writing as Amanda Quick, spins an exciting historical romantic thriller set late in the reign of Queen Victoria. It stars Venetia, a young spinster, down on her luck but nonetheless determined to engineer her own future as a photographer -- and her own ravishment. She decides on Gideon Jones, who supervises the treasures of Arcane House, a secretive organization. The interlude goes well -- so well, she is distressed to learn, that he has died. Venetia establishes a photographic practice in London as a widow under the name of Mrs. Jones; then her "husband" turns up, looking remarkably well.
Quick is clearly having a great time here, as she balances the awkwardness of Gideon's resurfacing against the new romance of a supposedly married couple and the watchful eyes of the Polite World -- and a plot to kill anyone remotely connected to the mysteries of Arcane House. Ginger Curwen