The Other Lady Vanishes

Written by Amanda Quick
Review by Anne Clinard Barnhill

The Other Lady Vanishes by Amanda Quick (aka Jayne Anne Krentz) takes the reader to glamorous Burning Cove, California, playground of the rich and famous in the 1930s. This posh and private resort town attracts Hollywood movers and shakers. However, Adelaide Blake is neither. She’s come to Burning Cove to start her life again, after a daring escape from a private sanitarium where she was sent by her “husband,” Conrad Massey. Adelaide has no memory of marrying Massey; she only knows the experimental drugs they give her at Rushbrook Sanitarium are going to kill her if she doesn’t get away.

Once settled into a small apartment in Burning Cove, Adelaide puts her previous knowledge to work in the local tea parlor, The Refresh. Here, she creates special brews to soothe and calm her clients. She’s making new friends and feeling almost normal. However, she’s terrified to let anyone in on her secret—she’s afraid they’ll think she really is crazy.

While working, she meets Jake Truett, recently widowed businessman who finds himself attracted to Adelaide. Or perhaps he’s been sent to spy on her. As their stories intertwine, the plot becomes complicated. Bringing in a “Psychic to the Stars” who mysteriously predicts her own death, along with a shady, underworld nightclub owner, a mad scientist and a couple of completely unscrupulous doctors, Quick creates a web of characters and plot lines that can become a bit hard to follow at times. However, the palpable danger to Adelaide and Jake is quite real. This tension, along with the slow-brewing romance between Adelaide and Jake, makes reading this mystery as pleasant as sitting down on a cold afternoon with a cup of Earl Grey.