Wednesday, October 25, 2017

I'm so excited to join Berkley in celebrating the November 7 release of 
by author
Victoria Tompson

is book 1 in the Counterfeit Lady Mysteries

An exciting new series featuring woman-on-the-run Elizabeth Miles—from the beloved national bestselling author of the Gaslight Mysteries.

Every woman plays a part—but some are more dangerous than others…

Like most women, Elizabeth Miles assumes many roles; unlike most, hers have made her a woman on the run. Living on the edge of society, Elizabeth uses her guile to relieve so-called respectable men of their ill-gotten gains. But brutal and greedy entrepreneur Oscar Thornton is out for blood. He’s lost a great deal of money and is not going to forgive a woman for outwitting him. With his thugs hot on her trail, Elizabeth seizes the moment to blend in with a group of women who have an agenda of their own. 
She never expects to like or understand these privileged women, but she soon comes to respect their intentions, forming an unlikely bond with the wealthy matriarch of the group whose son, Gideon, is the rarest of species—an honest man in a dishonest world. Elizabeth knows she’s playing a risky game, and her deception could be revealed at any moment, possibly even by sharp-eyed Gideon. Nor has she been forgotten by Thornton, who’s biding his time, waiting to strike. Elizabeth must draw on her wits and every last ounce of courage she possesses to keep her new life from being cut short by this vicious shadow from her past.


Victoria Thompson is the author of the bestselling Gaslight Mystery Series.  Her new book, City of Lies, is the first in her new Counterfeit Lady Series, which releases on November 7.  She’s thrilled to have this opportunity to tell you all about the new series.

“You can’t cheat an honest man.” 

This is the mantra of every confidence man.  It’s also a joke. Con men don’t believe anyone is truly honest, so the whole world is a potential mark. Have you ever wondered how con men work?  How they trick people into giving them thousands of dollars—not just willingly but eagerly?  I did, too.  In fact, I was so interested in how con men work that I read several books on the subject.  That information lay quietly in the back of my mind for a few years, but like most things a writer learns, it finally found a book to fit it.  That book is City of Lies, the first book in my new Counterfeit Lady Series.

Elizabeth Miles, the heroine, comes from a long line of con artists, and she makes her living cheating greedy, wealthy men out of their fortunes.  I had a lot of fun describing the first con she runs in City of Lies. It’s a classic version of The Rag, an elaborate stock swindle that usually involves several dozen confederates and a phony brokerage office where the fake stock purchases take place.  Elizabeth and her partner can’t afford to set up the brokerage office, though, so they run it “against the wall,” which is slang for running a con without the fancy props. When things go wrong, Elizabeth must run for her life.

Con men usually have an escape plan, but Elizabeth must improvise. Luckily, she knows some women are demonstrating outside the White House, which is just around the corner from her hotel.  She also knows President Wilson has become annoyed by the demonstrations, which have been going every day for almost a year, so he’s been having the protestors arrested.  Elizabeth quickly joins their ranks, waving a sign demanding votes for women, as the police pull up to take the women into custody, and she escapes the men chasing her.

But Elizabeth isn’t out of the woods, not by a long shot.  She finds herself sentenced to three months in a workhouse where she and the other women are abused and starved, but she also learns to like and respect the other women and the cause for which they are fighting. By the time they are released, this counterfeit lady has convinced her new friends she is one of them, at least until the mark turns up again, threatening to destroy the new life she is building for herself.

City of Lies is based on historical events that took place in November 2017, exactly 100 years before the book is being published!  Elizabeth lived in a fascinating time that mirrors our own in so many ways. Society was changing, and women were fighting to be taken seriously, to be valued, and to have a seat at the table. A hundred years later, women are still fighting for the very same things.

Elizabeth lived in exciting times and so do we. I hope you enjoy reading about her adventures, which are not so very different from our own.

Edgar®  and Agatha Nominated author Victoria Thompson writes the Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring midwife Sarah Brandt. Her latest, Murder in the Bowery, was a May 2017 release.  City of Lies is the first book in her new Counterfeit Lady series, a November 2017 release from Berkley.  

She also contributed to the award winning writing textbook Many Genres/One Craft. Victoria teaches in the Seton Hill University master's program in writing popular fiction. She lives in Illinois with her husband and a very spoiled little dog.

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