Thursday, November 9, 2017

Book Review: City of Lies by Victoria Thompson (Counterfeit Lady Mysteries #1)



Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters, engaging story
Cons: None for readers
The Bottom Line:
New series begins
Con woman main character
Hooks you from the start




I Loved This Book, and That’s No Lie

Over the last couple of years, I’ve finally started reading the books of Victoria Thompson, and I’m loving them.  So when the opportunity came up to jump into her new series at the start, I immediately took it.  City of Lies is different, and completely enjoyable.

The book transports us back to 1917 as we meet Elizabeth Miles at the start of a con job.  She is a rarity, a female con artist, who is working with her half-brother in the latest scam in Washington D.C.  However, when things go wrong, she finds herself on the run with the mark’s goons right behind her.

In an attempt to escape them, she blends into the group of suffragists and manages to get arrested.  Is she safe or has she just put off the inevitable?

When I started reading the book, I assumed this would be a typical historical murder mystery, but I quickly realized how wrong I was on that front.  Yes, there are crimes involved, but if you are expecting a murder and five suspects, you will be sorely disappointed.  I wasn’t disappointed, however.  Honestly, as much as I do enjoy murder mysteries, it’s wonderful to take a break from them every so often.

It helps that the plot of this book was very strong.  I was quickly pulled into Elizabeth’s world, and I didn’t want to leave when I had to stop reading.  There was always something happening, and it kept me engaged the whole way through.  I saw a couple of twists coming before Elizabeth did, but that is a minor point.  The stakes are high and that helped keep me engaged as well.

Elizabeth serves as one of our third person narrators, the other being Gideon, a lawyer.  As a result, we get to know them the best, but that hardly matters.  The rest of the cast is very strong and comes alive almost as soon as they appear on the page.  By the end of the book, it feels like we’ve known them for a long time.

Normally, I’m not a fan of stories where I am supposed to root for someone that is breaking the law.  However, Elizabeth is presented as such a likable and sympathetic character from the very beginning, and I am glad I gave her a chance.  In fact, it was easy to root for her to get out of her predicaments.

The author’s note at the end gives us a glimpse of how Victoria Thompson took a real event and wove it into this novel.  It’s an event I wasn’t aware of, and it gives me a new appreciation for the suffragist movement, and the brave women who were part of it.  All of this without slowing down the story in the slightest.

I must admit, I’m not quite sure where the series will go from here, but I am very anxious to find out.  City of Lies starts what promises to be a wonderful new historical series with an interesting main character.  Don’t hesitate; start it today.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.

Giveaway!

Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will pick the winner next Thursday, November 16th, so please leave your comment before 12:01 AM Pacific Time on 11/16.  You will have until midnight on 11/20 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 11/21.

29 comments:

  1. It sounds good! And I, too, am excited it's the start of a new series. Will be on the lookout for what is based on a true event! Thanks for the chance to win!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  2. Sounds great--I'd love to read it! legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

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  3. Sounds awesome. Thanks for the chance.
    judytucker1947@gmail.com

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  4. I've heard a lot about this book, and it's really caught my eye. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. frybbe(at)gmail.com

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  5. I would really enjoy reading this. mdikel@verizon.net

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  6. Thanks for your wonderful review, Mark! This was a fun book to write, and I'm currently working on Book #2, so I'm also wondering where the series will go. But seriously, I'm so glad you like this "different" book!

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  7. I've read all of Victoria Thompson's books and thinking maybe not to start a series but Mark after reading your review I've changed my mind. Ruth Nixon ruthenixon@sbcglobal.net

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  8. I started reading it and am halfway through. It is different from other historicals I have read and wonderfully engaging. I find I am learning new things as I follow Elizabeth's adventures.

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  9. If this book is as good as the first series then count me in. dlissandri@aol.com

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  10. I love books set in this era, and this one sounds fascinating. Thanks for your review! mbradeen@yahoo.com

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  11. I’ll enter ... bmcclimans “AT” ymail (yes y not g) dot com.

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  12. Mark, thanks for a really great review. It convinced me that I had to read this new series. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  13. This sounds like a great historical read. Would like to read about 1917 time period and a female con artist.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  14. ooh..sound intriguing....would love to read this one!
    pjstaton64114@aol.com
    Paula

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  15. This book sounds like a great read! Thanks for the chance. Maceoindo (at)yahoo(dot)com

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  16. Great review, as always. I love Victoria's Gaslight series. ellenbyronla@outlook.com

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  17. Sounds like fun! I appreciate a well-done con-person.

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  18. Seems like a book that I would enjoy. Thank you for the chance. pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com

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  19. I'm a big fan of the Gaslight series. Good to hear that this is a good one. Looking forward to reading it.

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  20. I love a good historical mystery and this book sounds like a good one. I will have to read it. Thanks for.the chance to win.
    lhxp73(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  21. I already have this book on my library list as it sounded good to me too. grammyd01 (at) comcast (dot) net.

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  22. Mark, I have learned so much reading here. Thank you for doing what you do, so well. librarylady80(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks, judy

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  23. I was wondering what you'd think of this one since the mystery is definitely not the usual. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it as much as I did! And yes I'm super curious to see how the series progresses!

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  24. This sounds really good--I'd love to win it. Thanks, legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

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  25. I am interested to see what Victoria Thompson is doing with this series. Thanks for the opportunity to win.
    stclairck@gmail.com

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  26. Would love to receive a copy of this book. Thanks for the chance to win one.
    cascadecarol@hotmail.com

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  27. Thanks for offering a copy of this book-if it's half as good as the Gaslight series, it would be worthwhile. jmullen6704@verizon.net

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  28. Looking forward to reading a new book by one of my favorite authors.

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  29. Looking forward to reading a new book by one of my favorite authors.

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