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The Kern Secretarial Agency provides professional services to its wealthy clientele, and Anne Clifton was one of the finest women in Ursula Kern's employ.
But Miss Clifton has met an untimely end, and Ursula is convinced it was murder. Archaeologist Slater Roxton thinks Mrs. Kern is crazy to meddle in such dangerous affairs. Together they must reveal the identity of a killer who is determined to stay hidden....
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- Danielle Maria
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Amanda Quick is the most paint-by-numbers author I know. However, it is not always a bad thing to know exactly what you're going to get from a book. I usually turn to a Quick novel in between more heavy-going books, when my brain needs a bit of a rest. I know I'll get a mild mystery with a touch of suspense, likeable but unusual characters, a few laughs here and there and a predictable ending. Good for a bit of entertainment without really engaging the brain. If you can get past the implausibility of her storylines, and overuse of the word "metaphysical" then you're set for a few hours. Some of her books are actually pretty good -Ravished, The Paid Companion and Affair- this book will not be joining that list.
I read an interview with Quick once (aka Jayne Ann Krentz) and she basically said that she churns out book after book, and forgets about them as soon as they are finished. With this book that attitude definitely showed. It felt like she made a whole book out of a storyline she'd rejected a long time ago, and just padded it out to the required length.
The "heroine" Ursula Kern is extremely unlikeable, ditto the murdered woman, ditto the wronged wife. Slater Roxton has the makings of an interesting character, but is underdeveloped and a bit of a sap. The supporting characters, who usually help to carry a Quick novel along, are all quite dull (even though most of them are supposed to be from the theatre world). Some just disappear during the book never to be heard of again.
Louisa Jane Underwood seems to have become the go-to narrator for Quick. She's an overly dramatic reader, but her style suits Quick's. I have listened to more irritating narrators however, and if you can get used to her reading every sentence as an exclamation, and her strange mispronunciation of certain words ('obvious' as "ovious", and 'inquiry' as "in-kwi-ree" then maybe you'll be able to finish a book she narrates. Not this book though. If you're an Amanda Quick fan or want to try her out, there are loads of others available.
Do not waste your time with this book.
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