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Smoke in Mirrors

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  6,719 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
A con artist and seductress, Meredith Spooner lived fast-and died young. But her final scam-embezzling more than a million dollars from a college endowment fund-is coming back to haunt Leonora Hutton. The tainted money is stashed away in an offshore account for Leonora. And while she wants nothing to do with the cash, she discovers two other items in the safe-deposit box: ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published October 29th 2002 by Jove Books (first published January 28th 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Rashika (is tired)
The characters held a lot of potential but the bad romance and week mystery killed it. Also why do all characters end up in a relationship? I don't understand? Why does a HEA for all characters include a romantic relationship?
Sep 10, 2010 Ns rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Smoke in Mirrors was an interesting murder-mystery with a sizzling romance. The prologue immediately set the tone of the story, immersing the reader right into the mystery. Somewhat confusing, but quite intriguing. Like most prologues, it is only as the story progresses does the pieces start to make sense.

The murder-mystery had its finer moments and other moments that were boring. Thomas Walker and Leonora Hutton played amateur detectives more than really facing any action. The interesting mome
Bonnie Randall
This novel did not pretend to be anything other than what it was: a straight-up, formulaic, romantic suspense - and you know? It's good. No insta-love or skanky insta-sex that's become the Holy Grail of 2k romances. Here there is mystery (though a titch convoluted) and a gothic-y setting; foggy woods which hold a house-turned-library, within which every wall is covered with creepy antique mirrors.

Oh, how I wish those creepy mirrors had played a bigger role (but I am a ghoul, so don't mind me).


******Possible Minor Spoilers******

The first half or so of the book was very good. The story grabbed my interest, as did the characters. The first chapter was definitely creepy, and several other times I thought I was in for one of JAK's "touch of paranormal" suspense novels. Even though the second half of the book was still good, the creepy factor dropped away and the resolution ended up being fairly typical mystery fare.

I liked the relationship growth between the main characters. I would
Oct 11, 2011 Joy rated it liked it
What does the death of a con artist in SoCal have to do with the suicide of a math genius at a ritzy conservative college? Everything, according to the math genius's brother-in-law, who recruits (with a little strongarming) the con artist's half-sister to help him discover the truth of the matter.

Typically convoluted Krentz setup, and a lot of her usual types (of course Leonora is a research librarian...). Another enjoyable but not particularly memorable read--I had to look up the characters' na
Jul 06, 2009 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, well, didn't everyone match up just perfectly! It was almost enough to make me gag, but Krentz pulled it off without any unfortunate reactions from my stomach. Another cute and funny romance, just what I needed to get my head out of the last book I read. And, Wrench is now quite possibly my favorite literary dog.
Dec 13, 2009 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: krentz
I loved this book. The characters are developed and likable, the plot has twists, and I did not guess who the killer was or how the ending would play out. The romance is also nicely developed as well. The prologue sucked me right in. A nice lighter mystery read.
Nov 22, 2015 Джорджия rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Джорджия by: Тихомира
Можех да мина и без този "трилър", който се оказа напълно любовна книжка, с тук - таме търсене на убиеца!!!
Dec 26, 2016 Cheri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't see this one coming!
Feb 23, 2013 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good premise and execution. Good romance, okay mystery. I have this thing about mirrors, so exploring what they might symbolize in occult terms was really interesting.
Bethany Walker was given drugs that killed her. Before she give in to the drugs she found a place to hide a book and an envelope with pictures. She knew that her husband and his brother would find them. It was rumored that she was taking drugs and she spent a lot of time at Mirror House, headquarters for the Eubanks College Alumni Association. Her death was ruled an accident as a result of a car crash.
A year later, Meredith Spooner was dead, rumored to have taken drugs. She also spent a lot of t
Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)
Love me some Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz, but this one was kinda boring. the pacing was off.
Leslie Whaley
Mar 01, 2017 Leslie Whaley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the horrible series that I just finished reading, this was a nice change. I liked the plot line and the characters. I gotta admit, I didn't guess who the killer was lol. I thought I had it nailed down but it kinda threw me off when they revealed who it was. The only thing that REALLY annoyed me was that JAK seemed to be OBSESSED with the word "tenure." It was literally on almost every other page and sometimes 3 pages in a row. Not even kidding, if you made it into a drinking game where you ...more
Kasey Riley
Sep 27, 2016 Kasey Riley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nicely written

Good mystery, thought I knew the villain twice...did not until almost the end. Good job. Love the humor interwoven with the mystery...smiling and guessing, time well spent.
Jun 28, 2015 Nenya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh, btw, Meredith and Leonora (the h) are/were (view spoiler) Thought I should put that on top, just to put the quotes in perspective. Oh and after all of it (the entire novel), h to Meredith (or her ghost/memory, whatever): (view spoiler)

I normally like JAK. This one, well, here's a snippet of the H's thoughts:
(view spoiler)
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
First published: 2002
Length: 321 pages
Setting: Contemporary. Smalltown.
Sex: Explicit once or twice. Closed door thereafter.
Hero: venture capitalist / investor. Independently wealthy.
Heroine: Librarian

A repeat in many ways of Krentz's Sharp Edges, but a better version of it. Subtle paranormal, good story, nice mystery, sweet romance.


One of the complaints about 50SoG is that it portray s a version of a relationship many people don't want to see replicated in
Jan 30, 2016 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no-sizzle, boring
I can usually finish a JAK book in less than a day, even if it's just a so-so story, but it took me weeks to finish Smoke in Mirrors. It was just so bland and lifeless. Neither the hero, Thomas, nor the heroine, Leonora, were very interesting and their romance together lacked any kind of spark. Part of of the lack of sizzle was due to the fact that none of the romantic scenes were described. JAK did the old "fade to black" after the first kiss or two and then the story picked up again when the l ...more
Faith Freewoman
Jun 13, 2015 Faith Freewoman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I snickered, hooted and giggled all the way through while remaining involved with the mystery as well. The tool jokes and the dog were worth the price of admission.

I've read JAK in all her guises (Amanda Quick, Stephanie James, Jayne Castle, etc), and I probably have most of her books, and love them dearly.

This one marked a departure from her 190's and earlier books. The heroine is not as cutsey, the hero is more of a regular guy, less wierd (not that I don't appreciate these JAK icons...but I
Jun 13, 2013 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance-novels
This is the kind of book where rooms are always chambers, the past is always yesteryear, hallways are always corridors, and books are always tomes. And where perfectly ordinary mid-nineteenth century books of no particular value but with cool marbled end papers count as "ancient tomes" which makes me nuts. I like to imagine that JAK does this with a twinkle in her eye, sort of deliberately trying to sound Gothic and mysterious, but I worry that a) she thinks her readers are dumb or b) she really ...more
Dec 04, 2013 Gmc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal, reveiwed
Smoke in Mirrors by Jayne Ann Krentz
Meredith Spooner lived fast and died young and sends a last will and testament via e-mail to Leonora Hutton. Now it appears that Meredith's last scam is coming back to haunt her friend Leonora Hutton. Leonora is her half sister.
Leonora wants nothing to do with the tainted money, taken from an endowment fund at a small college. She's been accused of being in on the theft by Thomas Walker who, apparently, was a victim of Meredith's knack for both scams and seduc
You gotta love Jayne Ann Krentz books. In two one-line paragraphs in the first chapter, she manages to spark a whole series of images for the reader. Get this.
"Two junkyard dogs stood in the doorway of the bedroom.
One of them was human."
Incredible timing and style.
I give this book a five-star rating for the characters alone. A lot of people would see a similarity in all of Ms. Krentz's characters from book to book, but I say, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I look forward to meeting and re
Oct 13, 2011 Lara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I've only listened to the audio version of this book, which I enjoy because there are two narrators, a man and a woman. The male voices and hero's perspective chapters are narrated by the man, and the female ones by the woman. The story has many of Krentz's trademark themes: a librarian heroine, a faithful pet, thick fog, a near miss on a deserted highway, and dream messages. Not to mention a murder (or more), a break-in, an annoying ex-boyfriend/fiance, and a mystery.

This book had two men who
Feb 09, 2012 Gargi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I like best about this book is that the mystery part never gets interrupted by the romance part. Unlike other most of the romantic suspence novels at the end this novels has logical explanation of the events in chronological order. Though it's not that hard to put up all the pieces together to find out the murderer and you can always use your reader's intuition about who it is but when the charecters discuss about how they figured it out you can compare your train of thought with them i.e. ...more
Nov 26, 2015 Katter rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF! I made it to page 35 and then just had to stop. It was so dull and boring. Lots of yammering and name repetitions. It felt like some sort of Lifetime/Hallmark movie that had been turned into a book. Total snore fest! And that whole prologue was like someone who was a math geek had an acid trip by a mirror. I'm sorry but math and drugs are not in the least bit a captivating subject.

Also the frequent word drop of 'mirror' got kind of old too. It's not like I'm going to forget the intro, let
Deanna Against Censorship
My least favorite of Krentz's (by any name) books. I liked the characters, but they were not deeply drawn. They lacked substance. The start gave indications of Arcane possibiliets, but ended as a simple mystery. It was almost like the author changed her mind about the plot half way through the book. I have loved other books of Krentz/Quick and will read more.
I listened to this book, as I have many of her books. There were two narrators. James Daniels was good. He made the characters and story c
Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard
I really enjoyed Smoke in Mirrors. Leonora and Thomas are both interesting characters. Leonora's loyalty to Meredith's memory isn't naive or deluded; she understands clearly who and what Meredith was but will pursue answers about Meredith's death anyway. Thomas is a craftsman but also an investment whiz; his loyalty to his brother is equally strong. That similarity of character is an important part of why their relationship works. The supporting characters fit well within the story, and I enjoye ...more
I liked this one a little better than the last one I read, Family Man, not because the story was better but because the characters were. This story also failed to impress me and the tying up loose ends info dump at the end didn't improve things. I did however mostly enjoy the characters and their interactions and, although the hero still had a few cringe worthy macho man moments, the good outweighed the bad.
Lauren Acton
This book definitely had satisfying romance but the suspense was awkwardly plotted. It was clear that the first resolution wasn't the real one, even without Leonora's continued bad dreams, but after the mystery was "solved" the first time, I lost interest in the story. The mirror imagery throughout was pretty well done but the scene where our hero tells off Leonora's ex went on for FAR too long and gave me that embarrassed, want-to-stop-reading feeling.
May 08, 2008 Sam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This author takes what I interpreted as a popular cultural approach to a feminist character--I see this often in mystery novels that feature female leads. This leads to a lot of saying one thing and doing another throughout the story, which can get on my nerves. However, it was a good story that masked the murderer's identity for a long time. It had a bit of creepy ghost story elements to it as well, and these added to the suspense.
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Jayne Ann Krentz ...: Smoke in Mirrors (2002) 1 3 Sep 27, 2012 01:09PM  
  • Silver Master (Ghost Hunters, #4)
  • Wait Until Midnight
  • Die in Plain Sight (Rarities Unlimited, #3)
The author of over 50 consecutive New York Times bestsellers, JAYNE ANN KRENTZ writes romantic-suspense in three different worlds: Contemporary (as Jayne Ann Krentz), historical (as Amanda Quick) and futuristic (as Jayne Castle). There are over 30 million copies of her books in print.

She earned a B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to obtain a Masters degre
More about Jayne Ann Krentz...

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