To launch her niece into society, Lavinia Lake takes her on holiday to Italy and ends up stranded and penniless in Rome, where she opens an antiquities shop. But it seems local criminals are using the shop as a meeting place.
Private investigator Tobias March is searching for a criminal known as Azure, head of the Blue Chamber. He knows exactly what is happening in Lavinias shop and though he believes she is innocent, he wrecks her shop and warns her to return to England immediately.
Meanwhile, Lavinia discovers she has a talent for detective work herself and gets a position investigating why someone wants to kill Joan Dove (the would-be murderer leaves a voodoo-style doll as a calling card).
From ballrooms to brothels (there are even some lovely wax figures in erotic tableaus) Lavinia joins with Tobias on a merry chase.
There are plenty of twists and turns, blackmail plots, dead bodies, dead ends and red herrings that blend perfectly with the romance. The is vintage Amanda Quick and is sure to delight her legion of readers. SENSUAL (Apr., 400 pp., $23.95)