It’s easy to wonder how an author can stay fresh over a long writing career. Some begin in one genre of writing and move to another. Tess Gerritsen began her writing life with category romances and moved into thrillers, now is drifting back toward relationship books. Nora Roberts created a new identity as J.D. Robb to separate her futuristic mysteries from her more traditional romances. Author Jayne Ann Krentz has taken a single theme and spread it between three pseudonyms and kept her story-telling fresh.
The Arcane Society novels revolve around a secret organization of persons with paranormal powers. The society is dedicated to investigating the paranormal and protecting the general public from knowledge of, or harm by, individuals endowed with special gifts. Under the nom de plume Amanda Quick, the origins of the society are explored during the 19th century. These romantic suspense novels involve the comedy of manners and mores of the Victorian age as well as the chase for deadly killers, mad scientists and power-crazed dictators.
The first in the series is “Second Sight”, which begins with two members of the Arcane Society finding an ancient chest that holds the key to untold power and perhaps extended life. Within the Society itself dwell individuals who will stop at nothing, including murder to possess these secrets for themselves. As the deaths begin, never married Gabriel Jones, who has faked his own death to hunt for the killer, finds that he has acquired a widow and that she may become the killer’s next victim.
“White Lies” takes the Arcane Society and its offshoot investigative division, Jones & Jones into the present. Krentz sets her first modern Arcane novel in Arizona where an unlikely team of investigators, a human lie detector and a sensitive who can spot other paranormal humans who try to identify a killer, only to find themselves caught in a web of half-truths that conceal a danger too dark to imagine.
Krentz’s other identity is Jayne Castle. Castle is known for her futuristic novels set in the world of Harmony. Following suit, the next Arcane Society novel will be set in the near future. “Midnight Crystal” finds Adam Winters fighting ghosts, a family curse, and in dire need of an ancient relic and the woman who can wield it.
The novels combine clever dialogue, a touch of the paranormal and a strong romantic sense for an enjoyable evening read.