by Amanda Quick
The first thing to know about this book is that despite how many lists have it as part of the Lantern Street series, this is a standalone with absolutely no paranormal element. And it was nice to go back a more traditional historical story.
Amity Doncaster is a globe trotting adventuress who is writing a lady's travel book and has learned a variety of useful skills. During her time on one island she finds a man shot in an alley. He asks her a favor of getting a letter to his Uncle in London. While she does take the letter, she also takes Mr. Benedict Stanbridge and manages to save his life.
He levered himself partway up on one elbow. Pain tightened the corners of his eyes. "Do not tell anyone else about the letter-not any of the passengers or any members of the crew. It is vitally important that you not trust anyone who is on board now or who may come aboard between here and New York. Is that clear?"
"Quite clear." She gripped the doorknob. "I must say, you are certainly a man of mystery, Mr. Stanbridge."
He sank wearily back onto the pillow. "Not at all Miss Doncaster. I'm an engineer."
Unfortunately for Amity, saving Benedict doesn't come without some risk, namely a lot of gossip of an illicit nature, which brings her to the attention of a serial killer, the Bridegroom. Fortunately, Amity is intrepid and skilled so the bridegroom seriously underestimates her and manages to escape.
I love how Krentz's books are so intricate and this one is no exception. There are several well crafted sub plots and a cast of secondary characters that are portrayed realistically and have their own relationships and lives separate from the hero and heroine. I also love how researched Krentz's novels tend to be, she usually slips in some interesting tidbit or historical fact. In this case what seems to be an anachronistic bit of whimsy is actually a historic fact. Photovoltaic cells and solar power were around for the 1800's. Granted, Krentz has written so many books at this point and her writing style is so very distinctive that it is hard to stop comparing her current books to previous ones, but in my opinion this one holds up on its own merits and was a fun historical romp with hilarious characters.