Everything you would want in a good mystery is in The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick (Berkley Hardcover; in stores Tuesday, May 9). There’s murder, mystery and love set in the time of the 1930’s Hollywood, when the studios ran everything and you didn’t want to piss them off.
Anna Harris finds her employer murdered. She has managed to leave her a note RUN FOR YOUR LIFE and don’t trust anyone. Irene has found a mysterious notebook that seems to be the reason for the murder. Irene grabs what she can and takes off. She hits route 66 and comes up with a new name and heads for California with the new name of Irene Glasson.
She lands a job at a small gossip newspaper and is on a tip that involves hot and upcoming actor Nick Tremayne. She’s at the exclusive Burning Cove hotel, which caters to the rich and famous, and has a strict policy of protecting their clients. Irene is meeting another actress in the spa and finds her dead. She manages to escape from the killer and is interviewed by the police and by the owner of the Hotel, a former well known magician, Oliver Ward.
She writes her story and all but accuses Nick of the murder, since they had a fling. His studio is not happy about this and sends muscle and signs that Irene needs to back off. She and Oliver team up to figure out what exactly is going on. When another murder happens and again Irene is at the scene, Oliver insists she move into his place until things are solved. They soon fall for each other and try to figure out who is killing people.
It’s not just Hollywood that is after Irene. The people that want the notebook have figured out where Irene is and are also after her. With some ingenious planning, traps are set to capture and expose these people, which leads to deadly consequences.
A good old fashioned noir story that shows what old Hollywood was like back in the day. They would do anything to stop a scandal, even murder! Jayne Ann Krentz had written more that fifty novels. This was my first time reading one of them and I look forward to the next one!