City of Lies by Victoria Thompson

City of Lies

Victoria Thompson

City of Lies is the first book in a new series from national bestselling author, Victoria Thompson, following a young con woman who assumes a new identity in the early twentieth century.

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From the national bestselling author of the Gaslight Mysteries comes the first Counterfeit Lady novel—the intriguing start of a historical mystery series featuring woman-on-the-run Elizabeth Miles.

Like most women, Elizabeth Miles assumes many roles; unlike most, hers have made her a woman on the run. Living on the edge of society, Elizabeth uses her guile to relieve so-called respectable men of their ill-gotten gains. But brutal and greedy entrepreneur Oscar Thornton is out for blood. He’s lost a great deal of money and is not going to forgive a woman for outwitting him. With his thugs hot on her trail, Elizabeth seizes the moment to blend in with a group of women who have an agenda of their own.
She never expects to like or understand these privileged women, but she soon comes to respect their intentions, forming an unlikely bond with the wealthy matriarch of the group whose son, Gideon, is the rarest of species—an honest man in a dishonest world. Elizabeth knows she’s playing a risky game, and her deception could be revealed at any moment, possibly even by sharp-eyed Gideon. Nor has she been forgotten by Thornton, who’s biding his time, waiting to strike. Elizabeth must draw on her wits and every last ounce of courage she possesses to keep her new life from being cut short by this vicious shadow from her past.

Advance Galley Reviews

Yes! Now this is a series I can see myself loving. This was my first time reading this author's work, but I ended up loving it! Such a thrill to read, with strong female characters. and a fast-paced plot. Highly recommend!

Love this author. Always writes a great story. Very good book.

This book was thrilling, subtly feminist, with strong, multidimensional characters and a fast-paced plot. Thanks to Penguin's First to Read program for introducing me to a new author; I will definitely be on the lookout for other books in Victoria Thompson's Gaslight series!

The most amazing aspect of this novel is the fact that it empowers women in so many ways. The first way is, of course, Elizabeth. As a character, Elizabeth is a grifter, so in real life, this would be a person one wouldn’t necessarily trust, one would always be second guessing everything they have to say. But as a character, her personality is so vibrant, and she’s more than just a grifter, she’s something more. Elizabeth is an empowered woman who grows throughout the novel. After a con goes wrong, she finds herself swept up in the suffrage movement of the 1920s. This opens a new world for her, and it allows her character to grow throughout the novel. She sees the people around them and through seeing them, seeing how powerful they are and how they are fighting for things that would have kept Elizabeth from being a “proper woman” she understands that they are more alike than naught. It’s a slow and steady journey, one that is covered by ulterior motives, but one that allows her to grow nonetheless. Everything she does is not without a note of compassion and understanding, even if underlined by self-serving motives. It’s an exciting depiction because it allows the reader to connect with the character and see the world in a shade of gray. She may be a con artist, but she’s not evil, unlike the man she unfortunately conned. Elizabeth shines as she comes to understand this new world that she has never seen before, and as far as character enrichment goes, Thompson does a fantastic job with Elizabeth. However, the novel goes beyond Elizabeth as it weaves historical facts in with LGBT issues alongside women’s rights. Even today those rights are slowly being threatened and to see the women in this novel remain influential in the face of all the hurdles being thrown at them is encouraging. It leaves the reader with hope and an understanding that rights, fundamental human rights, and decency, should not be taken away from anyone and should not be taken lightly by anyone. The women here had to fight for their rights, and not just on the street; they had to compete in their own homes for their voices to be heard. For the novel to explore all that with the characters and this period gives the reader a lot to relate to. It’s a fantastic story and not at all what I thought it was going to be about. It’s fast-paced and even as the story grows, evolving from one moment to another, bringing these characters together, the tense moments add some flare to the drama without making the story heavy with drama. This time period was one in which being a woman was hard, but there’s no reason there shouldn’t be some life to it, some scandal and schemes realistically built to ground the novel and make it riveting. City of Lies is an incredible new start to what could be a fantastic series. (????? | A)

Great book by a new to me author. Enjoyed every aspect of this book. Fablous characters that enhance the novels storyline. Highly recommend.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to like a different series by Victoria Thompson but I am so glad I read this. It is wonderful. I love reading about cons. I loved the movie The Sting. I loved Elizabeth Miles and Anna. The con and reading about the Suffragettes wa fantastic. This had many twists and turns and I didn’t want to put it down. I received a copy of this book from Firsttoread for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.

Good read. Great use of history and author didn't sugarcoat facts. Liked the story flow and the different characters. The characters were unique and interesting. The author brought in all kinds of different and controversial characters which enhances the story. Would recommend this book.

This book was so entrancing. It kept me hooked from the first page! The characters are so well written as well, can't wait to read more from this author.

This book threw me but in a good way. I was not quite sure what to expect from it but was pleasantly surprised. The plot was amazing, telling a story within a story. Elizabeth Miles is a Con artist, a drifter, a gypsy of the turn of the twentieth century. When a con with her brother goes wrong she has to run and hides amongst the women of the suffragist movement on strike in Washington DC. When they are taken to prison Elizabeth is the only one happy. Running from a gangster and murderer, on a hunger strike for the right to vote so she can fit in for protection she meets the best friends of her life. Soon Elizabeth is in a weird love triangle and another con to both take down the gangster and to save her own life. This book was exciting and informative. The characters are vivid and well developed. The story weaves bits of history into an amazing, fast paced, exciting and fun plot line. I recommend this book to anyone but especially those who enjoy historical fiction and mystery. Great book looking forward to more from Victoria Thompson.

This is my first time reading a Victoria Thompson novel. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. It's definitely a good book but there are some things about this that I didn't completely love. It's a fun and interesting read and I love the cover. I can't wait for the next book in this series.

There were things about this book I liked, but some I didn't. I really liked learning more about the suffragist movement and just what some women went through and experienced for their beliefs. I'm incredibly grateful to them for paving the way for the freedoms I enjoy today. I also liked that the protagonist came to see and share those views. I almost get like that was what the story should have been about and less about how she would get herself out of the mess that her cons had gotten her in. I also felt that the romance was forced and very superficial. I have to say that I liked the supporting characters more that the main characters.

Wow, was this book fun to read! I'm a sucker for a suffragette, so no surprise that I was on board for this book. I've never read Victoria Thompson before, and now I'm sad about it--"City of Lies" is fun AND well written. Elizabeth is a spunky heroine who grows throughout the story rather than just being that "I'm A Strong Female Character" trope that pops up in so many genre novels. I also loved the mystery and the romance, too! My only regret is that I got this as an ARC, which means I'll have to wait forever for the next book in the series. Definitely recommended for fantasy and historical genre fiction lovers!

I am sorry to say that I was very disappointed by City Of Lies. Despite it's setting in a fascinating period, it did not capture my interest in anything but a negative way. I disliked the characters, especially Elizabeth. That dislike held for the male lead as well. I ended up skimming through and that was a struggle. Not for me.

i am really enjoying these early twentieth-century historical fiction novels. city of lies takes place in new york and washington at the height of world war i and the protests by the suffragists. elizabeth miles is a con woman whose current mark has caught on to the scheme. in order to escape oscar thornton's murderous thugs, elizabeth hides in plain sight with a group of women protesting the white house for the right to vote. sentenced to jail and then to a workhouse where conditions are outright horrifying, elizabeth connects with two other women, a mrs. bates and miss anna vanderslice. the three women form a bond and elizabeth finds it harder and harder to escape these friends. but not escaping puts her back in the sights of thornton and his thugs. being a con artist, in order to save her skin, elizabeth designs another long con. hoping that this will get thornton off her back and give her a chance to escape. but the more she is drawn into life with the bates and vanderslices, the harder it is to think of life without them. especially as she finds herself attracted to gideon bates, the one person who can topple her scheme and the one person she really wants to keep the truth from. there is romance and intrigue and feminism and lgbtq issues, and all these things resonate because the chaos and uncertainty and strong partisanship of those times reflect the ones we are living today. the world thompson weaves together for us in city of lies is based on historical fact, and feels like an accurate likeness of the world we live in today. **city of lies published on november 7, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of penguin's first to read program in exchange for my honest review.

I love the intensity, characters, development, and cooky villains. Can't wait for more! ????????

This was a really fun book! I liked it from the beginning. Elizabeth was a good character and the mystery was good! I even liked the romance, it wasn't too much. I look forward to the next book in the series.

Disappointing! Elizabeth Miles is deeply unlikable. I do love a good antihero, but Elizabeth is not an antihero that I found any fondness for. All of the characters feel like caricatures – this might work if the novel were satire, but it is not. I quit reading half way through the book because I was so bored and turned off by the unpleasant characters. I am disappointed. I enjoy a good grift or heist story with a compelling plot and antihero. Unfortunately, City of Lies didn’t deliver either.

“The government can’t let her die. They would be humiliated. A hunger strike is the perfect way for the powerless to force the powerful to capitulate.” I absolutely loved this book. Not only was it packed full of mystery and intrigue, it also had women standing up to 'the man', and the men in their lives. “You can’t cheat an honest man, Gideon. Everyone I’ve ever conned knew he was doing something illegal and did it willingly.” Elizabeth not only pulls off a huge con but also makes friends for the first time ever. Of course, theres romance involved from multiple people. While I could have done without the love triangle at first, it all made sense by the end of the book. Gideon and David were important to the con and stopping a very bad man from continuing to get what he wants. "Don’t let them see how you really feel inside. Don’t give them the satisfaction.” The reference to LGBT was also really nice to see because that is something that hardly ever gets mentioned or talked about. It's important to know this part of history as well and to finally see it start coming to light is my new favorite thing in books. Learning about the suffragist movement and all that they went through was so nice to see as I know next to nothing about it sadly. Elizabeth could possibly be starting a new life by the time the next book comes out and I can't wait to read about it! “Not what made you, but I did know what you’re made of. You’re one of the strongest, bravest young women I know, and I know a few. "

An absorbingly romantic read with a fiery heroine and an enigmatic hero whose lives intertwine amidst the national fight for women's suffrage! Elizabeth Miles is a difficult heroine to identify with initially because she is a con artist and a thief who does not appear very compassionate or driven by morals, but after reading about a third of the way into the book, readers will realize and come to appreciate why she is the way she is. Gideon Bates is charming and playful, yet extremely perceptive and unfailingly honest, which makes him the ideal counterpart to Elizabeth's spirited temperament and allows him to truly understand and love her as a person when all her secrets eventually come to light. The passages about the women's suffrage movement and the trials and tribulations women had to face to gain their right to vote were especially well-researched and worthy of mention. Victoria Thompson has penned a thought-provoking historical romance that readers will adore and admire! Those who are new to her books as well as those who are longtime fans of her Gaslight Mysteries will treasure this first book in a new series and will eagerly await the release of the next installment! 5 stars!

This was enjoyable enough for me, but it should have been in the can't put it down read category. The mystery wasn't quite mystery enough, but i found most of the characters likable enough. The villain was the mustache twirling type. I enjoyed the real bits of history sprinkled in, and the setting. I will probably read the next one to see how the the main characters develop moving forward.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The characters were well-developed, likable, and interesting. I liked the backdrop of the Suffragist movement and the true details that were sprinkled into the book. My only problem is that it's billed as a historical mystery and there's really no mystery in it. It's more of a story about a con-woman, the trouble it gets her in, and the new life she finds. It's a good story just not what I expected based on the marketing.

I enjoyed reading this book - it was the right mix of mystery and romance set during the women's suffrage movement. It was an easy read, and I can't wait for the book in the series.

I really liked the first third of this book. I thought the plot was much stronger when the suffragists were in jail. After they were freed, however, I lost a little interest in the main character. I understand she is a con woman, but I found I couldn't like her for her constant lying to the other characters. I didn't really buy into the main characters, Gideon and Elizabeth's romance either. A little to insta love for me. As this is the first book of a series, I can see where there is room for character development and will probably read the next book in series to see if my opinion changes for the main character, Elizabeth.

I've enjoyed Victoria Thompson's Gaslight mystery series, so I was glad to be able to read an advance copy of City of Lies. (Thank you to Penguin's First to Read program!). This story is a little heavier on the romance than the mystery, but it was an enjoyable story with strong characters. Other readers have classified this book as historical fiction as the plot leans on the suffragist movement and the manners of the early 20th century.

Is was a fairly quick and interesting read. Elizabeth Miles, a con woman, must hide from her latest victim in a group of suffragettes who are protesting before the White House. When they are arrested and sent to a workhouse, she believes she is safe for now. Her mark, however, is willing to bide his time until he can get revenge. At first Elizabeth looks at the suffragettes as a protective shield, but as she gets to know them she becomes closer to them and evolves as a character. It was also interesting to look at a period of American history involving the suffrage movement. Overall I would give this book four stars.

This book about a con artist who ends up hiding with a group of suffragists was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the historical setting, and the strong female characters! I can’t wait to read the next installment.

After a con goes bad, Elizabeth must hide in plain sight. She joins a suffragette movement to wait out the danger, but quickly becomes emotionally involved with several of the women. I loved seeing a strong female presence in a historical fiction. It was a classic YA read- not very deep, but interesting.This was a fast and easy read. I enjoyed the characters and the history seemed fairly accurate.

3.75 stars Thank you to First-to-Read and Berkley for allowing me the chance to read this ARC. This book publishes on 11/7/17. Elizabeth Miles is a grifter. She lies, steals and cheats for a living. It is in the process of a job that she becomes involved with a Women's Rights Movement where she falls into a suffragette march as she flees from danger. She is soon jailed, along with the women in this march, and sent to a workhouse where she feels she will be temporarily safe from the people she was fleeing. Lo and behold, who manages to free them from this workhouse but the very person Elizabeth was hoping to remain hidden from. Now Elizabeth has to put her resourcefulness to use. She must become the demure, gentile suffragette that these women believe her to be. Then she finds she is besieged by two separate suitors and must lie to each of them to protect both herself and her new found friends. But what effect is this having on Elizabeth? Can she change? Will she always be a grifter or will one of her suitors finally win her heart? Victoria Thompson is also the author of the Gaslight Mysteries. She is very good at Victorian era novels and series. This is the first Book of the Counterfeit Lady series. In her books you find an immediate sense of belonging and fitting right into the world she has created. You emphasize with the highs and lows of the protagonist. Time, space and distance fall away as you read and savor that which you find is just out of reach, as you take in the familiar underpinning of a world in the early 1900's.

City of Lies by Victoria Thompson is a fast-paced, easy historical fiction about a female con-artist/grifter on the run after a con gone bad. Elizabeth Miles and her brother Jake are casing their next mark, Oscar Thornton, and trying to make out with thousands of dollars of his money. When the con goes bad, Lizzie runs off and ends up in a group of suffragists outside the White House. To get away from Thornton's goons, she gets herself and the group arrested and sent away to a workhouse, where they are treated very badly. Being kept in prison, she befriends Anna Vanderslice and Mrs. Bates and they invite her to New York with them to recuperate after their ordeal. Thornton is not going to let her go without retaliation, so she has to figure out how to make her biggest con yet but not lose her new friendships. I really enjoyed this story and the fact that it is not wrapped up in romance, while learning new things about the suffragist movement. Historical fiction at its best and an overall good story, even some things are a little unbelievable. Definitely will check out the next installment to the series.

When a con goes bad, Elizabeth flees for her life straight into the middle of a suffragist rally in front of the White House. Desperate for protection from the man she’s conned, she sets out to get them all arrested. After all, where else could be safer than a prison? Only, Elizabeth hasn’t counted on the lengths the President’s men will go to to suppress the burgeoning movement - or the spirit and bravery of the women that accept Elizabeth as one of their own. After all, it’s just another con, right? After finishing the first few chapters, I actually went back and double-checked that I was reading the right book, because it didn’t match the blurb at all. In fact, I’d say the blurb does a serious disservice to the book. This is more of a caper novel with a dash of romance. Elizabeth goes from one con to the next, all the while trying to keep her stories straight and stay under the radar of the man who wants to kill her. For the most part, the pacing was nice and tight, and I had a hard time putting the book down during the last third. I was drawn in by the descriptions of the suffragist movement and their treatment in the first third of the book, and was disappointed that it wasn’t discussed more in the rest of the book. As far as other cons, the characterization was a bit light, and I couldn’t quite believe the willingness of the side characters to trust Elizabeth (even after the truth is revealed). The romance also felt forced to me, and I wonder if the book could’ve done without it entirely. Overall, I enjoyed this book. Recommended for anyone who’s interested in a historical caper novel with a touch of romance. I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I really liked the con-artist-makes-good-despite-herself premise. When Elizabeth flees a job gone very wrong and winds up stumbling into the world of suffragists, she certainly gets more than she bargained for, and the story relates exactly how much more in painstaking detail. Truth be told, for me, that painstaking detail was a bit too much so. The book is well-written and the history is interesting, but ultimately, I am not finding Elizabeth to be as compelling a character as I had hoped and the book has been a slog for me. Other reviews seem to suggest that it picks up as the story progresses, but so far I'm about a quarter in and just keep picking it up and putting it back down. The relationships between the women are well-crafted, and the history certainly reads accurately (I've done a bit of non-fiction reading on the topic) - but I can only read so many descriptions of violence against women and hunger strikes and sadism at a time, and truth be told the tale is wearing on me. I was very excited about this one but am just not into it and am thinking maybe it's just not the right read for me right now...

Summary: After a con goes very badly, grifter Elizabeth watches her brother Jake beaten, then has to escape the same fate if not worse.  Running for her life, she slips into the picket line of women’s suffragists in order to evade the men chasing her and shares their fate- jail.  Pulled into the women’s stories and lives, she finds the one thing she never knew she wanted- friendship, admiration and trust.  One girl especially, Anna, brings out warm and protective feelings she never knew she had. Upon release, Elizabeth wants to get away in order to find her brother and evade her last mark…. but how can she leave Anna?  Then there’s Gideon Bates, the far too honest lawyer that makes her crazy and intrigues her like no other.  Can she protect herself from her past and create a new future?  Or is she just conning herself? My thoughts:     Shout out to First to Read for allowing me an advanced copy of this book- it’s one I would have been on the fence on for far too long and I fear I would have missed out on a fantastic read.  I adored the story, and seeing Elizabeth transform and grow.  Each of the characters were interesting and well developed, easy to love.  The plot was fairly believable, and I like that the author took tiny bits of real history and wove them into the dilemma.   The only pet peeve I really have is the cover.  Who is the girl?  Elizabeth is described as having black hair and light blue eyes and Anna as being blonde.  I know it’s odd, but I hate when covers don’t match characters.  Still, this was a great, fast paced read that I loved and I can’t wait to see where this goes from here.   Five stars!   On the adult content scale, there’s violence and coarse language, but not much else.  I already have  a list of teens that need this in their stockings.  I give this one a three.

City of Lies is an interesting historical fiction/con artist story. Elizabeth Miles was a strong character who really developed throughout the book. I really enjoyed seeing her learn about the women's suffrage movement and develop a friendship with Anna Vanderslice and Mrs. Bates. It was interesting to see that she lacked female friendships despite living with other females. I thoroughly enjoyed the long con game and despised Mr. Thornton and his goons. The setting was well written throughout this book. This book was fast-paced and a great read.

I really ended up enjoying this book! It was a slow start (for me anyway) and then it picked up and kept me wanting more. I loved the historical parts and how Elizabeth got caught up with the suffragists and the twists and turns of adventure and misadventure that take place changing her views of people and allowing others into her heart against her better judgement of all she has known in the life she has led. I can't wait for the next book in the series!

Wow! This was quite good! Historical fiction with some rather powerful female characters (one who happens to also be a con artist), all set at a time at the brink of WWI when women are trying to gain the right to vote. The plot was well-executed and the character were very interesting. I'd love to read the second part when it is released.

City of Lies is a very interesting historical fiction novel with a great plot. The plot was very unique from other historical fiction novels I've read. Highly recommend this book!

This was a fast paced book and I really enjoyed it. Elizabeth is a con artist and after a con gone bad she winds up in jail with a group of suffragists on a hunger strike. Here she forms a relationsiph with two women who will make her reasses her life. Loved all the character and hope there are more to come.

I enjoyed this historical - the setting was well written and fit the story and characters.

Smart, female con artists? Bring it on. Not only was this book paced well, it also got harder to put it down the more I read. The author displays good writing style. Great characters. A must read for fans of historical action/romance.

City of Lies was the type of book that only got better as it went on. At the start, I was introduced to Elizabeth Mile’s character and grifter ways, which I found most interesting. When things went bad with a deal, she wound up taking part in a suffragist march in order to try and throw some thugs off of her trail. Only that did not go as she had planned. I will say that I enjoyed reading about the suffragists movement because I tend to take my civil liberties for granted and I forget that my rights as a woman was only because of the many brave women who came before me. So, this story made me remember and appreciate that and for that I am grateful. Elizabeth was not a suffragist nor did she really care about their movement per say but she certainly grabbed onto the ruse if only to save her skin. While she was wrapped up with the situation she was in, Elizabeth also met some women who were kind to her and looked after her. Soon they doted on Elizabeth and made it impossible for her to part from their company, especially when Oscar Thornton caught wind of where Elizabeth was staying. It quickly becomes obvious that in order for Elizabeth to live any sort of life she was going to have to pull off the con of a century, even when it meant risking her newly acquired friendships. Even in one case risking something more precious than mere friendship. When I start reading City of Lies I was interested but then it slowed down for me a bit and I really felt like ‘putting it down,’ the main reason I kept reading was that I truly loved the character of Gideon Bates and whenever his chapters came along I became excited again. The something changed and I became actively involved in the story again. BY the time the ending came along I was really excited and happy for the ending. City of Lies is a story that surprised me and although I felt it was a little slow once it took off it was a gem! *Thank you to First to Reads for this eARC of City of Lies* This review is based on a complimentary book I received from First Reads. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

This book was interesting. It felt like it clearly fit in the YA category. I liked that it was different from typical YA as it was historical fiction. The idea of the book was to fictionalize a period where suffragists were jailed and the surrounding events. The main character, Elizabeth, begins the book working a con with her "brother" and when it all goes poorly, she ends up with suffragists on the White House lawn, which results in her joining them in jail, then a workhouse. Most of the book is not spent in jail, but rather in the days following when Elizabeth is swept up in the world of the women she joined. The book tried to do a little bit too much. It talked about women's rights, but then inexplicably also talked about lesbians of the time. It seemed as though the focus was spread too thin. Was this a book about suffrage, or a love story, or a long con? I enjoyed it, but was never exactly sure what I was reading.

Elizabeth Miles and her brother Jake are running a con game on Oscar Thornton. The con goes wrong and to get away from Thornton's men Elizabeth hides among a large protest group of suffragists and gets thrown into jail. There she makes friends with Anna Vanderslice and Mrs. Bates. Anna's brother David and Mrs. Bates son, attorney Gideon work to get all the women released while at the same time Thornton realizes that Elizabeth is hiding amongst them so offers to help in their release. As the story progresses, Elizabeth becomes more enmeshed with these households and at the same time finds herself trying to get out of the clutches of Thornton. Then a new con is put into action. A very interesting cozy type mystery, without a murder but more of a how-is-it-done, grifter story. Thank you First-to-Read for this free e-copy of "City of Lies".

I really enjoyed reading City of Lies. It is my first book by Victoria Thompson and I will definitely try one of her Gaslight Mysteries. I was less interested in the romance going on than in the history of the Suffragettes and I certainly didn't know the suffering that ended up getting women the right to vote. I am confused about the direction the next novel will take as this book seemed to tie up the story rather nicely. I will try the next in the series to see where it goes. Thank you First to Read for the ARC.

My experience with City of Lies by Victoria Thompson was a little different than my normal. I’ve never read any of this author’s previous books so I didn’t know what to expect. I very rarely meet a book I don’t enjoy to some extent. Unfortunately, this book nearly falls completely into that category. This book is historical fiction, intrigue and chaste romance all in one. While that sounds like a recipe for success, somehow this fell short for me. Elizabeth the lead female character was suitably complex and seems to completely evolve during the course of the story. The history of the women’s suffrage movement was interesting. The intrigue of the “con” could have been engrossing. The brief foray into the lesbian lifestyle of the day was confusing. It just was all a bit much. Ms. Thompson’s excellent writing style is the only reason I was able to finish this book. I always start a book anticipating just enjoying losing myself in the story and that’s usually what happens, just not in this case. I was chosen to read an advance copy of this book as part of the Penguin's First to Read program. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.

Well, this was certainly not what I expected from the blurb. And yet, in a way, it was. This story is not for the faint at heart, because it describes the horrors of early twentieth century in jail. But it is definitely an original story, with a lot of twist and turns. At first, I had some trouble getting 'into' the story. Mostly because we start with Betty Perkins who is working together with some men to swindle Oscar Thornton out of money. But because everybody is lying, deceiving and working under false names, it is hard to distinguish who is who. And who is the bad guy and who is not. Especially when basically half of the characters are a bit shady. Especially Elizabeth, a.k.a. Betty, who is playing a con to make a fortune via said Thornton. But the con goes wrong terribly and she has to flee for her life. Accidentally stumbling upon the Suffragettes and pretending to be one of them to save herself from being discovered. When the women get arrested, Elizabeth sees this as an opportunity to stay save from Oscar. But what she didn't take into account was the bond she would get with her fellow arrested women. They stand for a cause and she can't help but admire them. Victoria Thompson does an outstanding job in addressing all kinds of issues regarding women's rights and lesbians. Furthermore, it is nice to see a smart and independent woman being able to stand up for herself. Gideon is an adorable man, who is smitten by Elizabeth. But he is as honest as she is dishonest. Could they be a likely pair? Or will Elizabeth's lies caught up with her? Find out for yourselves in the City of Lies. Three out of five stars from me and a thank you to FirstToRead for providing the arc.

Elizabeth (if that is her real name) and her brother are con men. The story begins mid scheme and things quickly take a turn for the worse. She witnesses her brother being pursued, and possibly killed, right before their marks men notice her and a chase begins. She lucks out and stumbles into a crowd of suffragettes protesting and quickly blends in. The cops eventually arrest them and Elizabeth is secretly praying they'll throw the book at them. She'll be safer in jail than anywhere else right now. This book is easy to read. I look forward to more of this series!

Full disclosure: I was kindly provided an ARC by the publisher. I wanted to love this book. It had all of the basic ingredients for a wonderful story, and so many genres of which I am so fond-- history, intrigue/mystery, a little bit of romance, but... in the end I found it a bit forced. Elizabeth is a feisty character, but her evolution from life of crime to "good girl", transformed by the suffragrist movement, seems altogether too convenient. Anna's character is even more so. Perhaps this is the historian talking, but... a well-bred woman in the 1910s would hardly have accepted her homosexuality overnight simply because she was introduced to two happily partnered Lesbians. The story itself was predictable, if not entirely boring. There wasn't really very much action-- a lot of anxiety on Elizabeth's part, with a few dramatic moments. I am not entirely sure I would recommend this book, as much as I wanted to. The character development was implausible, the storyline predictable, and the pace a little slow.

The description that is given is a little misleading as is the title, I was expecting a woman that we see very much in the beginning of the novel. We see "Betty" swindling people for their money, using her charms to con a man, and then? She completely loses her agency when she goes into jail. I feel like it was a smart idea for her but at the same time, while she is in jail, she seems to forget about her sense of urgency. I feel like we lost her character while she was incarcerated and my interest in the novel dwindled there. I feel like this novel was supposed to be more interesting and I was very much led astray by the fact that it wasn't as interesting as the description stated. 3/5, the only saving grace is the good writing style.

5 out of 5 satisfyingly earned stars for this incredible mix of historical fiction and mystery. I might even add some women's fiction in there due to the leading lady's interactions with the male lead; it's definitely there in a subdued, era appropriate way. Elizabeth is a fantastic leading lady- strong, smart, and incredibly likeable. The fact that she's surrounded by intriguing characters helps move the story at a great pace. Her interactions with other characters are where the author really shines, they go from fun to dangerous to flirty while maintaining a clear idea of the part each character plays. I also loved how well Thompson weaved a little history lesson on the women's suffrage movement while keeping the focus on Elizabeth's situation. This is a great read and I highly recommend it.

Great start to a new series - reminded me of the movie The Sting.Interesting information about the Suffragette movement. Eager to see what happens in the next book.

Enjoyable historical fiction about strong women.

This is pure caper fun with some heart warming characters inside. It is light hearted, entertaining, and a book that will captivate you. It is easy to get lost with these characters. There is something admirable and charming about each of them. (It does feature a lesbian character as well). Whether it’s their willpower, dedication, or ideals, each of our side characters make a memorable impression and grow on us with time. Elizabeth goes by many names, but her spirit throughout is resilient and her intelligence never ceases to thrill us. Among the characters and inventive plot were a few thematic and interesting questions of note. One of the first issues brought up is the discussion of whether love can be a form of bondage, particularly in respect to marriage. As suffragists who were fighting convention, one of the prominent ways in which they did this, was by refusing to marry. This was a delicate matter as well since many were not given the training to ‘make it on their own’. The book discusses this idea of love’s strengths, and weaknesses. It’s ability to make us vulnerable and give us both responsibilities and ties.

The story was not at all what I imagined myself getting into -- based on the book synopsis marketing provided and the pretty cover. It all sounded more exciting, sleuthing, action-packed. Not to mention, there was no Gabriel in the story. Nevertheless, the writing was kind of fun -- though not the portion in the work house, which seemed a little disjointed in its horror from the previous frivolity of running a con with a "fiddle dee dee" feigned innocence and charm. I'm curious as to how this will be a part of a series. Will Victoria Thompson have different Counterfeit Lady heroines or will she simply continue the story line on what follows from the characters in City of Lies? I'm not sure if I'm up for a 2nd one, but will definitely look at the book summary more carefully to figure out if it's worth picking up.

When I requested this book for review, it was listed as a 'historical mystery.' I'm not saying that it's not that, but it's definitely heavy on the romance. Which isn't a bad thing, I actually quite enjoyed it, but it wasn't what I was expecting when I picked it up either. Lizzie is a character quite unlike a lot that I've read. She is, of course, more forward thinking than the majority of women, however I fully expected her to be fully invested in in the suffragette movement. That she wasn't, and even didn't really understand what they were fighting for, was a bit refreshing. I liked that the more she learned, the more immersed she became. The more important the ideology became to her. I'm not a huge fan of deception in books, especially between romantic leads, however I liked how it was employed here. The circumstances and facts, and how it's all revealed, is quite satisfying. Gideon was a truly honest person, with strong ethics. I appreciated that about him, but - even though I liked Lizzie, I struggled to figure out why he became so enamoured of her so quickly. For that matter, I'm not sure why everyone fell in love with her so quickly. I know she's a grifter and she makes her livelihood off of maintaining people's interests, but she was actively trying not to... Anyway, the "mystery" part of the novel wasn't so much a mystery as a suspense. Lizzie has gotten caught up by a mark she'd thought to get away from. It drives all of her decisions from that point forward - and she's making the best possible decisions she can. She gets into some difficult situations because of it, but I like that she is really the one to get herself out of them. It's her plans and ideas that determines her freedom from danger. Overall, this is a pretty good book, set in a fascinating - and relevant - time. The romance was a little rushed for me, though I was happy to see them together in the end. I am still a little confused on how one particular thing is going to be resolved, but I'm not overly worried about it. Solid read, well researched, and I enjoyed reading it.

I loved it! I was a little confused at first because the GoodReads description of the book suggested it was a 1920's murder mystery set in DC, and was waiting for someone to be bumped off, then very confused by the shift back to NY. However, the actual story of the book was even more engrossing and provided an interesting look into the suffragist movement and life in WWI-era New York and DC. The details of what the suffragists went through were shocking and is a stark reminder of how much we take for granted nowadays (and how some things haven't changed). Elizabeth Miles was a fascinating character and so unlike any other historical protagonist I've read. She was swept up into being a con-woman in order to fit in with her family, but she excels at what she does. Despite her questionable livelihood, she maintains a sense of ethics about the types of cons she runs and the people she targets. When she meets Gideon Bates -- an attorney with a seemingly unbending sense of right and wrong -- she tries to dismiss him out of hand, but Gideon's ability to see through her disguises and uncover the truth of her character catches her off guard. Elizabeth's survival instincts force her to distance herself from Gideon in order to maintain her cover during a long con against a violent criminal, but as she becomes more involved with Gideon's family and friends, she struggles to keep the walls up around her. Can't wait to read more in this series! Thank you to the First to Read program for providing an ARC for review!

4 stars. This book starts out slowly but builds into a well-paced historical mystery/romance. Elizabeth is part of a ring of crooks, who basically try to swindle other crooks out of their money. One swindle goes bad and she is forced to take cover with a group of women suffragists on their way to jail. Her time in jail with the kind women provides her with the opportunity of female friendship for the first time in her life and changes the course her life may take. I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to more in this series.

City of Lies has a very interesting premise. I can also say the same thing about the first few chapters. The parts about the con made for an entertaining beginning to the story. However, after reading a while I just had a hard time really sticking with this book. I can see how this book would work for others. That being said, I ultimately didn’t finish City of Lies.

”The truth. She didn’t think she even knew what that was anymore, and even if she did, telling it would hardly help.” This is the first book in a new series by Victoria Thompson who also writes the Gaslight series. This is the story of Elizabeth Miles a con woman who after escaping the clutches of a dangerous mark embroils her is the Suffragist movement and a completely new lifestyle. Elizabeth is a strong woman who has lived all her life by her wits, in a time that women stayed home, raised a family, and took care of the household. She also is in the time when women are starting to question their roles in society. Elizabeth meets many people who make her question her lifestyle. Anna Vanderslice becomes her best friend and Anna’s brother David becomes her fiancé. However, her heart is really beating for their friend Gideon who seems taken with her also. The characters are vivid and some of the incidents especially of the Suffragist movement are based on truth. I enjoyed this book and will look forward to reading the next one. I received this book as part of the Penguin’s First to Read program.

Starting with an action scene, this book grabs the readers attention on the route of Lizzie's adventures. Addition of historical facts that pop up throughout the story add a cherry on top of the adventures packed cook. The main character's survival skills, smarts, sense of humor, and need for adventures come into play during early 1900's. Readers are transported into the times when women were fighting for their rights to a point of starvation. The only downside of this book was... how soon the last page approached. I sincerely hope that Victoria Thompson will make write more and create a series of books where we can learn about adventures of Elizabeth Miles and her husband (spoiler alert? well kinda ;))

This book grabbed me right away. Miss Miles is on the run almost immediately from Oscar Thornton and his thugs. She uses her survival skills and ends up in jail which is better than being caught. However, her sanctuary is short lived and she is released by the very man who she is hiding from. She must use her quick thinking and outsmart Mr. Thornton before her City of Lies is revealed, and she must try to do it without hurting any of her knew found friends or her two potential new suitors who both want her affection. This book is well written and kept me interested throughout, the ending was nicely tied up but I do hope this series is continued as I would like to see more of Miss Miles, Gideon and Anna. I suggest that you do read the Authors Note at the end of the book as I found it quite interesting. I received an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review of the book.

I love how City of Lies starts right into the action! Victoria Thompson gets directly into the story of Elizabeth Miles and her current con to relieve an unsuspecting gentleman, Thornton, of his money. Elizabeth along with her brother, Jake, are con artists. She is a master of deception, but after a con goes wrong and she is being hunted by the target she must find a way out. While running from the thugs hired by her target Elizabeth finds herself in the middle of the suffragists protesting at the White House. The only thing she can do is join in and hope that she too gets arrested and will have time to think of a new plan in jail. What she doesn't plan for is becoming attached to a few of the suffragists and their movement.  "I told you, Thornton went wild. He sucker punched the boy before I could do a thing. And when Jake ran, Thornton sent his goons after him. He's probably going to come looking for you next, so you need to get out of town." "'Jake might be a fool, but he knows how to do a switch. Thornton still believes I was conned, too.' Switching a mark's allegiance from the roper to the inside man was crucial to a successful con, and Elizabeth had to admit that Jake was particularly good at it." I love that Victoria Thompson has taken real events from the suffragist movement and added them into this book. I love it when authors mix real history into their fictional novels. It makes the story much more believable and easier for me to emerge myself in. Elizabeth befriends Anna and her family friend Mrs. Bates while she is in prison. When the women are released they insist that Elizabeth come home with them to New York. They are unaware that Elizabeth is from New York and they are helping get her home. What Elizabeth doesn't count on is Thornton knowing their family and quickly finding out that Elizabeth is with them.  City of Lies is a cat and mouse game of Elizabeth trying to outsmart Thornton. Elizabeth needs one more con to work so she can keep her portion of the money and her life. Rather than be a woman on the run for the rest of her days she takes a stand. Soon she has roped Anna, her brother and Mrs. Bates son into the scheme. Will Elizabeth make this con work? Or will this one fail too? I look forward to this Counterfeit Lady series of books. I'm intrigued to read more about Elizabeth and to find out what con she has up her sleeve next.

This has a different feel than Victoria Thompson's books that I have read before (I'm a big fan of her Gaslight Mystery series). There's a gentle romance here, and also a mystery, but the focus is really on the heroine, her personal journey of growth, and history of the Suffragettes. It's s charming book. I will definitely be reading the next in the series when it comes out.

I love the intensity, sense of motion, and ridiculous villains in this first book of a series hopefully. I'm looking forward to reading more!

Running a successful con takes cunning and dedication. In Victoria Thompson's City of Lies, unforeseen circumstances derail the life of a female grifter. Elizabeth is capable of taking on many roles and being whoever would best suit her current endeavor. When her latest mark discovers the con she and her brother were working, she's forced on the run to save her life. Disappearing into a crowd of suffragists marching on Washington, D.C. Elizabeth thought she would just bide her time until she can make her way to a safe rendezvous in New York City, but she soon comes to understand and care for the women in the suffragist movement. In entering into friendships with a few of the women, Elizabeth finds herself struggling to keep all her secrets from both them and Gabriel, the son of one of the women, as she becomes more entangled in their lives. Providing an interesting combination of history, a quick-thinking, clever female protagonist managing a caper, and a hint of romance, the narrative is entertaining and engages with its historical context instead of using it merely as a backdrop. The story jumps quickly into action without allowing for much exposition to provide a decent establishment of the main characters; though it tries to develop the characters along the way, it was a struggle to understand their motivations from the outset as they could have used more thorough development.  Overall, I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

As soon as I saw that Victoria Thompson was starting a new series I was thrilled. I love her Gaslight Series and all the historical facts she puts into the story. City of Lies follows that same pattern. This time the setting is 1917 and features historical facts from the movement to allow women to vote. Elizabeth Miles is on the run when she joins a right to vote protest and gets everyone thrown into jail. Her family runs scams and she has just been caught up in one that goes bad. Elizabeth is very good at playing a role and her arrest and sentence have her playing a Lady in a time when the difference between Ladies and other women is very pronounced. It was fun to see how Elizabeth handled both her new friends and her less than honest family. Look forward to seeing Elizabeth in future books. Be sure and read what Victoria says about women and the movement involved in getting the vote for women. She used some actual historical events in the book and it is facinating to see all that was involved before women were allowed the vote.

I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review via First To Read. This was an enchanting novel about how a person overcomes their own personal struggles between good and bad. It had a very good sroryline and i was thoroughly entertained.

I really enjoyed this book. I love historical fiction that's partially based on true facts, and it was really interesting to learn more about the suffragist movement in this book. I also found the plot of a female con artist's adventures very unique, and I really didn't find the story predictable at all (other than maybe the romantic subplot). "City of Lies" has adventure, strong female characters, a bit of romance, and it's set during a significant time in our nation's history. There's a lot to love about this book and I highly recommend it.


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