ISBN #: 978-0764209550
Page Count: 348
Copyright: June 1, 2012
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
(Taken from back cover)
Jobless and down to her last dime, Ellie Moore hears about a position with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and believes it's the perfect chance to put her acting skills and costumes to use. Reluctantly, the agency agrees to give her one assignment, one chance to prove herself. Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie travels to Arizona to begin her investigation. When the need arises, she also transforms into the dazzling Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.
Mine owner Steven Pierce is going to lose his business if he can't figure out who's stealing his silver shipments. In his wildest dreams, he never expected to receive help from a gray-haired widow ... or to fall in love with her beautiful niece.
Then the thieves come after Lavinia and Jessie. Ellie isn't safe no matter which character she plays! Should she give up and reveal her true identity? What will Steven do when he realizes the woman he's falling in love with doesn't really exist?
People must have been more gullible in the 1800s. I'm not sure that a change of clothes, a wig, and some makeup would be enough to disguise one's true appearance. Perhaps I just haven't seen that many great makeup jobs. To think that was all it took to fool a couple of Pinkerton detectives is a little far-fetched ... but it does make for an interesting fiction novel.
Ellie was an assistant to an uppity, selfish theater actress. When the actress leaves for Europe, Ellie is under the impression that she's going also. When she realizes she isn't, her whole world comes crashing down. Living frugally, Ellie's life eventually hits rock-bottom. While strolling through the streets of Chicago, Ellie overhears two men discussing the need for a woman to fill an open position ... as a Pinkerton operative! Ellie applies for the job, but is told she doesn't have the right look. After changing into a disguise, she goes back and is able to obtain the position.
Once in Arizona, Ellie begins her charade as Lavinia Stewart, an old widow. Determined to find out who's stealing all of the silver shipments, "Lavinia" begins talking up everyone in town. She becomes the focus of some unsavory people's attention and her life becomes threatened.
Does Ellie really have what it takes to be a Pinkerton operative? Will she be able to crack the case in time to save the mines?
I enjoyed reading this story. I did become a little annoyed with Ellie. It's just hard for me to think that women back then were so naive. I wanted to reach in the book and shake her a couple times.
Although this book is published by a company known for its spiritual and religious printed works, Love in Disguise did not have an overly religious theme running through it. So, if you're not a huge fan of religious/Christian fiction, but enjoy an easy-to-read novel that's entertaining as well as suspenseful, then you should pick up a copy of Love in Disguise by Carol Cox.
*A paperback copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.