Delightfully Engaging Blend of Romance, Suspense, History, and Humor.
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?
And the Oscar goes to . . . Ellie Moore! A wannabe actress, Ellie poses as both Lavinia Stewart, an aging widow, and as Jessie Monroe, her young, eye-catching niece as she sets out in the Wild West to solve a mystery of stolen silver ore. She manages to fool an entire small Arizona town, and therefore, she certainly deserves that Oscar. The reader must be willing to suspend disbelief as Ellie first poses as Lavinia in a grey wig and then Jessie in a red wig. I don't think that she would have fooled me.
Ellie's relationship with Christ ranges from nonexistent in the beginning to fuzzy at the ending. There seemed to be no point where she begins a relationship. She does begin attending church, but only as part of Lavinia's character, not as her true self; it fails to make an impact on her. There are times that she asks for God's help when she's in a jam, but I found her non-faith confusing for a Christian fiction novel.
I did not like the way the author chopped off action in a chapter and then in the following chapter, summarized what had happened. I'd much rather witness the action. In other words, show me don't tell me. In addition, there are some sentence fragments. All of these things make this not one of my favorite books.
Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Publisher for my copy.
If you would like to read the first chapter, click here.
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