Murder Survivor: The Ultimate Death Defying Circus Act


by Amanda Quick
#3 Burning Cove
Romantic Suspense
Penguin Random House | Berkley
Formats available: Hardback, Electronic, Audio
Pub Date: 5.7.19| 320 pages

REVIEWER: Sophia Rose

Book was provided by publisher. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.


An unconventional woman and a man shrouded in mystery walk a tightrope of desire as they race against a killer to find a top secret invention before it’s too late.

Former trapeze artist Amalie Vaughn moved to Burning Cove to reinvent herself, but things are not going well. After spending her entire inheritance on a mansion with the intention of turning it into a bed-and-breakfast, she learns too late that the villa is said to be cursed. When the first guest, Dr. Norman Pickwell, is murdered by his robot invention during a sold-out demonstration, rumors circulate that the curse is real.

In the chaotic aftermath of the spectacle, Amalie watches as a stranger from the audience disappears behind the curtain. When Matthias Jones reappears, he is slipping a gun into a concealed holster. It looks like the gossip that is swirling around him is true—Matthias evidently does have connections to the criminal underworld.

Matthias is on the trail of a groundbreaking prototype cipher machine. He suspects that Pickwell stole the device and planned to sell it. But now Pickwell is dead and the machine has vanished. When Matthias’s investigation leads him to Amalie’s front door, the attraction between them is intense, but she knows it is also dangerous. Amalie and Matthias must decide if they can trust each other and the passion that binds them, because time is running out.





Tightrope-CoverA former circus star buys a home with a dark history and turn it into a B&B just in time for their first guest, an inventor, to be killed on stage during his robot demonstration. But, that is not the end of the bizarre happenings at the Hidden Cove B&B when everyone seems to be looking for something the dead inventor hid before his final act.

Tightrope is the third of the Burning Cove series set in the 1930’s bringing back to life a nostalgia for Old Hollywood, gangster and spy movies and a tip to the horror films of the era in this latest standalone installment.

I read Tightrope out of order and had no trouble slipping right into this story that begins with a ‘heart-in-your-throat’ scene and segways into yet another stunning scene though not as thrilling. I was engrossed from the beginning and read the book in two sittings. The author brought the world of the ’30’s to life in her fictitious small town playground where Hollywood’s A List and the wealthy came to play and be seen.

The author didn’t go for the cliche with her main characters and I had a lot of fun with that. You don’t get many books with a circus entertainer and an engineer for occupations.

Amalie is a beautiful, graceful, and edgy woman. This woman flew without a net and survived a brutal attack by a serial killer. No one believed the truth and even reputed to her the killing of a lover. She’s making a go of turning an old mansion where a gypsy fortune teller committed suicide into an inn and now her first guest was murdered by his robot invention, no less, and a Horror film star shows as her second guest with a sharp-penned gossip columnist in tow exercising her wit in articles at Amalie’s expense. Only, Amalie turns the tables and shows that no publicity is bad publicity.

Opposite Amalie is enigmatic Matthias Jones who is investigating the murder and has ties to the mob. He is definitely more than he seems and I loved how the author slowly peeled back his secrets and the truth of the investigation that goes beyond solving a murder. He was so enamored with Amalie from the start and had no trouble seeing her as an equal in their pursuit of the truth. He’s a tough guy and smart, but I loved how he had dreams of building up his own business and hoping for something with Amalie.

I really did feel like I was dropped back into an old hard-boiled detective flick and I was having a blast with the glitzy night clubs, the swanky people, the backroom gambling, government agents, action scenes, twists and reveals. I could have stayed in the Burning Cove world much longer. And, I will when I go back for the first two books.

Incidentally, that cover is exquisite. I don’t normally mention covers, but I have to give a shout out to the team that put this one together.

In summary, I think the series has a new fan after just one book. Those who enjoy romantic suspense set in the past are the target audience and I can definitely recommend this one.



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