I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Friday, October 28, 2016

'Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick

Calista Langley operates an exclusive"introduction" agency where respectable people who have found themselves alone in the world can meet and find friendship or love in Victorian London.  Someone though is trying to scare Calista. She has received three memento mori gifts, engraved with her initials, which are used when someone is in deepest mourning. One is a tear-catcher, and the other is a jet-and-crystal ring, and the third is a coffin bell. Her younger brother Andrew has tried to investigate who it might be by looking into her client list as well as those who were rejected. Andrew's job for Calista's company is to vet the men and women to make sure they are who they say they are and that they are not cads or golddiggers or already married.  So far he has come up empty. 

After an antagonizing visit from an old beau, Nestor Kettering who wants to renew their relationship even though he is married now, Calista is visited by one of her client's brother, Trent Hastings, who also happens to be the famous author of the Clive Stone crime stories, and who is badly scarred from an acid burn on his face and hand.  He is worried that his sister is being taken advantage of.  Calista assures him that this is not the case.  He is not convinced until he talks to his sister, Eudora and then when he returns to apologize to Calista, it is when she receives the coffin bell. Trent offers his help in discovering who is behind this morbid threat. 

When they go to the place where the bell was sold, they come across a woman who is still running her dead husband's funeral company.  She lies and says that someone named John Smith bought the bell when she remembers quite clearly who bought the bells and where they were sent.  Later Trent gets a message from the woman to meet her that night at her place of business and she will give him the information he desires.  Calista tags along with Trent and when they get there they grab the invoice book and find someone else in the building--a killer.  The woman has had her throat slit and Calista and Trent barely escape with their lives. 

When they go over the book they find out that Calista wasn't the only person to receive memento mori.  There were several other women. The first woman the objects were sent to one address. The others were sent to another address under the name Nestor Kettering.  Kettering has been known to not have been faithful to his wife or have anything to do with her. He also cannot get rid of her. If she dies or is committed the money goes to relatives in Canada.  It seems that Kettering is quite mad and is a serial killer killing the women he has affairs with after he breaks up with them.  Did he work alone or did he do it at all?

Someone is obsessively stalking then slashing these women's throats and he is of the gentleman's class according to the descriptions.   Now Calista is in his crosshairs and unless Trent, Andrew, and Eudora can figure this out she will become his next victim.  While all the excitement of death is going on, Trent and Calista find themselves falling for each other and unsure whether they can trust these new feelings.  This book is fast-paced and filled with lots of thrills and quick wit from the characters as well as many surprises that you don't see coming.  This is well worth a read.   


He was very fond of Rebecca but there were times when he found her irritating. He seemed to be surrounded by women who felt free to speak their minds and make their opinions known. It was his misfortune that he preferred the company of such females, he thought. They were so much more interesting that the other sort.
-Amanda Quick (‘Til Death Do Us Part p 146)
 Trust is a rare jewel.

-Amanda Quick (‘Til Death Do Us Part p 197)
Link to Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Til-Death-Do-Us-Part/dp/039917446X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1477658895&sr=1-1&keywords=til+death+do+us+part+amanda+quick

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