City of Secrets by Victoria Thompson

City of Secrets

Victoria Thompson

Elizabeth discovers that her husband's death was not accidental, and revealing the truth could threaten her friend's life. Elizabeth, along with her honest-to-a-fault beau, Gideon, delve into the sinister secrets someone would kill to keep.

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An exciting new book in the series featuring woman-on-the-run Elizabeth Miles--from the beloved national bestselling author of the Gaslight Mysteries.

Elizabeth Miles knows that honesty is not always the best policy when it comes to finding justice.

Elizabeth has discovered that navigating the rules of high society is the biggest con of all. She knows she can play the game, but so far, her only success is Priscilla Knight, a dedicated young suffragist recently widowed for the second time. Her beloved first husband died in a tragic accident and left her with two young daughters--and a sizable fortune. While she was lost in grief, Priscilla's pastor convinced her she needed a man to look after her and engineered a whirlwind courtship and hasty marriage to fellow parishioner Endicott Knight. Now, about nine months later, Endicott is dead in what appears to be another terrible accident. 

Everyone is whispering, but that is the least of Priscilla's troubles. She had believed Endicott was wealthy, too, but her banker tells her she has no money left and her house has been mortgaged. He also hints at a terrible scandal and refuses to help. 

Priscilla stands to lose everything, and Elizabeth is determined not to let that happen. But, as always, Elizabeth walks a fine line between using her unusual talents and revealing her own scandalous past. Elizabeth soon discovers that Endicott's death was anything but accidental, and revealing the truth could threaten much more than Priscilla's finances. To save her new friend's future--and possibly her own--Elizabeth, along with her honest-to-a-fault beau, Gideon, delve into the sinister secrets someone would kill to keep.

Advance Galley Reviews

3 stars. This was good, but not as enjoyable as City of Lies (the first book in the series). It was a bit of a slow read because there was a lot of repetition and the focus was exclusively on the mystery, unlike the last one which delved into the Women's Suffrage movement and more details of historical New York and DC. Here, the mystery revolves around a widow in Gideon's church who Elizabeth befriends. The widow was left destitute by her second husband - who she barely knew when she married at the insistence of her clergy and his wife. As Elizabeth and Gideon investigate how her money could have disappeared, they realize that her second husband was involved in some nefarious business, including potentially the demise of the widow's first husband. Elizabeth's friend Anna makes only a few appearances, though we do get to see more of Elizabeth's father, as well as her aunts and their literary circle. Gideon and Elizabeth understandably have a lot to work out between them despite their love for each other. They come from different backgrounds and have very different views of the world. Through their investigation they debate the importance of morality and justice and what is permitted to achieve those ends. It will never be smooth sailing for them, but at least they are willing to work on it. Thank you to the Penguin/Berkley First To Read program for providing an ARC for review!

I might categorize this as a 'cozy historical mystery', the 2nd in a series. I haven't read the 1st, so had a bit of a time falling in with the continuing characters...reading the 1st might help with that? I thought the book stated kind of slow, maybe just because I was trying to figure out the characters? Once I got past that, the story picked up for me & I started enjoying it the end, I was quite enjoying it, & even offered a chuckle out loud when realizing some of the tricky moves being played! V. Thompson is already a noted author of historical fiction, with another successful series that I also I hope this series can hold it's own too. This one takes place in the 1920's in NYC & follows a young woman & her exploits, having been raised as a 'grifter'. I especially like at the end, the 'author's note' tells of the real historical aspects of this story. I will look up the 1st book in this series & read it, & will watch for the 3rd too! I'd recommend it for anyone who might like a 'nice, easy historical fiction.' Maybe a 3.5 in rating, out of 5, 5 being 'awesome'! I received this e-ARC from Penguin's First-To-Read giveaway program, in return for reading & offering my own honest review.

Grifting, blackmail, murder, robbing a mother with two children, prostitution plus more make for an exciting, well written, well plotted story. The story is set in the 1920s. Elizabeth Miles is a con artist who is in the process of reforming her ways. She is trying to do this due to her relationship with the uptight, upright lawyer..... Gideon Bates. Elizabeth is also trying to learn and live life according to society’s rules of etiquette. Elizabeth meets Priscilla Knight, a two time widow with two young children. Helping Priscilla by reviewing her husbands finances, Elizabeth discovers a scam has happened to the widow. This scam has left her penniless. After discovering the scam, Elizabeth starts to investigate. Seems blackmail and murder have happened by how will Elizabeth help get money back for the widow. It is necessary for a con artist to outsmart the murderer and scam artist. This is a fun, entertaining, interesting and intriguing read filled with deadly secrets. Although this is book # 2 of the Counterfeit Lady Mystery series, it can be read as a stand alone. The author mixed the past and present together effortlessly so the characters are easy to get to know. I volunteered to read City of Secrets. Thanks to Penguin’s First-to-Read fit the opportunity. My opinion is my own.

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.

This is my first experience reading a book by this particular author, although from what I have heard all her books are terrific. I have to add this one to the list of great books, because I found the whole book rather amusing and fun to read. The book follows a woman, Elizabeth Miles, who is working to navigate society and fit in during the 1920's. This is the time period when woman were trying to fight for equal rights, but they were still looked at as just "wife/mother" material. This qas not Elizabeth's way, as she was raised by a con man father when her mother passed away, so she was always taught how to take care of herself. This is good and bad for her. Elizabeth ends up meeting a man, Gideon Bates, and falls in love with him. Now she is working to fit into his society, which is not an easy task, especially for her! Thankfully he accepts who she is, and they even begin to work together, using her background, to solve some financial problems for a widow who attends Gideon's church. The book was a quick read, and I liked the story quite a bit. I never got bored of reading the next part of their story!

Thank you to Penguin Books and for the opportunity to read this lively and engaging book. The book is the second in a new series and I would have loved to have a little more information on Elizabeth and her introduction to grafting. That said, you can easily read this book on its own. It is a light, easy read with some humor. Of course you know who did it!

A very smart followup to the first book in the series, City of Lies. It's amazing to see how Thompson builds up the plot and weaves a complicated web that ends up making perfect sense and being quite a caper for Elizabeth and company. The character relationships and interactions really shine here, being the bones from which the impressive body of the mystery emerge. I loved seeing how Elizabeth and Gideon try to find the middle ground in their way of thinking and theirs is only one of the many complicated connections that end up making the plot so juicy. Overall, this is a whipsmart historical thriller with lovely romantic undertones and great writing. Definitely worth a read.

This is the second one book in The Counterfeit Ladies series. I really enjoyed this second book in the series. You get to know Elizabeth better as well as see more interactions between her and Gideon. It was nice to see them work through their relationship problems. This will be a definite addition to my list of series to follow.

City of Secrets is the 2nd book in the Counterfeit Lady series and will be enjoyed more by readers of the 1st book. I highly recommend both books. The relationship between Gideon and Elizabeth, a grifter, is tested when their ideas about justice clash. When Elizabeth’s friend Priscilla Knight is left penniless, Elizabeth is determined to discover what happened to the money left to Priscilla by her first husband. Acutely aware of how vulnerable women are in a society ruled by men, Elizabeth will do whatever is necessary to recover the money. Together, Gideon and Elizabeth uncover sinister secrets that threaten not only their lives but their relationship. This series is the perfect combination of mystery, romance, and historical fiction. I love this series and can’t wait for the next book.

I really enjoyed City of Secrets. I read the first book in the Counterfeit Lady series, City of Lies, also via First to Read, and this book begins pretty much where that first book left off. The mystery surrounding Priscilla was interesting, and though you have a clue as to who the villains are right from the start, how everything came together in the end was not overly predictable. I like the characters, and I think the relationship between Elizabeth and Gideon is really sweet (though they can both be annoyingly stubborn at times). It's also interesting to see Elizabeth's efforts to fit into "polite society" while still maintaining who she is as a person. Gideon's very black-and-white view of the world starts to change a bit in this installment, and I'm looking forward to seeing whether that continues. All in all, this was a really great addition to the series, and I'll definitely be looking out for the next Counterfeit Lady book.

Victoria Thomson outshines her last book with this one. I love the sense of movement, danger, and action in this series. We get inside New York with Elizabeth and Gideon.

An enjoyable historical mystery. Lots of period details and characters I still enjoy

This is not a review of the title, I am sure it's an interesting book. I read the first book in the series and really enjoyed it and was looking forward to reading City of Secrets. This will be a review of First To Read program. I have been frustrated about it in the past and even more so recently because the only reading format available is PDF. I was approved to review City of Secrets but I was unable to open the file in either Bluefire Reader or Adobe apps, which I especially downloaded so I could read books from First To Read. PDF format is already the least desirable format for reading books because of how hard it's to adjust the font and change the pages, which takes away from the experience of reading. And it's even more frustrating because of how cumbersome (and sometimes impossible) it's to download the files to an e-reader. I don't understand why the eARCs offered through First To Read program are not available in epub or mobi format since all the ARCs available in these formats from this publisher on sites like NetGalley and Edelwiess. I love to read and review new books and I am an active member of NetGalley and Edelwiess but I will no longer be reviewing for First To Read/

this was a delightful read! i really like all the characters, they are well developed and so interesting. the dialogue is fantastic and funny, the plot fast paced and surprising. overall a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable read!


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