I don't have much to say here. This book took me almost three days to get through because that's how boring it was. Taking place in the 1930s, I was expecting to see some language/slang from that era. You don't get that at all and just have a woman on the run (who decides to reinvent herself as a reporter) and a former magician (yeah I know) getting caught up in murder and mayhem.
Irene (formerly Anna) is pulled into investigating when a woman turns up dead in Burning Cove, CA. The woman is found dead at an exclusive hotel run by Oliver Ward. Oliver is angry that someone dared to murder someone on his grounds. Irene is hoping for a story that is going to launch her career.
Irene and Oliver felt like cardboard cutouts when compared to Quick's Regency heroines and heroes. We get I think one love scene with them and I think after that everything is just a fade to black type thing. I don't even get why they were attracted to each other. Oliver being an ex-magician should have been more interesting than what we got.
There are also too many secondary characters to keep track of while reading this book. You have Nick Tremayne (up and coming Hollywood actor), his assistant, Irene's boss, a hired killer, the hired killer's father, Oliver's close associates (who I refuse to look up) and at a certain point I ceased to care about keeping people straight in my head.
The writing was not typical 1930s. I was hoping for a screwball comedy type writing (think His Girl Friday) or some typical noir mystery book that would have fit in perfectly.
The pacing was awful from beginning to end. When you think one mystery is over, the second mystery jumps in and it goes back and forth. I still don't know what happened and who did what to who except in one of the plot-lines. Maybe that was the issue, we had too much going on in the first book in this series.
Burning Cove, CA is the setting of this book and it did not come to life to me at all. You would think there would be some hint of the Great Depression or the second World War. The whole book felt weirdly out of touch with the time period being depicted.