Close Up (Burning Cove, California)

Written by Amanda Quick
Review by Lorelei Brush

In this fourth novel of Amanda Quick’s Burning Cove series, set in the 1930s, Vivian Brazier is working as a crime scene photographer in a small ritzy town near Los Angeles. She is keeping this occupation secret, as her goal is to be a fine art photographer. People in that up-and-coming profession tend to snub those who snap pictures of reality. But crime scenes, at the moment, are paying the bills. Early on, Vivian deduces that the infamous Dagger Killer is also a photographer, and she sets the police on the right track to find him. But this is only the beginning. She herself becomes a target of someone, and the mystery begins.

Nick Sundridge comes to her door and introduces himself as her protector. He has a special talent, the ability to see things that others can’t. They discover the Dagger Killer has connections to the glamour of Hollywood and high society, with which Vivian is familiar from her upbringing in a wealthy household. The two join forces to uncover the one who wishes to kill Vivian and discover, in addition, a love for each other.

This novel is an easy and fun read, with clean, uncomplicated writing and clever plot turns. It introduces a new set of characters into Burning Cove and weaves in those from previous novels in the series. Within the genre of historical fiction, this novel could be called romantic suspense, romantic mystery, or pure escapism. It leaves the reader with a cozy feeling of being a part of this world for a time and wanting to return.