Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Today I'm happy to join
Berkley Mystery
in celebrating the release of  
Book 3 in the Counterfeit Lady Mysteries
by Victoria Thompson

An exciting new book in the series featuring Elizabeth Miles, con woman turned Lady, from the beloved national bestselling author of the Gaslight Mysteries.Elizabeth Miles finds herself in a position no con can help her escape. Her beloved fiancé, Gideon Bates, is awaiting his turn in the draft to fight in the Great War. Elizabeth is finding it hard to think of anything else, but Gideon has thrown himself into his work, preparing wills for soldiers before they ship out. Corporal Tom Preston is part owner of Preston Shoes, a company that is making footwear for the army, so he has a rather large estate. He needs a new will, however, because he has just been secretly married to a woman whom his family would never approve. He wants to make sure she and their unborn child are provided for if he does not return.

When Tom is later reported killed, Elizabeth and Gideon learn that the new will has gone missing after Tom's bride revealed her identity to his family. Unless the new will is found and validated, the original will, which leaves everything to Tom's brother, will prevail and the wife and child will get nothing. If Tom's new bride survives, that is. Some terrible threats have been leveled against her, and Elizabeth and Gideon must figure out a way, legal or not quite, to secure Tom's fortune for his wife and child while saving her life in the process.

A Word From Victoria Thompson

Victoria Thompson’s latest book, City of Scoundrels, is the third in her new Counterfeit Lady Series, which released on November 5, 2019.  She’s thrilled to tell you all about the new book.

How do you avoid war and battles when you’re writing a series set during World War I? Research, as I often say, is a writer’s best friend, and research revealed that lots of interesting things were also happening on the American home front that people today never studied about in school!  These are the things that make you say, “Wow, I didn’t know that!” These are also the things I like to write about, so these are the things my characters have to deal with in City of Scoundrels.

My hero, Gideon Bates, missed the first round draft age by one year, which gave him time to stay home and help his beloved, Elizabeth Miles, run a con or two. Descended from a long line of grifters, Elizabeth now uses her talents to help those whom ordinary justice cannot. In City of Scoundrels, the couple sets out to assist a young war widow who has been cheated out of her inheritance by her scoundrel of a brother-in-law. The law is on his side, so Elizabeth and Gideon must figure out another way to beat him.

Along the way, they have to avoid the American Protective League, an army of volunteer domestic spies tasked with reporting any suspicious behavior by their neighbors. Many people, particularly German-Americans, were arrested on the flimsiest evidence. Most were quickly released, but some were tried and sentenced to as many as twenty years in prison. Almost all of them were released after the war ended, I’m happy to say.

Gideon and Elizabeth also encounter a nest of real German Spies that the American Protective League, in all their enthusiasm, never even noticed.  These spies actually blew up an ammunition depot right outside of New York City almost a year before America even entered the war and weren’t caught for another twenty years! 

Do Gideon and Elizabeth get justice for the young widow? Do the spies get captured? Does Gideon finally get drafted? Do I ever have to write a battle scene?  City of Scoundrels will answer all your questions and amaze you with how cleverly I avoid ever having to write a battle scene! Oops, I gave that one away, didn’t I?

Bio:  USA Today Bestselling author Victoria Thompson writes the Edgar® and Agatha Award nominated Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring midwife Sarah Brandt. Her latest, Murder on Trinity Place, was a April 2019 release.  City of Scoundrels is the third book in her Sue Grafton Memorial Award nominated Counterfeit Lady  Series. She also contributed to the award winning writing textbook Many Genres/One Craft. Victoria teaches in 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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