Wednesday, November 21, 2018

City of Secrets by Victoria Thompson

book cover
City of Secrets
by Victoria Thompson

ISBN-13: 9780451491619
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Released: Nov. 13, 2018

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Con artist Elizabeth Miles has determined that Society is the biggest con of all. So far, Elizabeth’s only real social success has been with Priscilla Knight.

Priscilla is a dedicated suffragist who was recently widowed for the second time in her young life. Her beloved first husband, DeForrest Jenks, died in a tragic accident and left her with two young daughters and a comfortable fortune. Soon after his death, her pastor convinced her she needed a man to look after her. Before she knew it, he had engineered a whirlwind courtship and hasty marriage to fellow parishioner Endicott Knight. Less than nine months later, Endicott is also dead in a somewhat less tragic and even more suspicious accident.

Priscilla confides to Elizabeth that she had understood Endicott was wealthy in his own right, and she had brought a sizeable fortune to the marriage as well. Now her banker is telling her she has hardly any money left and that her house has been mortgaged. Elizabeth discovers some unsavory evidence that seems to point to the possibility that Endicott’s death may have been connected to blackmail. To save her new friend’s future, Elizabeth must use her special set of skills to find the truth.

My Review:
City of Secrets is a historical mystery set in 1918 in New York City. This is the second book in the series, but you don't need to read the previous book to understand this one. This book referred to some events in the previous book, but not enough to spoil the story. Elizabeth is a reformed con artist engaged to marry an honest lawyer who's convinced that following the Law and gaining justice through the legal system are ultimate.

Elizabeth investigated her widowed friend's loss of money to see if it was lost in a con, but she soon realized that Priscilla's husband was blackmailed out of his own fortune and hers. Once certain of who was behind the scheme and the blackmail, Elizabeth realized she couldn't prove it in a court of law. She asked her father to con the blackmailers so she could return the money to Priscilla. Her fiance is appalled (creating a rift between the two) and set out to prove that justice and law must and can prevail.

It was entertaining to follow the investigation and guess just how the con was going to be pulled off. It was a case were the justice system wouldn't ultimately help the hurt party and would even cause more harm by creating a scandal. The blackmailers' own greed and jealousy were used against them. The various efforts even ensured that the blackmailers couldn't harm anyone else in the future. A very satisfying ending. The historical details were woven into the story to create a sense of the specific time and place as well as bring the story alive.

There was one use of bad language. There was no sex. Overall, I'd highly recommend this entertaining historical.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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