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Late for the Wedding    by Amanda Quick order for
Late for the Wedding
by Amanda Quick
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2003 (2003)
Hardcover, Audio

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Late for the Wedding is third in a series that follows the investigative exploits of Regency 'private inquiry agents' and lovers Lavinia Lake (widow and mesmerist) and Tobias March (former Napoleonic spy). This time around, Lavinia and Tobias are hot on the trail of a copy cat killer who's taken the name of a former assassin who dubbed himself 'The Momento Mori Man'. Zachery Elland (the original assassin) had eventually committed suicide once best friend Tobias discovered his true, unsavory identity. When the assassin's signature (a signet ring) is discovered by Elland's former lover, Lady Aspasia Grey, she turns to Tobias for help since he unmasked Elland.

All this occurs during a weekend party at the Beaumont estate where Lavinia and Tobias hoped for some time alone together. They've barely managed one kiss when they're startled by a body falling past their window. The investigative team immediately swings into action and begin questioning the guests, only to be ordered to leave by the lord of the manor who's loathe to have his name and those of his guests besmirched by the very mention of murder! Back in London, Lavinia and Tobias mount dual investigations and agree to compare notes as the need arises. With help from their respective niece and nephew, clues soon begin falling into place. Could the killers be three wealthy dowagers who might have good reason to stop certain upper crust weddings from happening? And what do blonde wigs and men dressing as women have to do with the murders? And most disturbing of all for Lavinia, what is Aspasia Grey's keen interest in Tobias March?

Readers who have followed Amanda Quick's (aka Jane Ann Krentz) considerable historical romance list and who enjoy the dialogue, manners and in-depth descriptions of the fashions of the Regency era, will find Late for the Wedding light and enjoyable reading. But those looking for well-rounded and interesting characters, won't find them here. Quick's casts are generally interchangeable from book to book, as are the situations and dialogue. She does manage to pull off an interesting murder mystery, though, and also a bit of a surprise ending once the identity of the copy cat killer is finally revealed.

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