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?
I love-love-love the cover of this book! Gorgeous woman, mysterious look… Great!
But when I first started, I thought: ‘Oh no, please! Let the setting for the whole book not be the theater…’ I was not disappointed.
The story starts in the theater, where Ellie works for a quite arrogant actress. But the actress leaves for Europe, and Ellie loses her job. But she overhears two Pinkerton agents and next thing she knows, she’s on her way to Arizona, in disguise!
The story is engaging, although in the end I was a bit tired of Ellies changing character. No one knew about it, no one seemed to think it suspicious that Lavinia and Jessie were never seen together… Not very realistic. I would also have liked the relationship between Steven and Ellie to grow along with the story. Now they felt something for each other, but they did not really get together until the end of the book. If Ellie would have trusted him and told him, maybe the climax would not have been as big, but the excitement would have been more evenly divided over the whole book.
The story might have been a little predictable, but over all I liked this book! Can’t wait to read more from this author.