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Don't Look Back [Mass Market Paperback]

Amanda Quick
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 1 2003
In this most entrancing tale of mystery and romance by the New York Times bestselling author AMANDA QUICK, lovers and partners-in-crime investigators Lavinia Lake and Tobias March continue their exciting newfound relationship, with its delicious mix of risky business, rising passion, and now--murder.

As if a head for business and a nose for trouble aren’t enough to distinguish fiercely independent Lavinia Lake from the other women of London’s fashionable Claremont Lane, there is one more feature to set her apart. Lavinia is also well versed in the practice of mesmerism, an extraordinary gift that far surpasses mere charm and physical appeal. Nobody knows this better than the usually coolheaded Tobias March, who seems to have fallen hopelessly under her spell. Fortunately for all, however, Lavinia uses her powers for good. And ever since a tragedy involving one of her subjects, she has even retired them in favor of her work with Lake and March, a joint venture providing “discreet private inquiries for individuals of quality.” Celeste Hudson, the stunningly beautiful young wife of a family friend and fellow mesmerist, would surely count herself among such individuals--were she still alive, that is. While mythology’s Medusa could turn men to stone, lovely Celeste was more accustomed to turning them to jelly. In fact, unbeknownst to her husband, Howard, the ambitious Celeste was planning to use her talents to forge a new future in Society--one that would not include him. Sadly, her plans were cut short when she was murdered. Only a gentleman’s cravat wound around her lovely neck remained for evidence--small compensation for the strange and priceless bracelet that may have been snatched from her wrist as she drew her last breath.

As a result, Lake and March are soon in Howard Hudson’s employ on the trail of the killer. But Tobias is convinced the dashing widower is more interested in tracking down the missing relic. If so, Howard is not alone. Any number of ruthless types are after the very same antiquity, whose centerpiece is an unusual blue cameo of inestimable value and supposed legendary powers--powers of immeasurable worth to anyone in Howard’s line of work.

Together, Lake and March undertake a tantalizing investigation that leads them from the glittering ballrooms of the ton to London’s seediest taverns to a mesmerist whose therapies include treating ladies suffering from “hysteria” is a a most unconventional method--and, not least of all, to the darkest reaches of men’s psyches. Along the way, Don’t Look Back becomes a completely mesmerizing read as the irrepressible Lavinia and Tobias mix business with pleasure....

From the Hardcover edition.

Frequently Bought Together

Don't Look Back + Slightly Shady + Late for the Wedding
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Product Details

Product Description

From Amazon

Setting: Regency England

Sensuality: 7

A London lady who's skilled in the practice of mesmerism, Lavinia Lake has launched a new career as a private investigator, a startling and slightly scandalous occupation for a woman in Regency England. Strong-willed and independent, Lavinia isn't a typical society widow, a fact which alternately attracts and frustrates her enigmatic partner, Tobias March. Lavinia and Tobias have a prickly and passionate relationship, and Tobias is determined to protect her, while Lavinia is just as determined to be an equal partner in their business.

When the wife of mesmerist Dr. Howard Hudson is murdered and a rare antique bracelet known as the Blue Medusa disappears, the doctor seeks Lavinia's help. Tobias is reluctant to become involved in the matter but Lavinia feels compelled to help her late father's associate. Their attempt to uncover the murderer leads them to obscure antiquities dealers, secret organizations, amoral heirs, and ladies of the evening. And when a madman threatens Lavinia's life, only Tobias can hope to save her.

Lavinia Lake and Tobias March began their adventures in the novel Slightly Shady, and in this second installment, author Jayne Ann Krentz, writing under her Amanda Quick pseudonym, further develops the couple's romantic relationship while entangling them in a murder mystery enhanced by an exploration of ancient British jewelry. The author also introduces a charming secondary couple in the mix of eccentric and interesting cast members. Fans of historical romance and mystery will welcome this latest offering from bestselling author Krentz. --Lois Faye Dyer --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

In this sequel to last year's Slightly Shady, bestseller Quick brings back the winning detective duo of Lake and March for another mysterious romp through Regency London. Settling in to a partnership both professional and personal, Lavinia Lake and Tobias March take on a case deeply intertwined with Lavinia's own past. An old family friend, the mesmerist Dr. Howard Hudson, introduces the couple to his beautiful young wife, Celeste, and not long after, Celeste is brutally murdered. Was she murdered for the sake of an ancient jewel, the Blue Medusa, reputed to confer upon the wearer mysterious powers? The Blue Medusa is missing, stolen from the household of the senile nobleman who last possessed it. As the investigation proceeds apace, both Lavinia's niece Emmeline and Tobias's brother-in-law, Anthony, insist that they wish to become investigators, too, apprenticing themselves to the older couple despite objections. A secondary romance between the younger couple offers a charming counterpoint to the growing relationship between Lavinia and Tobias. While Tobias endeavors to protect Lavinia from the danger looming from her own past, Lavinia goes about solving the case in her own way, resulting in a dramatic confrontation with the killer. Though the suspense is low-key throughout, Quick nevertheless pulls the reader along with her eminently readable blend of humor, sharp dialogue and well-paced plotting. Readers can only hope that they have not seen the last of Lake and March.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't look back indeed! March 4 2004
By Jem S.
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've never read her other novels except for "Slightly Shady" so I don't have any comparisons nor I can say that she's not capable of putting something that will spice up her novels. So anyway, the only thing that made me read this book is because I read "slightly shady" and when I start a story( a series for that matter) I intend to finish them.
But let me tell u, the ONLY JOY I got from reading this novel is when I got on the last page, not because it has a good ending(it was adequate) but because it's the last page and I'm FINALLY over it. I didn't really enjoy it, a lot of times I wanna put it down. It was so frustrating. I got the feeling of total detachment. Though I'll say, she is getting better on manuevering Tobias and Lavinia to invoke more humor into them. One more improvement is her attack on the mystery part. It's not hooking or anything, but still, it isn't easy to figure out...but it's not that hard either. If it's a good mystery ur looking for, I think u'll do better if u pick a Hardy Boys novel...
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
While I always enjoy historical fiction in a series, the second installment rarely 'grabs' my attention as much as the the first one did. This book, however, is an exception. I was captivated right from the start, and enjoyed every moment of reading "Don't Look Back". I am thrilled to discover there is a 3rd book, and can't wait to begin that one.
That said, I am still confused as to what exactly "mesmerism" is. Because it is discussed so much in both novels, I had expected there to be a more thorough explanation, especially since the idea is so central to the story. Since it's not a commonly used term, and since there isn't much information on the topic, I believe that Ms. Quick should have included more than just passing references to this archaic science. I believe I would have enjoyed the novel even more if this point had been clearer.
Regardless, this is a delightful book, but I'd certainly recommend reading "Slightly Shady" before beginning this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great dialogue and fast pace action Sept. 22 2002
I love JAK in all her presentations, precisely because she does not do a lot of interior soul searching and psycho babble. Her dialogue carries the story (as it should do in any good writing) and if she has a slightly campy feel to it so much the better. I have just started to reread some of the Quick books and find that they have held up well since I first started reading them some 6 years ago. Scandal was a hoot, ditto Deception and Mystique, I am currently on Seduction, the first one she did in this genre. My faves had been Dangerous and Ravished but I will see what time does to these rankings. Quick also writing as JA Krentz, does the same plot every time but it taps into what I want and enjoy and makes me laugh and know the ending will be satisfying and complete. This book is a departure from her norm in that it carries over the same hero and heroine from a prior book (she did do this though in Dreams 1 & 2, Gifts of Fire and Gold and one other very early set and the famous Gwen Jones quartet (please reissue JAK whereever you are, oh Seattle of course)). Best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars lavinia & tobias spark & sizzle! July 23 2002
i think it is so interesting how varied opinions can be about books. i've read many of the reviews for the lake & march series & it appears that many are disappointed by this series. i, however, was absolutely delighted & enthralled reading about lake & march. i adore each of their characters & how they are adjusting to each other, becoming more aware of the deeper & deeper affect they are having on each other & realizing how truly singular & important their relationship is. and i love all the supporting characters, emeline & anthony are totally sweet & ms. dove is perfect & the introduction of mr. vale is riveting. and the mystery is well developed. there are many plot lines & additional characters that add to the pace & the puzzle, & muddles up a reader's usual ability to see the culprit from the beginning in the normally not well-thought out romance novel mystery. i completely enjoyed reading this tale of murder, theivery & mystery, love awakening between two older, mature individuals who think a passionate & enduring love is not possible for them, and deserved mutual respect between individuals of varied classes. if you like mysteries with a little romance to spice & liven up the story, you will totally enjoy "don't look back". i am wishing & hoping that amanda quick will deliver another lake/march mystery for us soon. i hope i hope i hope!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Same old, same old July 9 2002
I found this latest Lake & March installment, DON'T LOOK BACK to be utterly boring, a real sleep-inducer. I agree with one of the previous reviewers who wrote that the characters are not very likeable. In fact they have become measurably duller, dimmer, shallower, and crabbier since their last appearance in SLIGHTLY SHADY. There is NO tension in this book and the dialogue is imminently forgettable. I was particularly disappointed because I thought that JAK was finally getting her groove back with SUMMER IN ECLIPSE BAY, which was really pretty good.
For those of you who have been reading JAK forever (like me), DON'T LOOK BACK is a tepid, uninspired reworking of her Guinevere Jones series published in the late 80's with a change of setting and the now de rigueur, motif-du-jour (hypnotism & Gallo-Roman antiquities).
I hate to say it because I hate to think that I've continued to pay top $$$ for JAK's mediocre hard covers all these years ... but the last book that she wrote that really zinged me was "The Golden Chance" in 1992. Just about everything else since then has been a gimmicky, tongue-firmly-in-cheek, self-parody of one or more of her earlier writing successes.
Recommendation to new readers: Skip the recent stuff and find JAK's back list previous to 1993. You won't be sorry.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Look Back
I first read this series quite some time ago. I finally bought this book about Tobias and Lavinia. I find their stories quite funny in parts and have laughed until I have tears... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Linda J. Leclair
3.0 out of 5 stars Not her best
I like Amanda Quick, in fact I like her a lot, but I found this book disappointing. I think the problem for me was that it didn't introduce a new heroine and hero. Read more
Published on May 24 2004 by sue bradley
3.0 out of 5 stars Can one be to much of a "feminist"?
Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy Amanda Quick's works, but this time I was left feeling so-so. Read more
Published on Dec 11 2003 by C. DeMario
2.0 out of 5 stars So So
This book was interesting while reading it. I had read Slightly Shady before this one. I found Lavina not to be so much like herself in this one, yet to me she wasn't as annyoning... Read more
Published on Sept. 5 2003 by A. Gilliland
2.0 out of 5 stars Quick to Avoid
Don't Look Back was my first Amanda Quick novel. I am going to avoid this author from now on, due to the flat plot line and lackluster mystery. Read more
Published on June 2 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars What an awful role heroine
I hated the woman - and the man was soooo patronizing. I liked the other book but MY WORD what happened to her?????
Published on May 8 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerism and private investigation
I have to start out by saying this was not my favorite of Amanda Quick's books. In this one it didn't seem to grab me and make me want to stop everything I was doing to be able to... Read more
Published on Dec 13 2002 by Tanya L. Schaub
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Writer I Enjoy"
No matter what name this writer happens to be writing under at the time, she can't fool me! I would know her style anywhere! I love her and all of her books. Read more
Published on Nov. 2 2002 by "markusburns"
3.0 out of 5 stars I Miss the Old Amanda Quick
This was a delightful book and I enjoyed reading it however I miss the passion and sizzle of her earlier books. The characters are like old friends if you read the first book. Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2002 by Dawn Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
I like the fact that AQ wrote two books with Lavinia and Tobias.
The fact that they aren't sugary sweet is a big plus to me. Read more
Published on Oct. 12 2002
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