City of Secrets (Counterfeit Lady, #2)
Con artist Elizabeth Miles has determined that Society is the biggest con of all. So far, Elizabeth’s only real social success has been with Priscilla Knight. Priscilla is a dedicated suffragist who was recently widowed for the second time in her young life. Her beloved first husband, DeForrest Jenks, died in a tragic accident and left her with two young daughters and a comfortable fortune. Soon after his death, her pastor convinced her she needed a man to look after her. Before she knew it, he had engineered a whirlwind courtship and hasty marriage to fellow parishioner Endicott Knight. Less than nine months later, Endicott is also dead in a somewhat less tragic and even more suspicious accident.Priscilla confides to Elizabeth that she had understood Endicott was wealthy in his own right, and she had brought a sizeable fortune to the marriage as well. Now her banker is telling her she has hardly any money left and that her house has been mortgaged. The banker has hinted at a scandal that could damage the family’s reputation and her daughters’ future prospects. Fearing destructive gossip, Priscilla doesn’t know whom to trust.Elizabeth discovers some unsavory evidence that seems to point to the possibility that Endicott’s death may have been connected to blackmail. To save her new friend’s future, Elizabeth must use her special set of skills to find the truth.

City of Secrets (Counterfeit Lady, #2) Details

TitleCity of Secrets (Counterfeit Lady, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 13th, 2018
PublisherBerkley
ISBN-139780451491619
Rating
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Fiction, Romance

City of Secrets (Counterfeit Lady, #2) Review

  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    New favorite author! An 1920's crime mystery with curious characters and a captivating plot. This is the second book in the Counterfeit Lady Series. I was totally absorbed in it.Elizabeth Miles was my favorite character. She is a con-artist with a big heart. She learned her grifter ways from her father and has spent some time in jail with some fellow suffragettes. She has fallen for Gideon Bates, the most honest and slightly uptight lawyer in town.Elizabeth and Gideon get involved and tangled u New favorite author! An 1920's crime mystery with curious characters and a captivating plot. This is the second book in the Counterfeit Lady Series. I was totally absorbed in it.Elizabeth Miles was my favorite character. She is a con-artist with a big heart. She learned her grifter ways from her father and has spent some time in jail with some fellow suffragettes. She has fallen for Gideon Bates, the most honest and slightly uptight lawyer in town.Elizabeth and Gideon get involved and tangled up in quite a web of deceit and corruption with some unsavory characters living in their community.  Gideon wants to follow the rule of law and expose the scammers. Elizabeth has her own idea about how to go about it and Gideon isn't entirely on board.A wonderful cast, a perfectly constructed story and writing that makes you want to come back for more!  Can't wait to read the next in this series and yes, I am already reading book one (I'm notorious for reading out of order, but at least this series is new!)If your looking for a change of pace and enjoy historical mysteries, this one is a solid winner!Thanks to the publisher for my copy to read/review.  Review will post to my blog in November.
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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    Secrets and blackmale and lies...oh my!A compelling and engaging story from first page to last... this was a well-crafted perfectly paced story set in 1920s New York.... This is the second book in the Counterfeit Lady series, I did not read the first and I was not lost at all, can definitely be read as a standalone... although I might go back and read the first to get some of the backstory on these marvelous characters....The strength of the story I felt was in these captivating, charming, and q Secrets and blackmale and lies...oh my!A compelling and engaging story from first page to last... this was a well-crafted perfectly paced story set in 1920s New York.... This is the second book in the Counterfeit Lady series, I did not read the first and I was not lost at all, can definitely be read as a standalone... although I might go back and read the first to get some of the backstory on these marvelous characters....The strength of the story I felt was in these captivating, charming, and quirky characters.... Elizabeth and Gideon’s seemingly completely opposite personalities added such a rich layer to the story.... what happens when a con artist and a straight laced lawyer fall in love? Well I’m not sure what will ultimately happened with Elizabeth and Gideon‘s romance, but I can tell you it does make for one compulsive read! Not sure how I would classify this book I wouldn’t necessarily call it a mystery, what it was though was a book that fully immersed me in the lives of these characters.... a story filled with delicious scheming, conniving, and trickery... Loved how Elizabeth and Gideon Sought justice in very different ways.... also loved how the women in this story were the brains of the operation!Viktoria Thompson definitely has a way with words... The historical aspects of the story were well researched, really made me want to read more books that take place in the 20s.... the writing was stellar, making for an effortless Reid... this is my first book from Miss Thompson, but I can guarantee it will not be my last! It is always a delight to discover a new to you author....Absolutely recommend to anyone who enjoys a well written historical story with a cozy 20s gangster vibe...*** A big thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    4 real (as in, not counterfeit) stars to City of Secrets! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Elizabeth Miles is a fascinating character, and she happens to be a con artist. Her only “friend” is Priscilla Knight, who has her own share of baggage. On her second marriage, Priscilla’s husband has died in a suspicious accident. Truth be told, her first husband died in an “accident,” too. Priscilla brought her own money into the second marriage thanks to the benefits from her first; however, all she owns is in jeopardy when a b 4 real (as in, not counterfeit) stars to City of Secrets! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Elizabeth Miles is a fascinating character, and she happens to be a con artist. Her only “friend” is Priscilla Knight, who has her own share of baggage. On her second marriage, Priscilla’s husband has died in a suspicious accident. Truth be told, her first husband died in an “accident,” too. Priscilla brought her own money into the second marriage thanks to the benefits from her first; however, all she owns is in jeopardy when a banker lets her know it’s been siphoned off. Priscilla turns to Elizabeth for help and in finding the truth.Set in the 1920s, City of Secrets is the second installment in an engaging and well-written historical mystery series. I absolutely loved Elizabeth’s complex character. She is rough and unscrupulous, but she is warm and endearing at the same time. She is in a relationship with straight-laced Gideon, a lawyer who lives by the rules.Every character is wonderful, the writing is smart, and I loved City of Secrets from start to finish. I’m reading book one now to get some backstory, and it’s only enriching the experience I had with book two. Well-done! Thanks to Berkley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Melisa
    January 1, 1970
    I am a huge Victoria Thompson fan, this is no secret! I even had the honor of meeting her a few months back (and I was a bit star struck and fangirly - see my blog post for photos!). I adore the Gaslight Mystery series (highly recommend if you enjoy a good mystery) and was so excited to begin reading the second book in her latest series.Victoria Thompson is a sure thing when you’re looking for some witty and delicious historical fiction. Her characters are authentic and strong, and she always ha I am a huge Victoria Thompson fan, this is no secret! I even had the honor of meeting her a few months back (and I was a bit star struck and fangirly - see my blog post for photos!). I adore the Gaslight Mystery series (highly recommend if you enjoy a good mystery) and was so excited to begin reading the second book in her latest series.Victoria Thompson is a sure thing when you’re looking for some witty and delicious historical fiction. Her characters are authentic and strong, and she always has some tough leading ladies who can hold their own. And I loved the ode to Downton Abbey with a few of the characters names.Thompson takes a turn from her usual whodunnit scenario in the Counterfeit Lady series, and leads us into the world of the “grifter” or the con artist. I loved the character of Elizabeth, and her witty dialogue. Along with Sarah Brandt from the Gaslight mysteries, she is another strong female lead in a time when women were still considered the “weaker” sex. Love me some tough, take no prisoners protagonists, thank you very much!An enjoyable story with a satisfying ending!This was a @6bookbesties group read and I’m so glad my fellow book friends got to experience this author for the first time! Thank you to Berkley for our advance copies. This book is now available!Be sure to check out the reviews from my @6bookbesties!: Jennifer, Berit, Holly and Mackenzie.
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  • Kate Baxter
    January 1, 1970
    This book has it all - murder, mayhem and a healthy dose of subterfuge. It's early 1918 in the city of New York. US troops have been recently sent off to the trenches of Europe. Regarding the candlestick telephone of 1904, the jury is still out on whether it's a helpful or annoying communication instrument. Only time will tell. Then of course, there's The Woman Suffrage Movement where recently many women marched on the White House and found themselves thrown in jailMeanwhile, Elizabeth Miles, (o This book has it all - murder, mayhem and a healthy dose of subterfuge. It's early 1918 in the city of New York. US troops have been recently sent off to the trenches of Europe. Regarding the candlestick telephone of 1904, the jury is still out on whether it's a helpful or annoying communication instrument. Only time will tell. Then of course, there's The Woman Suffrage Movement where recently many women marched on the White House and found themselves thrown in jailMeanwhile, Elizabeth Miles, (our main protagonist in this story and the daughter of a grifter and well schooled in the arts of sleight of hand, although now a reformed grifter), was attending church services which had just concluded. While chatting with her friend Priscilla, she hears that this dear friend, recently widowed twice in quick succession, has just discovered that she and her young daughters are penniless and destitute. How could this be? Her first husband had left a sizable sum for her and her second husband came from money. Priscilla is beside herself and Elizabeth is angry that men have so much power over the conditions in which women find themselves. She is hopeful that President Wilson will take the Suffragist movement to heart and get legislation passed to help the many women in need. Elizabeth offers to help Priscilla sort through her husband's papers hoping to find evidence that the funds were merely transferred to a different institution. Not finding such documents but rather a delicate photograph of the deceased husband, Elizabeth seeks the assistance of honest trust attorney (and soon to be fiancé), Gideon Bates to see whether anything can be done. From there the tale takes off and the "game is afoot". There's tension, action, mysteries leading to other mysteries and a great con. This book was a delightful and rather humorous diversion for a dark wintry afternoon. I am grateful to author Victoria Thompson, publisher Penguin Random House, LLC, and Netgalley for having provided a free uncorrected e-book. Their generosity, however, did not influence this review - the words of which are mine alone.
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  • Jemima
    January 1, 1970
    I was not expecting that...at all!What a pleasant surprise!The synopsis of the book really captured my attention. I mean a historical fiction that has a female protagonist and is under the mystery genre? SIGN ME UP!I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved Elizabeth with her witty lines and strong personality.I loved the element of mystery, action and the sense of adventure in CITY OF SECRETS.City of Secrets Is an excitingly captivating read with a perfect balance of a strong female protagonis I was not expecting that...at all!What a pleasant surprise!The synopsis of the book really captured my attention. I mean a historical fiction that has a female protagonist and is under the mystery genre? SIGN ME UP!I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved Elizabeth with her witty lines and strong personality.I loved the element of mystery, action and the sense of adventure in CITY OF SECRETS.City of Secrets Is an excitingly captivating read with a perfect balance of a strong female protagonist, murder mystery and for those romantic at heart, it's romance...all set in 1920s New York
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  • Celia
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second in the series by Victoria Thompson entitled "Counterfeit Lady". I read the first which introduced Elizabeth Miles, a resourceful woman who with father, brother and others, perpetrates cons on people. These people undoubtedly deserve it because they are just as guilty of wanting to cheat others as the Miles 'clan' is.I enjoyed the first book and am glad to continue on with the second. Thompson weaves a story around real historical events. In this book the reader is introduced t This is the second in the series by Victoria Thompson entitled "Counterfeit Lady". I read the first which introduced Elizabeth Miles, a resourceful woman who with father, brother and others, perpetrates cons on people. These people undoubtedly deserve it because they are just as guilty of wanting to cheat others as the Miles 'clan' is.I enjoyed the first book and am glad to continue on with the second. Thompson weaves a story around real historical events. In this book the reader is introduced to Mrs. Edith B. Ordway and her book The Etiquette of Today which were considered the ultimate authorities on such matters. We also learned of the The Safe Deposit Company of New York, the first independent safe‑ deposit company, opened in 1865. (in the book, the time period is 1920's and the company is still viable).Elizabeth Miles is engaged to be married to Gideon Bates, a very painfully honest and incorruptible lawyer. It is nice to see that the two can come to grips with their differences and forge a loving relationship. Or... can they?Recommended to lovers of the cozy mystery genre. 4 stars.
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  • Mark Baker
    January 1, 1970
    Elizabeth Miles is attempting to give up her former life as the female in a group of conmen and fit into high society in order to prepare for her marriage to young lawyer Gideon Bates. Part of that involves attending church on Sundays, and it is at church that she has met Priscilla, a recent widow who is one of the few people Elizabeth considers a friend in her new life. One day Priscilla comes to Elizabeth for help since she has just learned that her recently deceased second husband has left he Elizabeth Miles is attempting to give up her former life as the female in a group of conmen and fit into high society in order to prepare for her marriage to young lawyer Gideon Bates. Part of that involves attending church on Sundays, and it is at church that she has met Priscilla, a recent widow who is one of the few people Elizabeth considers a friend in her new life. One day Priscilla comes to Elizabeth for help since she has just learned that her recently deceased second husband has left her broke. Priscilla knows there should be more money. Can Elizabeth figure out what happened?If you haven't started this great new series, I do recommend you back up to the first since it sets up so much of Elizabeth and her life in 1910's New York City. Since this is only book two in the series, it's still very easy to get caught up. When you do, you'll find yourself caught up in another fun caper. I did feel the pacing was a bit off early on, but it soon picked up and by the end, it was impossible to put down. This isn't a traditional mystery, although it still firmly fits in the crime fiction family. The characters are all strong, and they help make the final third of the book very compelling for us.NOTE: I received a copy of this book.Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
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  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first book I have read in the Counterfeit Lady series. If you are expecting a story light the Gas House Mysteries you will be disappointed. This story is more like a very good novel with romance and a mystery. The book started slowly as I place the characters but it changed as I found it difficult to put down. The characters are well developed and held my attention. I am looking forward to the next bookElizabeth Miles is learning the correct behavior high in Society. She secretly eng This is the first book I have read in the Counterfeit Lady series. If you are expecting a story light the Gas House Mysteries you will be disappointed. This story is more like a very good novel with romance and a mystery. The book started slowly as I place the characters but it changed as I found it difficult to put down. The characters are well developed and held my attention. I am looking forward to the next bookElizabeth Miles is learning the correct behavior high in Society. She secretly engaged Gideon Bates. She has become friends with Priscilla Knight who was recently widows of the second time. Elizabeth is dismayed when she learns Priscilla has been left penniless as her second husband used her money to play a blackmailer. With the aid of her family, a con was set up to get Priscilla's money back. Will the con be successful and what will happen to the blackmailers. I highly recommend this book.Disclosure: Many thanks to Berkley Publishing Group for a review copy.The opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Edith Maxwell
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this second Counterfeit Lady mystery even more than the first. Thompson excels at bringing us an exciting story in an authentic setting, characters we adore (or revile), and an intricate plot. The romantic subplot between sleuth Elizabeth Miles and her beloved Gordon plays out with heightened suspense, and the Old Man made me fall in love with him all over again. Another must read!
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  • Sara Smith
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher.I haven't read the first book in this series, but this one is really good. I brought it in from the mail and started reading it immediately and had to finish it that day since I was so engrossed in the story.Reading about this period in history when women had few rights in terms of inheritance and were simultaneously looked down upon as inferior and "it's better for you this way" was a bit enraging to me. I'm glad I didn't live back then. I d I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher.I haven't read the first book in this series, but this one is really good. I brought it in from the mail and started reading it immediately and had to finish it that day since I was so engrossed in the story.Reading about this period in history when women had few rights in terms of inheritance and were simultaneously looked down upon as inferior and "it's better for you this way" was a bit enraging to me. I'm glad I didn't live back then. I definitely recommend this book as a goodread and plan to look for the first book in the Counterfeit Lady series as well. This one works as a standalone book, but it made me want to read more.
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  • Kelsie
    January 1, 1970
    City of Secrets is the second novel in Victoria Thompson’s Counterfeit Lady series. I read the first in the series, City of Lies and, unfortunately, was not impressed. However, Thompson has done a complete 180 in this second novel. The author’s writing style was never an issue, but there were too many elements in Lies. In Secrets, Thompson was able to bring the characterization in line with the plot and the background elements. Both books are historical fiction, intrigue and chaste romance all i City of Secrets is the second novel in Victoria Thompson’s Counterfeit Lady series. I read the first in the series, City of Lies and, unfortunately, was not impressed. However, Thompson has done a complete 180 in this second novel. The author’s writing style was never an issue, but there were too many elements in Lies. In Secrets, Thompson was able to bring the characterization in line with the plot and the background elements. Both books are historical fiction, intrigue and chaste romance all in one, and Thompson was able to successfully wrangle all three in this second novel. Elizabeth, the lead female character, has fully evolved as has her love interest, Gideon. The plot was fully realized and held my interest from start to finish. The backstory was interwoven in a manner that made this a decent standalone, though reading the first in the series made this an easier and more enjoyable read. Elizabeth sets out to help her friend, Priscilla, in her own unique, exciting way and drags Gideon and the rest of her supporting cast along with her. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. I was chosen to read an advance copy of this book as part of Penguin's First to Read program. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
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  • Charlotte Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    The City of Secrets is the second book in a series. I did not read the first book but enjoyed this one very much. It started slowly for me only because I was getting to know the characters and was trying to figure out how they all came together. Elizabeth was a hoot. She was not the straight-laced wife material that Gideon Bates wanted, she took risks, went beyond what was called for to help her friends, and stood strong when the man she loved pushed her to change her ways. Priscilla was sad. A The City of Secrets is the second book in a series. I did not read the first book but enjoyed this one very much. It started slowly for me only because I was getting to know the characters and was trying to figure out how they all came together. Elizabeth was a hoot. She was not the straight-laced wife material that Gideon Bates wanted, she took risks, went beyond what was called for to help her friends, and stood strong when the man she loved pushed her to change her ways. Priscilla was sad. A widow left alone to take care of her two young daughters who were taken advantage of by people she should have been able to trust. The other characters were equally as entertaining and I loved how they all came together to put those who had done other wrong in their correct place. There were a few times I had to questions what era I was reading about. Sometimes the story seemed to be told in the time long ago but then it would change its tone and I’d feel like it was more current. This was probably the only part of the story that threw me off from time to time. I loved the idea of the women fighting the government for their rights, going to jail and having hunger strikes to prove their strength and belief in themselves. After they were released from jail they went back to their lives and continued to hold strong to their beliefs. The City of Secrets is an interesting book. I’m interested in more from Victoria Thompson and definitely interested in checking out the rest of this series.
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  • Caitlin
    January 1, 1970
    Received free from Penguin First to Read, my thoughts are my own.Elizabeth Miles is trying to be respectable, so she can marry the very respectable Gideon. She has some mixed results, but the story of Priscilla catches her eye--twice widowed, whose second husband spent the money left to her by the first, leaving Priscilla and her two daughters in dire straights. Elizabeth is determined to find where the money went so quickly, as soon discovers she isn't the only one in polite society with a hist Received free from Penguin First to Read, my thoughts are my own.Elizabeth Miles is trying to be respectable, so she can marry the very respectable Gideon. She has some mixed results, but the story of Priscilla catches her eye--twice widowed, whose second husband spent the money left to her by the first, leaving Priscilla and her two daughters in dire straights. Elizabeth is determined to find where the money went so quickly, as soon discovers she isn't the only one in polite society with a history of deceit.Elizabeth and Gideon's relationship develops further, and seeing them achieve a balance is fun. Opposites might attract, but they have to do some work to stay together without anything in common. Now that the initial rush has worn off, these two have to find their common ground.The mystery involved is a bit too neat and obvious, but watching the characters uncover the truth is entertaining, as is what they decide to do about it. An enjoyable romance with some clever puzzle solving.
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  • Linda Smatzny
    January 1, 1970
    This book is set in New York City in 1917/1918. The main character is Elizabeth Miles who runs cons with a crew made up of some family members. However, Elizabeth is trying to go straight since her beloved is a honest lawyer who can't seem to lie. Elizabeth befriends a recent widow who seems to be broke but Elizabeth feels that Priscilla Knight has been taken advantage of and decides to help her. It is time when women still had very few rights and a man was needed or so it was thought. The book This book is set in New York City in 1917/1918. The main character is Elizabeth Miles who runs cons with a crew made up of some family members. However, Elizabeth is trying to go straight since her beloved is a honest lawyer who can't seem to lie. Elizabeth befriends a recent widow who seems to be broke but Elizabeth feels that Priscilla Knight has been taken advantage of and decides to help her. It is time when women still had very few rights and a man was needed or so it was thought. The book was an easy read.
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  • Shelley
    January 1, 1970
    *Source* Publisher*Genre* Historical Fiction, Mystery*Rating* 3.5*Thoughts*City of Secrets, by author Victoria Thompson, is the second installment in the author's Counterfeit Lady series. The story takes place in 1917 New York City. Please note: I've seen many reviews that have gotten this fact wrong. The story takes place during World War I (1914-1918) at the beginning of the country's entry into the War. In fact, Gideon, who is 31, worries that if the war continues longer, that he might face b *Source* Publisher*Genre* Historical Fiction, Mystery*Rating* 3.5*Thoughts*City of Secrets, by author Victoria Thompson, is the second installment in the author's Counterfeit Lady series. The story takes place in 1917 New York City. Please note: I've seen many reviews that have gotten this fact wrong. The story takes place during World War I (1914-1918) at the beginning of the country's entry into the War. In fact, Gideon, who is 31, worries that if the war continues longer, that he might face being sent to war via being drafted. *Full Review @ Gizmos Review*https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...
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  • Daniele
    January 1, 1970
    There is not much mystery within these pages, but read as historical fiction it is good, especially the last third of the book. The bad guys are revealed very early on, but it is fun to see them get their just deserts. Elizabeth and Gideon are great contrasts to each other, and all of the characters are well drawn and interesting.I received a copy of this title from the publisher.
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  • OpenBookSociety.com
    January 1, 1970
    http://openbooksociety.com/article/ci...City of SecretsCounterfeit Lady Book #2By Victoria ThompsonISBN# 9780451491619Author’s website: Victoriathompson.comBrought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele Synopsis:Con artist Elizabeth Miles has determined that Society is the biggest con of all. So far, Elizabeth’s only real social success has been with Priscilla Knight. Priscilla is a dedicated suffragist who was recently widowed for the second time in her young life. Her beloved first husband, DeForrest http://openbooksociety.com/article/ci...City of SecretsCounterfeit Lady Book #2By Victoria ThompsonISBN# 9780451491619Author’s website: Victoriathompson.comBrought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele Synopsis:Con artist Elizabeth Miles has determined that Society is the biggest con of all. So far, Elizabeth’s only real social success has been with Priscilla Knight. Priscilla is a dedicated suffragist who was recently widowed for the second time in her young life. Her beloved first husband, DeForrest Jenks, died in a tragic accident and left her with two young daughters and a comfortable fortune. Soon after his death, her pastor convinced her she needed a man to look after her. Before she knew it, he had engineered a whirlwind courtship and hasty marriage to fellow parishioner Endicott Knight. Less than nine months later, Endicott is also dead in a somewhat less tragic and even more suspicious accident.Priscilla confides to Elizabeth that she had understood Endicott was wealthy in his own right, and she had brought a sizeable fortune to the marriage as well. Now her banker is telling her she has hardly any money left and that her house has been mortgaged. The banker has hinted at a scandal that could damage the family’s reputation and her daughters’ future prospects. Fearing destructive gossip, Priscilla doesn’t know whom to trust.Elizabeth discovers some unsavory evidence that seems to point to the possibility that Endicott’s death may have been connected to blackmail. To save her new friend’s future, Elizabeth must use her special set of skills to find the truth. (Goodreads)Review:City of Secrets, the second book in the Counterfeit Lady Series, is smarter historical fiction than a murder mystery, but it is an enjoyable book with gratifying, complex characters. It can be read alone or as part of the series.“Reformed” grifter Elizabeth Miles is trying to find her way in polite society, a feat sometimes harder than others. After the events of the first book, City of Lies, Elizabeth is secretly engaged (almost) to straight-laced lawyer Gideon Bates. When she learns that her friend Priscilla has been left almost destitute by her now deceased husband, Emily sets out to find out what happened to all the money. This leads her down a dark path of blackmail, accidents that might really be murder, and people who are not what they appear to be. Should she follow Gideon’s letter of the law or pull a con to beat the blackmailers at their own game?Thompson has created characters that are quite appealing within these pages. I think Elizabeth’s morally ambiguous upbringing makes her look at the world and solve problems differently than the average lady of the era would. She is gutsy and not afraid to express her opinions so it is no surprise that she finds a “home” with suffragists. Gideon makes a perfect counterpart for Elizabeth; it is no wonder that these opposites are attracted to each other. I also particularly like Elizabeth’s father and think he could charm anyone into doing just about anything.I am a little disappointed that City of Secrets is not more of a mystery. Readers learn who the villains are almost from the beginning, but it is fun to watch their unraveling play out. The story starts out a bit slow, but it soon picks up the pace, and the last third or so of the book is very good. *OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Former grifter Elizabeth Miles has given up on her life of lies and is ready to marry attorney Gideon Bates. But sometimes the best laid plans of mice and men go awry. When Elizabeth finds out her friend Priscilla Knight, widowed for the second time, has been bilked out of her first husband’s money she sees red.It seems Priscilla’s second husband was being blackmailed, and he only married her for her money. Now that he is dead, she and her daughters from her first marriage are left penniless. El Former grifter Elizabeth Miles has given up on her life of lies and is ready to marry attorney Gideon Bates. But sometimes the best laid plans of mice and men go awry. When Elizabeth finds out her friend Priscilla Knight, widowed for the second time, has been bilked out of her first husband’s money she sees red.It seems Priscilla’s second husband was being blackmailed, and he only married her for her money. Now that he is dead, she and her daughters from her first marriage are left penniless. Elizabeth knows something has to be done to get to the bottom of things and get Priscilla’s money back. She turns to her father, a master con artist who agrees to help. But Gideon is not happy about Elizabeth turning toward her former life. They fight, and she soon realizes he will never be able to accept her former life of lies. Their disagreement tears a rip in their relationship that might not be repairable. Will Elizabeth be able to help her friend and keep her bond with Gideon intact?Set in the 1920s, in the time of women’s suffrage, City of Secrets is a tight, complex tale that draws the reader in immediately and keeps them tightly bound until the end.Even though you know who the culprits are, you can’t help but turn the pages at a rapid rate to see how Elizabeth and her crew work to make things right for Priscilla. There were more than a few times when I was pumping my fist in the air in a “good job,” movement.Then there is the relationship between Elizabeth and Gideon. They are perfect together, and come from such different backgrounds. The attraction between them is intense, and so well written that you feel their pain when they were going through their troubles.I enjoy historical novels, and this one is rich in detail of the time period, and the people who would have lived during it. The writing is fluid and the tale is perfectly told. This is book two in the Counterfeit Lady series. I haven’t read the first one, but I already have my hands on it, and have moved it up in my TBR pile.Definitely a series that will keep me coming back for more.I read a digital ARC of this book through Penguin’s First To Read program.
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  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the First to Read program for a digital ARC of this book. The following is my honest opinion of this book:The second entry in the Counterfeit Lady series, City of Secrets is a quick read that's definitely worth looking into. Elizabeth Miles is a grifter but she's met a wonderful man, (Gideon Bates) who prides himself on following the law and always being honest. As Elizabeth tries to establish herself in his world, she befriends a woman at church who has just lost her second husband to Thanks to the First to Read program for a digital ARC of this book. The following is my honest opinion of this book:The second entry in the Counterfeit Lady series, City of Secrets is a quick read that's definitely worth looking into. Elizabeth Miles is a grifter but she's met a wonderful man, (Gideon Bates) who prides himself on following the law and always being honest. As Elizabeth tries to establish herself in his world, she befriends a woman at church who has just lost her second husband to a tragic accident. Unfortunately, she has also learned that all of her money from the estate of her first husband is mysteriously gone. When Elizabeth starts looking into the missing money, she discovers a blackmail scheme may have been the culprit and the prime suspects are respected members of the community. When she suggests a con to regain possession of the money to Gideon, he states he cannot condone anything outside of the parameters of the law. This book really held my attention. I must say that while not an absolute necessity, I would highly recommend reading the first book (City of Lies) before this one. In my opinion, that book sets up the series. It provides a great deal of character background information and establishes the various character relationships. Through it, you get a feel for each character and a greater understanding of who each one truly is. The second book builds on those relationships. With that said, I think the plot in City of Secrets was better and much more developed than the first book. It was an interesting story with several twists and turns. Much like the first, the historical content that is added in is a great bonus. I enjoyed learning more about the Suffragist Movement and the general conditions of women during that time period. I would definitely recommend this book to others and look forward to future installments in the series!
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    This is a fun read. Although I did read the first book in the series, I was confused on some parts that were explored in the first novel. I clearly forgot some of the plot. I think this is a series where one should read them in order. I did review Goodreads to refresh on the first installment, but still cannot remember how Gideon proposed to Elizabeth in the first novel.We are in the setting of the beginning of US entry into WWI in New York City.The story has clear protagonists: female Elizabeth This is a fun read. Although I did read the first book in the series, I was confused on some parts that were explored in the first novel. I clearly forgot some of the plot. I think this is a series where one should read them in order. I did review Goodreads to refresh on the first installment, but still cannot remember how Gideon proposed to Elizabeth in the first novel.We are in the setting of the beginning of US entry into WWI in New York City.The story has clear protagonists: female Elizabeth is a strong "good" character while Daisy is perhaps a more "bad" one. Anna and her brother play smaller roles while Gideon Bates and his Mother are definitely constant forces in the plot as well as Elizabeth's father.We find many different lifestyles and subdivisions of society at in the early 1900s. There is Elizabeth's aunt whom I believe is a professor and her female companion. You have women whom were brought into a world of brothels. Boys who grew up with an abusive father who led a righteous religious life in the face of the public. And Priscilla embodies the women whose fortunes were left, and eventually lost, to the control of a male. I think it interesting that Peter Honesdale grew up with an abusive father who also was a religious leader. Peter then goes on to an adult life where he does blackmail, have involvement in murder and other pursuits. In the end, he does have sort of a breakdown and his father is able to commit him to an asylum. Ironic as likely it is his father's treatment of him as a child that led him to this life. The father seems to have no punishment for his abuse of Matthew and Peter.I enjoyed the history of the safe deposit box at the end of the book, and look forward to a future installment. I can see where this series could delve into a relationship with Elizabeth's father and Gideon's mother. There is humor, history and romance in this plot.
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  • Jean Kolinofsky
    January 1, 1970
    Elizabeth Miles was a grifter. In an attempt to get away from one of her marks, she mingled with a group of suffragists and was arrested with them. This was where she met Mrs Bates, whose son Gideon became her fiancé. In Victoria Thompson’s second book in the Counterfeit Lady series, Elizabeth is trying to establish herself as a lady in New York with Mrs. Bates’ assistance. When she encounters the widow Priscilla Knight, however, she decides to use her skills as a grifter to help her.Priscilla h Elizabeth Miles was a grifter. In an attempt to get away from one of her marks, she mingled with a group of suffragists and was arrested with them. This was where she met Mrs Bates, whose son Gideon became her fiancé. In Victoria Thompson’s second book in the Counterfeit Lady series, Elizabeth is trying to establish herself as a lady in New York with Mrs. Bates’ assistance. When she encounters the widow Priscilla Knight, however, she decides to use her skills as a grifter to help her.Priscilla has lost two husbands in a short time. When her first husband died, she was rushed into a second marriage by Reverend Honesdale and his wife. Her second husband, Endicott Knight, was being blackmailed and after his death Priscilla discovered that all of his money as well as the money left by her first husband is gone. She and her two young daughters now have nothing and face a life of poverty.While Gideon is a lawyer who believes in justice through legal means, Elizabeth realizes that she will have to rely on other means to retrieve Priscilla’s money. Using her family, she sets a plan in motion that is both daring and highly entertaining. While it is a clever mystery, this is also a look at the efforts of the suffragists to gain the vote as well as the social behaviors of the early 1900s. Elizabeth refers to Ordway’s The Etiquette of Today a number of times to prevent a social faux pas and embarrassment.Thompson provides some clever twists. While the blackmailer is revealed fairly early, Elizabeth’s sense of justice and her plans to assist her friend keep the reader engrossed. For an enjoyable historical mystery, I would definitely recommend this series. I would like to thank First to Read for providing this book for my review.
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    "City of Secrets" is a historical mystery set in 1918 in New York City. This is the second book in the series, but you don't need to read the previous book to understand this one. This book referred to some events in the previous book, but not enough to spoil the story. Elizabeth is a reformed con artist engaged to marry an honest lawyer who's convinced that following the Law and gaining justice through the legal system are ultimate.Elizabeth investigated her widowed friend's loss of money to se "City of Secrets" is a historical mystery set in 1918 in New York City. This is the second book in the series, but you don't need to read the previous book to understand this one. This book referred to some events in the previous book, but not enough to spoil the story. Elizabeth is a reformed con artist engaged to marry an honest lawyer who's convinced that following the Law and gaining justice through the legal system are ultimate.Elizabeth investigated her widowed friend's loss of money to see if it was lost in a con, but she soon realized that Priscilla's husband was blackmailed out of his own fortune and hers. Once certain of who was behind the scheme and the blackmail, Elizabeth realized she couldn't prove it in a court of law. She asked her father to con the blackmailers so she could return the money to Priscilla. Her fiance is appalled (creating a rift between the two) and set out to prove that justice and law must and can prevail.It was entertaining to follow the investigation and guess just how the con was going to be pulled off. It was a case were the justice system wouldn't ultimately help the hurt party and would even cause more harm by creating a scandal. The blackmailers' own greed and jealousy were used against them. The various efforts even ensured that the blackmailers couldn't harm anyone else in the future. A very satisfying ending. The historical details were woven into the story to create a sense of the specific time and place as well as bring the story alive.There was one use of bad language. There was no sex. Overall, I'd highly recommend this entertaining historical.I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher.
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  • Sapphyria
    January 1, 1970
    City of Secrets is the second book in the Counterfeit Lady series by Victoria Thompson. Elizabeth, our heroine, is a con artist trying to settle down with an honest lawyer. When a church patron named Priscilla Knight reveals that she doesn’t know why she married her now-deceased second husband and that she doesn’t remember anything about the wedding ceremony, Elizabeth smells a rat. Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, Elizabeth and Gideon, embark on a case that involves lies, decepti City of Secrets is the second book in the Counterfeit Lady series by Victoria Thompson. Elizabeth, our heroine, is a con artist trying to settle down with an honest lawyer. When a church patron named Priscilla Knight reveals that she doesn’t know why she married her now-deceased second husband and that she doesn’t remember anything about the wedding ceremony, Elizabeth smells a rat. Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, Elizabeth and Gideon, embark on a case that involves lies, deception, and most of all, secrets. What follows is an investigation involving brothels, blackmail, and the potential to release information that could cause a huge scandal. Elizabeth relies on her family’s set of unique talents to try and make the wrongs done to Priscilla right but at what could be a terrible expense for Elizabeth and Gideon.City of Secrets is a wonderful book filled with realism and emotion from start to finish. The author’s world building in the book is vivid and descriptive. The author did a great job with the continued character development in City of Secrets. Elizabeth is s a strong character but you must be if the art of the long con is your way of living. She’s also compassionate especially towards Priscilla Knight and her situation. It is easy to identify with Elizabeth, feel her emotions and the emotions of others, and fit right into the story. All the characters were written well, and I enjoyed each one of them.This book is rich in emotional content and I was engaged in the story from the very beginning. The story is fast paced and truly set up and executed well. I can’t wait to see what the author has instore for Elizabeth next.
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    The Author Had Me From the Opening Line!The best thing about this book is how the author places the main characters in a conundrum via the nature of their stations. Elizabeth Miles, the heroine, is a con artist with a colorful past who has gone straight for the sake of her secret-fiancé Gideon Bates, a conservative New York lawyer. Of course, Elizabeth wants to fall back on her grifter skills to help her friend Priscilla Knight, a two-time widow and the only ally Elizabeth manages to find this r The Author Had Me From the Opening Line!The best thing about this book is how the author places the main characters in a conundrum via the nature of their stations. Elizabeth Miles, the heroine, is a con artist with a colorful past who has gone straight for the sake of her secret-fiancé Gideon Bates, a conservative New York lawyer. Of course, Elizabeth wants to fall back on her grifter skills to help her friend Priscilla Knight, a two-time widow and the only ally Elizabeth manages to find this rigid new world. Gideon is willing to help too, but he wants to take the high road. The tension of this built-in conflict gives the story’s underlying mystery—the tale of a destitute widow in peril—an extra layer of suspense as the audience not only plays along with the unveiling of secrets but stresses over whose tactics (trickery v. truth) will win out in the end . . . and whether their relationship can survive the fallout.Along the way we get a dashes of humor and shrewd bits of investigation around a minister’s involvement in a brothel—both of which keep the story engrossing and well-paced enough that you don’t even realize you’ve whipped through 320 pages. As noted with my review of the first book in this series, the language is clever and relatable. Anyone who thinks of historicals as dry tomes with convoluted wordplay will find this novel dispels those misplaced notions. And in case you’re curious about a sequel, Thompson’s website says she’s all for writing more in this series as long as fans are open to reading them . . . and this is one fan who is happy to oblige.
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  • Judy Beetem
    January 1, 1970
    City of Secrets is the second in the Counterfeit Lady series by Victoria Thompson. I hadn't read the first book in the series but had no trouble catching on. I fully intend to read the first book, then probably reread this one.Thompson has crafted a view of society in the 1920s where con artist, Elizabeth Miles, is trying to make her mark. She's just broken up with her fiance and is secretly engaged to Gideon Bates - a man she truly loves. Gideon's mother (Elizabeth met her in the first book dur City of Secrets is the second in the Counterfeit Lady series by Victoria Thompson. I hadn't read the first book in the series but had no trouble catching on. I fully intend to read the first book, then probably reread this one.Thompson has crafted a view of society in the 1920s where con artist, Elizabeth Miles, is trying to make her mark. She's just broken up with her fiance and is secretly engaged to Gideon Bates - a man she truly loves. Gideon's mother (Elizabeth met her in the first book during a suffragist demonstration) adores her and is helping to navigate the maze of society.. Elizabeth and the Bateses come to the aid of Priscilla Knight, a young widow with two small children who has found herself widowed again, and penniless.Elizabeth must draw on her special skills to help Priscilla discover what happened to the money, how Priscilla found herself married to a second man, and what exactly is going on with the Pastor and his wife - all while following the etiquette guidelines set forth by Mrs. Edith B. Ordway in her tome The Etiquette of Today. City of Secrets was a delightful read. The characters are very well-developed and the dialog is excellent and often really funny. Thompson manages to convey the societal strictures of the 20's as well as the freedom that is slowly approaching as women lobby furiously for the right to vote. There are so many characters, Jake and the Old Man, Daisy and Paster Honesdale, Elizabeth's grifter family. I don't want to give anything away, just read it! I can't wait for the next book in the series!!
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  • Dea Jones
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked this book. For those who follow Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mystery series, this might be a change. This book picks up where the first book of the Counterfeit Lady Series left off. Elizabeth is engaged to Gideon and learning how to navigate high society in New York on the cusp of World War I. She is drawn into a mystery when a young woman she has befriended is left practically penniless after the death of her older husband. Her husband died under suspicious circumstances, prompti I really liked this book. For those who follow Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mystery series, this might be a change. This book picks up where the first book of the Counterfeit Lady Series left off. Elizabeth is engaged to Gideon and learning how to navigate high society in New York on the cusp of World War I. She is drawn into a mystery when a young woman she has befriended is left practically penniless after the death of her older husband. Her husband died under suspicious circumstances, prompting Elizabeth to do all she can to help her friend. She is drawn into a web of deception that reaches from the highest levels of polite society to the lowest. Just like the first book in the series, the mystery of who committed the crimes is solved about three-fourths of the way through, and the rest of the book details how Elizabeth and her friends and allies bring about justice through an elaborate scam. I enjoy reading about these schemes are played out, so this is a plus for me.Another aspect of this book I really enjoyed is way the author weaves historical details throughout the story. I enjoy reading about this time period and the way people fought for needed societal changes. Lastly, I loved how the author continued the story arc of Elizabeth and Gideon's relationship. Neither of them is perfect, and experiencing their evolution into a couple ready for the next step is one of the many reasons why I will continue to read this series!
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  • viktoria
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received a free ARC (Thanks, Netgalley!), which doesn't sway my opinion, & etc.I've been meaning to read Victoria Thompson for ages; I recommend her Gaslight all the time for historical fiction mystery readers at work, despite never having read her myself, and when I read the premise for the Counterfeit Lady series, I perked up immediately. Cons? Suffragettes? 1920s New York? Con ladies? Sharp lawyers? So many of my favorite things! Book #1 charmed me thoroughly. I literally fi Disclaimer: I received a free ARC (Thanks, Netgalley!), which doesn't sway my opinion, & etc.I've been meaning to read Victoria Thompson for ages; I recommend her Gaslight all the time for historical fiction mystery readers at work, despite never having read her myself, and when I read the premise for the Counterfeit Lady series, I perked up immediately. Cons? Suffragettes? 1920s New York? Con ladies? Sharp lawyers? So many of my favorite things! Book #1 charmed me thoroughly. I literally finished the book, put down my Kindle, and grabbed my phone on my way to take the dog outside to see about acquiring the second one, because I wasn't sure if I'd be in the window for getting the ARC. Thankfully, I did and Netgalley provided. (Allll the hearts.)That being said, #2 was lovely and wonderful and the charm still holds, but it's playing the long game—because of that, I think some of the charisma of the Book #1 isn't as potent here. Yet it's a totally necessary character study for the series to propel forward, especially when you're talking about a Beguiling but Reformed Con Woman and a The Most Honorable and Adores Her Lawyer. Pros: Excellent plot, the CONS!, still an amazing concept, more side characters, interesting character growth.Cons: Series builder-y, less atmosphere and magnetism than the first. tl;dr: When does #3 come out?
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  • Laura Hill
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley and Berkeley Publishing Group for an advance reader copy in exchange for my honest opinion. Book to be released on Nov. 6, 2018.Writing: 3 Plot: 4 Characters: 3.5A thoroughly enjoyable historical mystery by the author of the Gaslight series. The second in the Counterfeit Lady series (I seem to have missed the first), this series centers on Elizabeth Miles, a “reformed” grifter who is making her way in New York polite society in the 1920s. In this episode, she is moved to help Thanks to NetGalley and Berkeley Publishing Group for an advance reader copy in exchange for my honest opinion. Book to be released on Nov. 6, 2018.Writing: 3 Plot: 4 Characters: 3.5A thoroughly enjoyable historical mystery by the author of the Gaslight series. The second in the Counterfeit Lady series (I seem to have missed the first), this series centers on Elizabeth Miles, a “reformed” grifter who is making her way in New York polite society in the 1920s. In this episode, she is moved to help a new friend who was twice widowed and found herself penniless — her second husband having managed to go through all of her money as well as his own in a short amount of time. The plot twists in fun and surprising ways, leveraging an eclectic set of characters including ministers who are not what they seem, society matrons, and Elizabeth’s slightly unsavory (but utterly charming and oddly moral) pals from her grifting days. Nice historical touches covering the suffragist movement (not suffragette which they find demeaning), the social rules of etiquette as extracted from Mrs. Edith B. Ordway’s The Etiquette of Today, and the origin of safe deposit boxes. Interesting discussions on the rules of law, the roots of civilization, and how to determine what is morally appropriate in a situation.Great read!
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  • Leigh
    January 1, 1970
    Ever since her debut last year Elizabeth Miles has become one of my favourite heroines and this series one of my favourites. I like that it's not the usual mystery series, a body turns up and an investigation happens and it's solved. These are crime novels, with no real murder and a cast of intriguing characters help to investigate and find justice for the crime or crimes committed. In the second installment Elizabeth is trying to integrate into society. She and Gideon Bates have become secretly Ever since her debut last year Elizabeth Miles has become one of my favourite heroines and this series one of my favourites. I like that it's not the usual mystery series, a body turns up and an investigation happens and it's solved. These are crime novels, with no real murder and a cast of intriguing characters help to investigate and find justice for the crime or crimes committed. In the second installment Elizabeth is trying to integrate into society. She and Gideon Bates have become secretly engaged and they are waiting a proper amount of time to announce their engagement following the events of the previous book in which she was fake engaged to Gideon's friends. While at church she befriends Priscilla Knight who has unfortunately become twice widowed due to what appeared to be accidents. Priscilla was left well off by her first husband but is shocked to learn on the death of her second husband that he has left her and her two young daughters destitute. Elizabeth convinces Gideon to help her uncover what happened to the money. During their investigation they uncover shocking secrets involving blackmail, prostitution, human trafficking, and possibly even murder all coming from an even more shocking source. A gripping, engaging read hard to put down at times. I look forward to seeing where Elizabeth's next adventure takes her.
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