'Til Death Do Us Part

'Til Death Do Us Part

4.4 16
by Amanda Quick
     
 

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The author of the New York Times bestseller Garden of Lies returns to Victorian London in an all-new novel of deadly obsession.
 
Calista Langley operates an exclusive “introduction” agency in Victorian London, catering to respectable ladies and gentlemen who find themselves alone in the world. But now, a dangerously

Overview

The author of the New York Times bestseller Garden of Lies returns to Victorian London in an all-new novel of deadly obsession.
 
Calista Langley operates an exclusive “introduction” agency in Victorian London, catering to respectable ladies and gentlemen who find themselves alone in the world. But now, a dangerously obsessed individual has begun sending her trinkets and gifts suitable only for those in deepest mourning—a black mirror, a funeral wreath, a ring set with black jet stone. Each is engraved with her initials.
 
Desperate for help and fearing that the police will be of no assistance, Calista turns to Trent Hastings, a reclusive author of popular crime novels. Believing that Calista may be taking advantage of his lonely sister, who has become one of her clients, Trent doesn’t trust her. Scarred by his past, he’s learned to keep his emotions at bay, even as an instant attraction threatens his resolve.
 
But as Trent and Calista comb through files of rejected clients in hopes of identifying her tormentor, it becomes clear that the danger may be coming from Calista’s own secret past—and that only her death will satisfy the stalker…

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 03/07/2016
Quick’s ambitious Victorian historical mixes witty, occasionally self-referential banter with gothic undertones and a solid thriller plot. Calista Langley has resigned herself to spinsterhood now that she’s in her late 20s. She runs a discreet matchmaking and salon service, pairing each singleton with a potential partner of the person’s preferred gender. She’s also being stalked by a mysterious person who leaves ominous memento mori in her house. Successful mystery author Trent Hastings, dubious about the service Calista is offering his sister, Eudora, confronts her. After some initial hostilities, he finds himself drawn to her and begins helping her investigate the stalker. They’re joined by Eudora as well as Calista’s younger brother, Andrew (a talented investigator in his own right). The four begin to uncover a series of murders, and soon their lives are threatened. Along with the danger, Quick throws in a great deal of humor (including a wonderful running gag centered on Hastings’s latest story), a large cast of well-rounded characters, and lots of solid red herrings. This is a true delight for fans of historical romances and mysteries. Agent Steve Axelrod, Axelrod Agency. (Apr.)
Library Journal
04/15/2016
Fearing that his sister is being taken advantage of by a charlatan matchmaker, popular mystery author Trent Hastings heads to Cranleigh Hall to confront the owner of the introductions agency in question. However, self-reliant, unconventional Calista Langley is not about to be intimidated, even by someone as formidable as Trent—something that both annoys and intrigues him more than he wants to admit. When he learns that Calista is the victim of a bizarre stalking, they join forces to track down the villain and are compelled to deal with their growing attraction as they are drawn into a web of murder and insanity. VERDICT An intrepid heroine and a dashing, equally brilliant hero spar their way to love in this engaging, well-plotted Victorian romance that is rife with witty repartee, fascinating historical detail, and a delicious salting of humor. Just plain fun. Quick (Garden of Lies) lives in the Seattle area. [An April LibraryReads pick.]
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2016-02-17
A Victorian matchmaker becomes the target of a macabre stalker and turns to a reclusive mystery writer for help—and when the danger escalates, so does their relationship. After inheriting a grand home but little income, Calista Langley launches her own introductions business, offering clients "an opportunity to meet like-minded people and perhaps develop friendships." When popular mystery author Trent Hastings confronts her, worried that she's taking advantage of his sister, the two get off to a rocky start, but Calista holds her own, and he finds himself attracted to the innovative business owner. When they meet again, he learns she's been receiving creepy presents from an unknown giver—memento mori items suitable for people in deepest mourning but containing her initials—and volunteers to help her get to the bottom of the disconcerting pranks. Except as they delve into the puzzle, they realize the sender has left a trail of previous recipients, each of whom has wound up dead. The stakes get higher as their investigation suggests Calista is in the sights of a serial killer, with signs pointing to an ex-suitor. Finding proof is elusive, however, while the physical dangers escalate and potential witnesses keep winding up murdered. Meanwhile, Calista and Trent, two bruised souls who expected to live solitary lives, find affinity and passion in each other, and as they open up to hope and love, other familial and friendship bonds are tightened. The couple's chance for happiness seems quite good, if they can wrap up the mystery before it kills them. Romantic suspense luminary Quick (aka Jayne Ann Krentz) moves into edgy thriller territory with intelligence and aplomb and uses the backdrop of gaslight-tinted, death-obsessed Victorian London to perfection. The plot is smart and tight and the characters complex, while the subtle wink of humor toward a successful mystery author's plight and romance subplots will make fans smile. Quick's appealing new direction somehow balances Gothic intensity and lighthearted wit.
From the Publisher
“A model storyteller of mystery and suspense mixed with an entrancing romance, Amanda Quick...once again holds the reader in rapt attention with 'Til Death Do Us Part...an intriguing read that keeps audiences entrenched in the lives of the characters.”—examiner.com
 
“Best-selling Quick knows what her readers want, and she delivers it in spades with her latest mesmerizing historical romance. The perfectly realized Victorian setting adds just the right dash of gothic flavor to the story, and the smartly paced plot is filled with enough goose-bump-inducing chills and sexy, romantic thrills to have readers sighing happily with satisfaction. The icing on this irresistible literary confection is Quick’s distinctive sense of wit, which remains just as delicious as ever.”—Booklist (starred review)
 
“Romantic suspense luminary Quick moves into edgy thriller territory with intelligence and aplomb and uses the backdrop of gaslight-tinted, death-obsessed Victorian London to perfection. The plot is smart and tight and the characters complex, while the subtle wink of humor toward a successful mystery author's plight and romance subplots will make fans smile. Quick's appealing new direction somehow balances Gothic intensity and lighthearted wit.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
“Quick’s ambitious Victorian historical mixes witty, occasionally self-referential banter with gothic undertones and a solid thriller plot...Along with the danger, Quick throws in a great deal of humor, a large cast of well-rounded characters, and lots of solid red herrings. This is a true delight for fans of historical romances and mysteries.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“The whole plot was so well thought out and frankly amazing...Amanda Quick is still—after all these years—a magnificent writer.”—Quite the Novel Idea

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399174469
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/19/2016
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
9,933
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Amanda Quick is a pseudonym for Jayne Ann Krentz, the author, under various pen names, of more than fifty New York Times bestsellers; there are more than 35 million copies of her books in print.
 
Recent titles include Garden of Lies and Otherwise Engaged, the Ladies of Lantern Street Novels, The Mystery Woman and Crystal Gardens, and the Arcane Society Novels, Quicksilver and Burning Lamp.

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'Til Death Do Us Part 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Interesting characters, well thought out plots, and good endings, what more do you need for a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Will be reading 'til Death Do Us Part' again.
thereadingchick 7 months ago
Calista Langley, a single young Victorian woman, supports she and her brother by holding small parties where other single people can mix and mingle to find companionship, love and marriage. Yes, basically she is a gentile matchmaker, of sorts. Trent Hastings a writer of serial mysteries, meets with Calista under the guise of checking out her salon for his own prospects, but really he is making sure his younger sister is in good hands. While interviewing with Calista, he stumbles on threats that are being made to her by way of some rather morbid gifts. She enlists his investigative skills and they pair up to solve the mystery. I think this was one of the best Amanda Quick novels that I have read in awhile. I always like to read about strong independent female characters, and Calista, who had been through some tough personal travails, was definitely overcoming all obstacles. I also like it when the male hero is flawed and seems surprised when he finds himself reacting emotionally to his heroine. Trent's flaws, initially seemed to be physical, with acid burns on his face and body, but were actually emotional, as he had, in his eyes, failed saving his mother and siblings from an abusive step father. They both worked through their inhibitions, solving a mystery, and passionately falling in love with each other. A very satisfactory HEA and very well written by an accomplished author.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Every time I pick up one of Amanda's novels I fall a little more in love with her characters. I recommend her for anyone who loves a good thriller with a touch of romance
Queenbethanny 9 months ago
Unique characters, a growing passion and a dangerous mystery equals a Quick Book!
PDX_reader_Jane 10 months ago
Calista owns a business of introducing exclusive clients to each other. She and her brother Andrew manage to get along well on the income. Calista has resigned herself to becoming a spinster. Frightening gifts have suddenly appeared ---- those suitable for someone in mourning with HER initials engraved. Trent is the reclusive author of crime novels. His sister Eudora is one of Calista's clients. He is trying to protect Eudora from fortune hunters and does not trust Calista. Their first meeting sets off fireworks between them. When he seeks another meeting, Calista tells him about the mourning gifts. He decides to find the culprit --- and she decides she will assist him. This fast-paced story is full of plot twists and conspiracies. Amanada Quick knows how to reel in her readers with solid characters and a good story. Her alter ego's are Jayne Anne Krentz and Jayne Castle. Don't miss any of their books! They are riveting!
Historical_Romance_Lover 10 months ago
I really enjoyed this story. It's been awhile since I've read an Amanda Quick book and this story reminded me why I loved her writing so much! I really liked Calista. She needed to make her way in the world and did what she had to when she and her brother needed an income. She found what she was good at and went with it. I also really liked Trent. He was really an anti-social person until Calista was brought into his life and then he just seemed to bloom. What I really love about Quick's writing is that you shouldn't expect the expected. That was certainly the case with this story! I won't say more because I don't want to give it away. I'll definitely be going back and reading Quick's books that I have missed in recent years. I've been reminded of what I have been missing out on! Thanks go out to Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous 12 months ago
I enjoy all of Jayne Ann Krentz books. This is an excellent book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amanda Quick is an Exceptional Author. I have never been disappointed. This book is truly a wonderful read. It has everything! Mystery, intrigue, romance, and surprises, loved the characters, all of them. No whiney irritating heroine in this, all the supporting characters are stellar, and the hero was all that and so much more. Enjoyed immensely.
In_My_Humble_OpinionDA More than 1 year ago
I love JAK in all her incarnations. Like all her books this was a fast paced really fun read. The heroine is a smart strong woman trying to make it in a world where women have little control over their lives. I loved the hero, a successful author of detective mysteries who has to deal with everyone telling how his story should go. His patience with his fans is commendable. The mystery in this book takes convoluted twists and turns before we get to the conclusion. I enjoyed this book and recommend it heartily.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this greatly. It had a lot of layers that as they peeled back brought the plot into focus. Adding to that the perils of a woman's life in the Victorian era, also layered into the tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Barb-TRC More than 1 year ago
Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick is a wonderful mystery thriller that takes place in Victorian London. Calista Langley, our heroine, runs a private respectable introduction agency from her house, to offer those who are alone in finding equal companions in the same situation. Calista is being stalked, as she has received some creepy funeral trinkets, such as a black wreath, black jewelry with her initials and a coffin bell. Calista’s brother, Andrew and the long time servants fear for her, but she feels that going to the police will be no help. She is also in the midst of rejecting a former suitor, who dumped her to marry a wealthy heiress, and now wants to pursue her again, even though he is still married. In the midst of this, enter our hero, Trent Hastings, who is a famous mystery writer. Trent came to visit Calista, to check her out, as his sister is one of her clients. After words were exchanged, he leaves only to come back the following day and apologize. Trent discovers some of the trinkets and learns about Calista’s predicament. She will turn to Trent for help and together they will embark on solving this mystery, which will turn out to be somewhat of a serial killer, and Calista seems to be the next marked victim. This mystery was exciting, and at times scary, but the fun part was watching Trent use his skills as a detective from his writing and research. A slow build romance will begin between Trent and Calista, but that is in the background with the mystery thriller totally in the forefront. Amanda Quick does a fabulous job of creating so many twists and turns that changed our thoughts on the killer often. Most of all, this mystery was so well written, and Quick (who is also Jayne Ann Krentz and Jayne Castle) puts us right in the middle of the investigation looking at the clues, and solving this mystery. I also loved the wonderful characters she has created; Calista, Trent, Andrew, Endura, even Mr. Pell, and some others. Til Death Do Us Part was an exciting, edge of your seat thriller, a bit scary, and wonderful sweet couple that we rooted for. I will say that the last 1/3 of the book was so exciting, suspenseful and tense, that I could not put the book down, not to mention more surprises. This was a wonderful book that I wholly recommend. Of course, you come to expect this from anything by the Quick, Krentz, Castle trio. :)