When costume-maker Ellie Moore suddenly finds herself out of a job in the middle of a bleak Chicago winter, she uses her knowledge of theatrical disguise to secure a position as an undercover operative with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Her assignment: find the culprit behind the theft of silver shipped from the mines near Pickford, Arizona. Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie begins her investigation. Soon she finds she must also pose as the dazzling young Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.
Mine owner Steven Pierce is about to lose his business after the theft of several bullion shipments–until hope arrives in the unlikely form of Lavinia Stewart, who offers to invest in Steven’s mine. In his wildest dreams, Steven never expected to be rescued by an inquisitive gray-haired widow…or to fall head over heels for Lavinia’s captivating niece, Jessie. But then the thieves come after both Lavinia and Jessie. Ellie isn’t safe no matter which character she plays!
Will she be forced to reveal her true identity before the criminals are caught? What will Steven do when he discovers the woman he loves doesn’t exist?
Carol Cox has found her niche with her latest novel, Love in Disguise, a mystery set in the Wild West with a romantic flavour. With an independent and determined heroine and a fun plot, Carol provides an entertaining and unique read that is sure to appeal to readers of Mary Connealy and Karen Witemeyer. Incorporating the early days of the Pinkerton Agency and the interesting history of the Arizona silver mines, Carol’s story provides a effortless history lesson as she draws you into Ellie’s adventure which soon takes an unexpected and dangerous turn. I enjoyed the twist of Ellie posing as two different women and the opposing reactions of the townspeople to Lavinia and Jessie. While the pacing dropped of a little for me in the middle of the book, I remained intrigued by Ellie and Steven’s journey and was keen to uncover the silver thieves and their motives. I’m looking forward to Carol’s further offerings.
With thanks to Bethany House for my review copy