As if a head for business and a nose for trouble aren't enough to distinguish Lavinia Lake from other women, Lavinia is also well versed in the practice of mesmerism. Nobody knows this better than Tobias March, who has fallen hopelessly under her spell. But Lavinia has retired her powers in favor of their partnership-providing "discreet private inquiries for individuals of quality." But when Celeste Hudson, the wife of a family friend and fellow mesmerist, is found murdered, with a gentleman's cravat wound around her lovely neck, Lake and March get on the trail of the killer. Any number of ruthless types-which may include the grieving husband-are after Celeste's priceless bracelet, said to possess legendary powers. And soon they will be after Tobias and Lavinia too, as the investigation leads them from the glittering ballrooms of the ton to the darkest reaches of men's psyches.I've always enjoyed Quick's work in the past and this was no exception. Humour, intrigue and romance are beautifully blended together and presented against a well researched historical background.
However, having said that, there were a couple of blinding linguistic anomalies that pulled me out of the story with a jerk. How the reference to biscuits for breakfast (I'm sure she meant scones-dietary habits couldn't have changed that much) slipped through to the keeper I don't know but it was the presence of a trash basket (not waste paper basket or rubbish bin) that I found intolerable.
Apart from these minor, though irritating, slips, the story lived up to expectations. Enjoyable historical romance.-Lynn