by Amanda Quick

May 2003
ISBN: 0553802712
Reviewer Graphic Button Bantam Books

While trying to take amorous advantage of a weekend away at a posh country house, detecting partners cum lovers, Lavinia Lake and Tobias March, stumble upon a couple of frightening mysteries. First Aspasia, a woman from Tobias’ murky past, shows up with the horrifying news that a new Memento-Mori man, that dreaded killer for hire, has emerged and is out on the hunt. And soon after, the body of fellow guest, Lord Fullerton, plummets down from the roof in an apparent suicide - and this interrupts Lavinia and Tobias at a very strategic erotic moment! Soon this detecting duo comes to the conclusion that the suicide was actually a murder in disguise, which is the signmark of the Memento-Mori Man. Tobias is determined to solve this case come hell or high water, with Lavinia not far behind.

Once in London, with the aid of able young assistants Emeline and Anthony, and their mentors Lord Vale and Mrs. Dove, they begin a painstaking investigation. And soon they come to the chilling realization that the Memento-Mori man has been active for quite a while now, and for some peculiar reason his victims are mostly wealthy, older men, often reprobates, who are about to wed young beauties. Meanwhile on the romantic front, things are getting stormy for all the couples involved. Who is this strange young man who is bent upon revenge and vies with Anthony for the attention of the attractive Emeline? Meanwhile, Lavinia is not at all happy with Aspasia’s intimate manner towards Tobias and is deeply suspicious of this odd hold she seems to have on him. Read on to a story filled with suspense, romance and humor, and uncover the mystery!

Master storyteller Amanda Quick (the pseudonym for Jayne Ann Krentz) brings back Lavinia Lake and Tobias March in their third Regency England mystery. As usual, the characters of Lavinia and Tobias are intriguing, indulging in occasional hot sexy escapades, and arguing to conceal their growing feelings for each other. Their sensual encounters are hotter than is usual for a typical Regency, but this only makes the book more interesting than ever; and what role currants play in their erotic encounters is for the readers to guess! This novel has a great cast of secondary characters who greatly liven up the scenarios with their complex romantic entanglements and feelings of propriety. Jealousy and revenge make for seething romantic triangles. Some of the regular characters in this series put in appearances, and a sense of continuity is maintained. The pace is quick, the well-developed plot has romance and mystery in equal quantities, and they nicely balance out each other. The mystery in this book is very difficult indeed and the ending comes as an absolute shock! The dreaded Memento-Mori Man casts a chill into the hearts of the readers with his murderer-for-hire deeds, and astonishingly enough, he isn't the only villain in this complicated story!

A beautifully written, absorbing and multifaceted Regency historical, ‘Late for the Wedding’ will compel its readers to keep turning the pages, and is Amanda Quick at her very best!

Reviewed in April 2003 by Rashmi.

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