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Smoke In Mirrors Hardcover – January 7, 2002


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Bones Never Lie
Featured New Release in Police Procedurals

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (January 7, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399147926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399147920
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #944,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sparks fly between a sexually repressed college librarian and a handyman venture capitalist while they attempt to hunt down a killer who possesses the ability to make murder look like suicide in this tepid romantic thriller from veteran author Krentz (aka Amanda Quick, Stephanie James, Jayne Castle). The news of Meredith Spooner's death comes as no surprise to her half-sister, Leonora Hutton; after all, Meredith was a con artist who was adept at making enemies. But when Thomas Walker, a victim of Meredith's most recent scam, confronts Leonora, demanding that she help him find the $1.5 million that Meredith filched from the Bethany Walker memorial fund and intimating that Meredith may have been murdered, Leonora drops her reference desk position in California to do some amateur sleuthing in Wing Cove, Wash. With the help of Thomas's brainy brother, Deke, she lands a position in Mirror House, an eerie, mirror-lined mansion that houses Eubanks College's alumni office as well as a large collection of rare books. While investigating the connection between Meredith's death and two other suspicious deaths, Leonora romances Thomas with the help of her matchmaking grandmother and a disgruntled advice columnist and pairs Deke with his sexy yoga instructor. A few half-hearted attempts on Thomas's life, orchestrated by a fraudulent stress therapist, add some zing to this one-dimensional read, but events spiral too quickly toward an unexpected and unbelievable conclusion. Once a college librarian herself, Krentz (Dawn in Eclipse Bay; Slightly Shady) ably depicts the competitive atmosphere of the academic arena, but this awkward pairing of dark melodrama and frothy romance fails to impress. National author tour.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Leonora intends to turn over the cash that she discovers murdered friend Meredith embezzled. But she feels compelled to investigate when she finds that the lock box where the loot is stashed also contains a newspaper account of an unsolved murder and a book about the Mirror House, where the murder occurred.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

The author of over 50 New York Times bestsellers, JAYNE ANN KRENTZ writes romantic-suspense in three different worlds: Contemporary (as Jayne Ann Krentz), historical (as Amanda Quick) and futuristic (as Jayne Castle). There are over 35 million copies of her books in print.

Customer Reviews

Loved the characters and the plot of the story.
"loverlywoman"
I can usually finish a JAK book in less than a day, even if it's just a so-so story, but it took me weeks to finish Smoke in Mirrors.
Loves To Read
The "love" scenes are painfully embarrassing, the plot line weak and contrived, and the ending is ridiculous.
Sue Boulais

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
For the last several books, Jayne Ann Krentz (who also writes as Amanda Quick) has been ignoring current romance trends to shift her style more and more toward romantic suspense. As she's done so, her writing style has become a bit more aloof, leading to less development of her main characters and the romance between them. Quick's "Slightly Shady" was somewhat of a disappointment for me; the characters and romance seemed almost incidental to the plot.
"Smoke in Mirrors" retreats somewhat from that aloof style, giving us good character and romantic development and appealing secondary characters. In addition, the mystery here is well integrated with the characters.
Leonora is a good Krentz heroine, with the loyalty and spunk we've come to expect. Thomas is another brooding Krentz hero, complete with large scary (but appealing) dog. The romance between them seems natural and easy, and the development of a secondary romance between Thomas's brother and his yoga instructor is handled well.
That said, the pacing of this book was a little off. While the initial build-up of suspense worked well, the conclusion seems rushed, and the eventual unmasking of the "villain" doesn't seem to make all that much sense. All is explained, but it would have been clearer if the conclusion had gone a slightly different direction.
Still, this is good Krentz, with all the hallmarks her fans have come to expect of her. A good read! Enjoy!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I've read almost everything Krentz has written, under any of her pen names. This is not one of her best efforts. She seemed unable to decide whether the primary threat should be academic envy or the flaky self-help guru, and the story lacked focus on the leading couple. The result is a half realized and not very convincing threat to the heroine. The romantic interludes don't even have her usual steamy tension. I usually buy all Krentz's books in hardback when they first come out. Maybe I'll start waiting for the paperbacks. Here's hoping that this is a fluke and that future releases, under whatever pen name, return to her usual standard of good storytelling, interesting plot lines, humor and romance.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Book Addict on February 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
After the lackluster "Dawn in Eclipse Bay", the bland "Lost and Found", and the frankly dismal "Slightly Shady", Jayne Ann Krentz seems to have finally found her pace again with this lively tale of sensuality and psychoses in a small Northwestern college town. The characters snap and crackle in the best Krentz style, complete with coastal fog, excellent dog, and a supporting cast that not only supports, but also scene-steals in many places. The passion is front and center (although maybe a little more would have been nice?), and it's easy to lose track of time while adventuring with these lovers. I'm a confirmed JAK fan and I'm thrilled to see that vivacious turn of phrase back in play along with a sexy hero and a spunky heroine! Thanks, Jayne Ann - and welcome back!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Hill VINE VOICE on September 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The relationships (of which there are a few) are the most interesting aspect of this book. Good characters. As either a mystery or a romance alone, this book would be considered a failure. I thought it was obvious who the killer was. Romantically speaking, this book is rather lukewarm. As a combination mystery/romance, I'd say the book was good or fair but not great. The killer coming after Leonora made for an implausible ending.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I won't be buying anymore of Jayne Ann Krentz's books. Although I was a huge fan. This book is incredibly formula driven. It's the same old plot she's done again and again and the stereotype of the librarian/heroine as sexually repressed is offensive.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Saul on February 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Jayne has done it again! A great mystery with hot love scenes and laughter. I loved the way she has two sub plot romances going on in this book. It not only provided interest but kept the pace fast. If you are a Jayne Ann Krantz fan, this is a must read. If you haven't discovered her yet, this is the book to do it with. The mystery provides twist and turns enough to keep you guessing. The love scenes are enough to make you want a cool breeze. This book has it all romance, mystery and comedy.
It is a keeper!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The once beautiful and vibrant Meredith Spooner is dead and her closest confidant Leonora Hutton cleans out the deceased's apartment when Thomas Walker arrives. He informs Leonora that Meredith stole 1.5 million from the college alumni fund that his brother manages.

Leonora tries to ignore Thomas' threats to implicate her as an accomplice of Meredith if she fails to help him. However, Meredith eerily contacts Leonora, informing her where the loot is, but that the deceased worried about something she learned. Leonora offers to return the cash if Thomas helps her investigate Meredith's "accident". However, Leonora will soon hit the highest and lowest points of her life as she will find love at about the same time that someone tries to kill her.

Jayne Ann Krentz has written a fine romantic suspense novel starring two quirky lead characters that endear themselves to the audience. The fast-paced action works because the secondary cast adds the needed depth to turn this multi-faceted story line into a realistic endeavor. SMOKE IN MIRROR is Ms. Krentz at her most romantic and suspenseful best.

Harriet Klausner
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