When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool…
The dead woman had a red-hot secret about up-and-coming leading man Nick Tremayne, a scoop that Irene couldn’t resist—especially since she’s just a rookie at a third-rate gossip rag. But now Irene’s investigation into the drowning threatens to tear down the wall of illusion that is so deftly built around the famous actor, and there are powerful men willing to do anything to protect their investment.
Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago…
With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…
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The Girl Who Knew Too Much
Anna Harris has a fantastic, well paying job, and is very happy with the way her life is going, when it all falls apart. She finds her boss brutally murdered, leaving her some funds, a mysterious notebook, and a cryptic letter advising her to run and to trust no one. In fear for her life, Anna leaves New York, heads for California, and changes her identity. Now known as Irene Glasson, she works for a gossip magazine. When she arrives at a scheduled meeting to interview a woman regarding some potentially scandalous news about an upcoming star, she finds the woman dead in the hotel swimming pool. Finding two dead bodies – how lucky can one girl be?
Oliver Ward’s hotel is a haven for celebrities, and is known for not allowing reporters on the premises. A dead woman found on site is not good for publicity, and Oliver is not letting the reporter leave until he has questioned her thoroughly. Eventually, Oliver and Irene agree to form a partnership, as they both intend to find out if this death was a murder or an accident. Oliver has a fascinating history, as he is a former magician, whose career ended with a stunt gone wrong, leaving him with one badly injured leg that requires he now use a cane. He has never publicly spoken about the incident, insisting that it was purely an accident.
Oliver and Irene are both interesting characters with obviously colorful pasts, which they don’t discuss. Oliver resents sympathy and curiosity and is tight lipped about his former career. I liked that he took care of all his former employees and now has them working at his hotel complex. He inspires loyalty and respect from his staff, which says a lot about his character. Irene’s choice to become a reporter surprised me, as I would think that she would choose a profession completely out of the public eye. As the case progressed, and more incidents happen, she becomes more endangered than ever, yet she’s as tenacious as a dog with a bone, refusing to let go.
Oliver and Irene open up enough with each other to act on their attraction and begin an affair. Little by little, they reveal more of themselves and grow closer. There is a lot happening, as the original murderer in New York has tracked Anna/Irene down, and is moving in. Meanwhile, the murderer in California is also making plans to end Irene’s investigation by whatever means necessary.
THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH takes place in the 1930’s, a very different time period than Amanda Quick’s usual books. I enjoyed this time period, although I do prefer Regency or Victorian. The romance between Oliver and Irene was warm, intelligent, and full of mutual respect, but I missed the scorching heat that Amanda Quick can write when she chooses to. The story moved along quickly, with never a dull moment, but the focus was definitely on the suspense, not the romance. I enjoyed THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH a lot, and I particularly liked the twist at the end, which leaves the door open for future frolics in Burning Cove, California.