Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Impersonator: A Historical Mystery Story that Toes the Line Between Vaudeville and Wealthy Society, Right and Wrong

The Impersonator (Roaring Twenties Mystery, #1)So she wasn't sweet and demure; she was scrappy and tough. I liked her all the more for it.

Imagine being an actress hired to impersonate a missing/possibly dead heiress, while at the same time--as you pretend to be this woman, beguile and fool all her relatives, wear her clothes and jewelry--you try discreetly to get to the bottom of the big question: who killed the woman? 'Cause surely, she must be dead. After all, who doesn't claim a massive inheritance?

What a line to toe!

And that's just one of the many complications this heroine faces as she impersonates the missing heiress. She feels some strange connection to the missing girl, and perhaps wishes to atone for her great "sin" of impersonating her by finding out what really happened, but one can't go around asking, "So, did you kill me seven years ago?"

The setting is the twenties and goes back and forth between a fancy house on the cliffs with servants and a two-faced family (hey, not everyone is happy the heiress is back) and the city and vaudeville stage where the heroine goes to seek some assistance or ask questions.

There's a few dead bodies, a greedy uncle, some rather threatening cousins, poisoning, and mysterious caves. But what really made this story fun for me was how the heroine is constantly having to watch what she says. She's supposed to be a great equestrian, has to pretend to know this or that person and all their history...and at times I would grow tense with suspense. "How's she going to get out of this one?" And the heroine would "knock me dead" every time by "ad-libbing" her way out of a mess.

The ending...while who I'd fingered for the crime was indeed the one who did the crime, the book threw me enough twists that I began to doubt it was this person at times. Also found the not-related-to-the-murders bits in the end surprising, and pleasantly so.

Book two has the heroine in the silent-movie industry. You bet your bloomers I want to read that one. I'm looking forward to more of this series.

I nabbed this on Paperback Swap.

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