City of Lies–Victoria Thompson

This is the first historical cozy mystery in the Counterfeit Lady series by well-known author of Gaslight Mysteries, Victoria Thompson. I probably would never have thought to read it had it not been for another online book club I’m in. I never really thought I’d enjoy historical very much, but this was interesting as well as entertaining. I have to say it’s the most unusual job for a protagonist that I’ve read about so far! I am really anxious to keep reading in this series and hope I get approved from NetGalley to read the second book before it comes out in November.

My Goodreads review:

City of Lies (Counterfeit Lady, #1)City of Lies by Victoria Thompson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to say this is the most different occupation I’ve come across for a sleuth, making a living by being a grifter who cheats their way through life and encounters danger at just about every turn–especially when they make their mark angry. It was a well-written and plotted mystery though, as well as compelling. I got to know Elizabeth and her two friends that she got sent to jail with and cared about what happened to them. I had no idea all these awful things happened during women’s suffrage in our country and how some of those women actually did suffer and die for their rights. It was interesting to read in the back of the book after it ended that the women’s stay in the workhouse was based on some real life events.

The author painted the perfect bad guy in Thornton. I really wanted to see him get ruined for the way he treated everyone, especially females, so I loved how the sting finally ended, it was really epic! Even little shy Anna got to play an important part in it. There was a really good twist in the scheme that had me even fooled for a little while.

I haven’t read many other historical mysteries but this is the first that didn’t have a current murder to solve. They were mainly focused on the sting operation and making sure the bad guy paid and it was interesting to get to that point. The book didn’t end with a cliffhanger, but it did end in such a way that I definitely would like to read the next one and see what characters and situations might carry on in that book.

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Murder at the Breakers–review

This was the first book in the historical cozy mystery series called A Gilded Newport Mystery by Alyssa Maxwell. I had been wanting to read it for awhile and finally got my kick start to read it when a Facebook group decided to discuss it. Alyssa herself was the guest and she was so interesting! She said this was the very first mystery book she’d written. She also informed us that she’s working on the seventh in this series. I better get to reading so I can get more caught up! I didn’t think I’d like a historical cozy as much as I liked reading this one! I think I’m addicted, at least to this series.

My Goodreads review:

Murder at the Breakers (Gilded Newport Mysteries #1)Murder at the Breakers by Alyssa Maxwell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved Newport, Rhode Island when my family and I visited several years ago, especially the Cliff Walk with all the gorgeous mansions, so I was excited to read a mystery series based on the various mansions.

Emma Vanderbilt Cross feels like she’s just a shirttail relation to the famous Vanderbilts, Cornelius and Aunt Agnes that built The Breakers. But to her cousins, she was an equal when they were kids. Her cousin Niely (Cornelius III) was always good to her even as adults. When her uncle’s financial secretary is killed on the grounds and Emma’s half-brother Brady is accused of the murder, Emma will stop at nothing to find the real killer, even if it means risking her own life.

Emma was such an awesome and strong character! I loved how she was kind to everyone, no matter what their class. She befriended a teen-aged maid who had come to her and her Nanny looking for work when the maid became pregnant. Nanny was such a sweetheart. She was much more than a servant–she was more like a grandmother to Emma since Emma had never felt any real affection from her own parents. They always seemed to be away and Emma always seemed to be the one to go to Brady’s assistance when he was in trouble.

Despite some threats on her life, Emma kept on investigating and along with a new friend, Derrick, they got to the bottom of the murder as well as a couple more killings done by that same person. I really never suspected this person!

This was so well-written I could picture myself in the 1800s Newport summer (not as a character, I don’t think I’d be able to stand those suffocating outfits lol). There were some great red herrings. Now there are two men who seem interested in Emma. My first thought was to be Team Derrick but now I’m not sure–Jesse is a policeman and would be a lot more of a steady person. Derrick is exciting and likes to investigate. I think I’ll just have to read the next book to make a proper decision! 😉

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