Lucy Barnstable's father is "dotty," and when he disappears after opening up a detective agency, la Sherlock Holmes, she's worried.

Then she finds a badly beaten stranger on her boarding house steps who carries an ancient Indian stone seal like her father's.

Calling him "Mr. James," Lucy nurses him and decides to help him reclaim his memory and investigate her father's disappearance. Dark, mysterious Mr. James draws sensible Lucy like a moth to the flame.

From the galleries of the British Museum to the offices of the Times, from dark alleys, to the opera and ballrooms, Lucy and Mr. James search out the truth. Just as they discover a mutual desire, they uncover a plot to keep the fabulous Devil's Diamond from being presented to the queen and find themselves drawn into peril.

Constance Laux takes readers on a suspenseful journey through foggy Victorian London as a reluctant sleuth and an amnesiac try to prevent a disaster at Queen Victoria's Jubilee. This lively, suspenseful tale glimmers with mystery, action and adventure. Ms. Laux will draw readers by skillfully building the suspense to a crescendo. Romantic mystery lovers have found a diamond of their own! SENSUAL (Apr., 349 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin