An exciting new book in the series featuring Elizabeth Miles, con woman turned Lady, from the beloved national bestselling author of the Gaslight Mysteries.
Elizabeth Miles finds herself in a position no con can help her escape. Her beloved fiancé, Gideon Bates, is awaiting his turn in the draft to fight in the Great War. Elizabeth is finding it hard to think of anything else, but Gideon has thrown himself into his work, preparing wills for soldiers before they ship out. Corporal Tom Preston is part owner of Preston Shoes, a company that is making footwear for the army, so he has a rather large estate. He needs a new will, however, because he has just been secretly married to a woman whom his family would never approve. He wants to make sure she and their unborn child are provided for if he does not return.
When Tom is later reported killed, Elizabeth and Gideon learn that the new will has gone missing after Tom's bride revealed her identity to his family. Unless the new will is found and validated, the original will, which leaves everything to Tom's brother, will prevail and the wife and child will get nothing. If Tom's new bride survives, that is. Some terrible threats have been leveled against her, and Elizabeth and Gideon must figure out a way, legal or not quite, to secure Tom's fortune for his wife and child while saving her life in the process.
Thompson's fascinating third Counterfeit Lady novel (after 2018's City of Secrets) plays out against a backdrop of paranoia unleashed by WWI and the devastating onset of the 1918 flu pandemic. Thomas Preston, a soldier about to embark for France, asks New York lawyer Gideon Bates to help him change his will to leave his interest in his family business, Preston Shoes, to his new wife, Rose. When Gideon later hears that Tom has been killed overseas, he calls on Rose, arriving just in time to save her from an attacker, but too late to keep the intruder from stealing the only legal copy of Tom's revised will. Gideon can do little to prevent Tom's older brother and his stepmother from inheriting Tom's entire estate. Fortunately, Gideon's fianc e, Elizabeth Miles, is the daughter of a con man and a talented grifter herself. To ensure Rose gets her inheritance, Elizabeth, her dad, and a reluctant Gideon execute an elaborate long con that plays on Fred's unbridled greed. That they unearth a German spy ring in the process adds to the fun. Historical fans will appreciate Thompson's spot-on depiction of the era.