Elizabeth Bates's latest con just might change the course of history in an all-new Counterfeit Lady Novel from USA Today bestselling author Victoria Thompson.
A year has passed since Elizabeth Bates ran her last con. Life has been simpler, although not nearly as exciting, but she has thrown herself into working to get the 19th Amendment ratified by thirty-six states to become the law of the land. Since every other Southern state has already rejected the amendment, it seems unlikely Tennessee will be an exception . . . but it's their only hope, so the suffragists descend on Tennessee for the final battle.
Elizabeth’s ability to interact with difficult men and to persuasively explain all the advantages of allowing women to vote—all skills she perfected as a grifter—have made her a valuable member of the team. But she would never have expected the lengths to which some would go to keep the vote out of women's hands. She'll need to devise the perfect con or the suffragists' life's work could all be for nothing.
The seventh entry in Thompson's Counterfeit Lady historical crime series (following 2022's City of Fortune) is the best yet. In 1920, antihero Elizabeth Bates—an accomplished con artist who learned the tricks of the trade from her father—has devoted herself to helping the suffragettes' campaign to get the 19th Amendment passed. The effort is at a turning point: although 35 states have approved the amendment, one more is still needed, and Tennessee, the only plausible prospect, seems likely to join the other Southern states in opposition. Bates travels to Nashville to offer the campaign whatever help she can, only to learn that her father is in the city as well, running a scheme to circumvent Prohibition by supplying drugstores with alcohol, which patrons can purchase with a prescription. With the Tennessee legislators divided over the women's vote, Bates must use all her charm and ingenuity to get one state representative to support the cause. Luckily, her familiarity with scams helps her see through some of the shady political tactics being used to sway key votes. Thompson roots much of the narrative in historical fact (helpfully outlined in an afterword) and manages to maintain suspense despite the story's foregone conclusion. This fiercely feminist historical adventure goes down smoothly.