After his departure from New York two years ago to meet up with his almost-fiancee, Zayne Beckett is the last person Agatha Watson wanted to stumble upon in her travels as a reporter with the New York Tribune. Quite pathetically bedraggled, he clearly needs to be taken in hand and sent back East to his family. Although she no longer has feelings for him, Agatha realizes–by hook or by crook–she’ll have to be the one to get the obstinate man home.
Zayne has no desire to be taken anywhere and is prepared to drag his heels all the way home . . . until he finds himself slipping back into the familiar banter of his former friendship with Agatha. Once they arrive in New York, Zayne realizes Agatha’s determined nose for news has earned her a few enemies, and he hopes to repay her help with some help of his own. When she rebuffs all his attempts to prove himself a knight in shining armour, the lengths to which they’ll go to win this battle of wills lead to some memorable antics.
Everyone else may think them a match, but nothing could be further from the truth–until Agatha finds herself in real trouble. Have these two stubborn, too-smart-for-their-own-good people been meant for each other all along?
The Jen Turano heroine is a very specific type: attractive, intelligent, independent, witty and magnet for trouble. Her latest leading lady, Agatha Watson, embodies all of these qualities in extreme degrees. A Match of Wits finds Agatha on a journalistic assignment in the untamed West two years after A Talent for Trouble. Hunted in New York after her alias is compromised, Agatha and her two bodyguards follow one misadventure after another to sent back East for print. The story takes of on a literal blast when Agatha accidentally blows up the mine of her unrequited love Zayne. A culmination of endangering circumstances forces the group back to New York where they are immediately confronted by assassins and meddling relatives. And well, then there’s the pig. Yes, there’s a pig. A pig who opposes most ardently being referred to as anything vaguely porcine and wreaks havoc in every scene and foils any attempts at rationality.
Readers who have followed this series from the beginning will be familiar with Jen Turano’s signature pacing and the charged battling of wills between Agatha and Zayne. Agatha her bodyguard Drusilla are reminiscent of a Lucy-Ethel slapstick dynamic. The plot is fast and can sometimes run itself in circles with repetitive scenarios and similar outcomes. Agatha relies on wacky disguises to maneuverer around the city and I’m sad to say that there isn’t anything these characters haven’t already done in previous books to lend their shenanigans freshness. Character antics win over character development as the emphasis here is on comedy and romance for light hearted reading and entertainment.
**Disclosure: review copy provided by Bethany House**