THE MARRIAGE MASQUERADE
From a strong voice in the genre comes a mystery/gothic romance with that special Cheryl Anne Porter touch of powerful emotions, strong characters and non-stop action, as Pinkerton detective Sarah Margaret "Yancey" Calhoun goes to England to catch a killer.
Yancey receives a letter meant for another woman named Sarah Calhoun who was recently murdered in Chicago. The letter is from the woman's mother-in-law, an English duchess, who pleads that Sarah Calhoun return to her son in England. After an attempt is made on Yancey's life, she realizes Sarah's killer may be targeting her next.
So she travels to England, masquerading as Sarah, and soon realizes that the stubborn and chauvinistic Duke Samuel Treyhorne will not be easy to manage.
Samuel doesn't believe he can depend upon an upstart, headstrong American to ferret out Sarah's killer. From this seemingly impossible beginning, a strong respect and a powerful passion grows between them.
Ms. Porter has woven a strong mystery subplot into a wonderfully romantic tale: the concept of a working woman and a stuffy aristocrat butting heads is highly amusing. Though there's not the usual deep, dark emotions of her Western romances, Ms. Porter does not disappoint with this, her first mystery. SENSUAL (Mar., 352 pp., $6.50)