Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Book Review: City of Secrets by Victoria Thompson (Counterfeit Lady #2)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters; fun, creative plot
Cons: None worth dwelling on
The Bottom Line:
Out to help a friend
Trying to make justice done
Engrossing story

Can Elizabeth Uncover Secrets to Help a Friend

While I'm obviously trying to catch up on Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mysteries, I jumped at the chance to read her Counterfeit Lady series from the very beginning.  I enjoyed last year's debut, and I was anxious to see trouble the characters would get into next.  That answer comes in City of Secrets, which is another fun book.

If you haven't yet met Elizabeth Miles, you are in for a treat.  She lives in 1910's New York City, and so far, she's made her living via a less than ethical profession – as the only female in a group of conmen.  Through a series of events, she met Gideon Bates, a young lawyer in the city, and the two fell in love with each other almost immediately despite their different lives.  Now, Elizabeth is trying to give up her former life and learn to live in proper society.

Part of that is going to church, something Elizabeth isn't particularly fond of.  It is at church that Elizabeth meets Priscilla, one of the few people in her new life she considers a friend.  One Sunday, Priscilla asks to see Elizabeth as soon as possible.  When Elizabeth goes to visit, she learns that the recently widowed Priscilla has discovered that her second husband has left her penniless.  Priscilla knows she should have been comfortably off, so she suspects that something underhanded happened.  Can Elizabeth figure out what happened to the money?  Even if she does, can Elizabeth get the money back?  Or will Gideon's ethics cause a problem?

As you can see, this book is a crime novel, but it doesn't follow the typical mystery plot.  I enjoyed the book for that reason since it is nice to take a break for the formula every so often.  I do feel like the first third is a tad uneven, but when it slowed down, that never lasted for long.  The further I got into the book, the more hooked I became, and by the time I was in the final third, I didn't want to put the book down so I could see how everything that had been set in motion played out.

The characters are wonderful.  There's quite a diverse mix here, at least for New York society at the time, and I enjoyed getting to know all of them better.  Those we met in the first book get some nice growth here, and the new characters are equally strong, helping pull us into this world.

I will issue a word of warning - this book by necessity spoils some events of the first book in the series.  Honestly, you need to read that book first anyway to get the complete background on everything.  Since it was such a great book as well, that won't be an issue for you at all, and you'll be glad you have this book to dive into once you are done.  Frankly, I wish I had the time to reread the first book before picking up this one just to remember who all the main characters are and their relationships, but I did get fully pulled back into Elizabeth's world within a few pages.

If you are looking for a different mystery series, this is a series you need to read.  City of Secrets will keep you awake turning pages to find out if Elizabeth can succeed.

Enjoy more trips back in time with the rest of the Counterfeit Lady novels.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.


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 Tuesday November 13th, so please leave your comment before midnight Pacific Time on 11/13.  You will have until midnight on 11/18 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 11/19.


  1. I loved the first book and am about to start this one. I'm so glad to see that you enjoyed it! I can't wait!

  2. I read the first book recently and would love to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway! barbie17(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. I enjoy her Gaslight Mysteries, but haven't started this series yet. I need to. turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. Thanks for having the drawing, sounds like a good book

  5. I would love the chance to read this. Thank you.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  6. This would be a new series to me. I like the time period and setting, especially as portrayed on the cover.

  7. This sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for the contest! mbradeen [at] yahoo [dot] com

  8. This sounds great, I’d love to read it! Pgtsmith@optonline.net

  9. Sounds interesting I love reading 📚❤️😊

  10. Taylor R. WilliamsNovember 7, 2018 at 9:31 PM

    Sure would love to win, thanks for the contest - trwilliams69 at msn dot com

  11. As always, I love your review! I am going to find the first book, as I love finding a new series to read.
    Thank you for the chance to win this one.

  12. Really enjoy her books, looking forward to reading this.

  13. I found one of her books at a used bookshop and found a new author to love! sparkfan1965@gmail.com

  14. I enjoy historical literature and I'm hooked on Victoria Thompson's books. Thanks for the opportunity to enter your giveaway. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  15. I love Victoria Thompson's books and especially her new Counterfeit Lady series. Thanks for such a great review ~ bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

  16. I haven't started this series yet. I like reading historical fiction and this sounds like my kind of read.

  17. I love the Gaslight series but was unaware of this second series. stclairck@gmail.com

  18. Sounds very interesting.

  19. Would love to read this! Fgraley@yahoo.com

  20. Your review was wonderful. I am love her Gaslight series and would love to read this one. Thank you for the giveaway.

  21. This sounds really good--I'd love to read it. legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com