From the national bestselling author of the Gaslight Mysteries comes the first Counterfeit Lady novel—the intriguing start of a historical mystery series featuring woman-on-the-run Elizabeth Miles.
Like most women, Elizabeth Miles assumes many roles; unlike most, hers have made her a woman on the run. Living on the edge of society, Elizabeth uses her guile to relieve so-called respectable men of their ill-gotten gains. But brutal and greedy entrepreneur Oscar Thornton is out for blood. He’s lost a great deal of money and is not going to forgive a woman for outwitting him. With his thugs hot on her trail, Elizabeth seizes the moment to blend in with a group of women who have an agenda of their own.
She never expects to like or understand these privileged women, but she soon comes to respect their intentions, forming an unlikely bond with the wealthy matriarch of the group whose son, Gideon, is the rarest of species—an honest man in a dishonest world. Elizabeth knows she’s playing a risky game, and her deception could be revealed at any moment, possibly even by sharp-eyed Gideon. Nor has she been forgotten by Thornton, who’s biding his time, waiting to strike. Elizabeth must draw on her wits and every last ounce of courage she possesses to keep her new life from being cut short by this vicious shadow from her past.
Set in 1917, this winning series launch from Thompson (Murder in the Bowery and 19 other Gaslight mysteries) introduces quick-witted and audacious con artist Elizabeth Miles. In Washington, D.C., Elizabeth and her brother, Jake, are running a scam on Oscar Thornton, a vindictive businessman. When the hustle is discovered, Thornton's thugs brutally beat Jake and set off after Elizabeth, who infiltrates a crowd of women protesting for the right to vote outside the White House. The suffragettes are arrested and sentenced to the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia, where Elizabeth is protected from Thornton's wrath. Once freed, she heads for New York City, only to find that Thornton knows she's staying at the home of one of her suffragette companions. Her best hope of remaining alive is to perpetrate an elaborate caper that will put Thornton out of commission for good. Sprightly romance, clever dialogue, and authentic historical details are a plus.