Pickford, Arizona Territory, December, 1881. Silver mine owners meet secretly at night to determine what steps they will take to disclose who is giving out information from within causing thievery to deplete them of their profits and possibly their livelihood. No matter what transport they use, their shipments are intercepted. Uncertain of local trustworthiness, they decide to contact an investigation agency.
Chicago, Illinois, December, 1881. Surprisingly not being included in an European tour, Elizabeth Moore loses her position as the personal wardrobe mistress of the Queen of the American Stage, Magdalena Cole.
At a loss of where she now belongs, "Ellie" leaves her life at the Orpheum behind. But... she doesn't last a day as a clerk at Marshall Field and Company. Braving the frigid Chicago air, Ellie is not having success finding a job. Walking to her rented room, concerned about her savings for rent and food, her steps lag.
She overhears two men stopped discussing Arizona and their lack of prospect finding a woman to fill a position there. Her ears perk up. Arizona! Warmth! She hurries to the doorway the men have entered: Pinkerton's National Detective Agency.
Being told they are looking for an older woman, she continues on. They thought she was brave seeking the position, didn't they? Sorting through the wardrobe Miss Cole left with her as a gift, she locates a gray wig and dark gray dress. She returns to the agency and her identity is not detected. They tell her they don't think she has enough energy and stamina to fill the position. Until... she removes her disguise. She is hired! She goes to meet the younger woman agent she is to accompany.
What would you think if this was said about you??
Join Ellie on her journey to Arizona
She tilted her head, then added, "They made a good choice. With your nondescript looks, you'll be perfect at fading into the background. Nobody will even remember you were around." --page 48, Love In DisguiseThe adventure begins!
As a stand-alone historical novel, author Carol Cox has a riveting tale for you to explore! In Carol’s new novel, Love in Disguise, costume-maker Ellie Moore’s new role as a Pinkerton detective requires not one, but two separate identities, and all the wit and skill she can muster.
Can she solve the crime before they uncover her true identity?
When costume-maker Ellie Moore suddenly finds herself out of a job in the middle of a bleak Chicago winter, she uses her knowledge of theatrical disguise to secure a position as an undercover operative with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Her assignment: find the culprit behind the theft of silver shipped from the mines near Pickford, Arizona.
Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie begins her investigation. Soon she finds she must also pose as the dazzling young Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.
Mine owner Steven Pierce is about to lose his business after the theft of several bullion shipments–until hope arrives in the unlikely form of Lavinia Stewart, who offers to invest in Steven’s mine. In his wildest dreams, Steven never expected to be rescued by an inquisitive gray-haired widow… or to fall head over heels for Lavinia’s captivating niece, Jessie.
But then the thieves come after both Lavinia and Jessie. Ellie isn’t safe no matter which character she plays! Will she be forced to reveal her true identity before the criminals are caught? What will Steven do when he discovers the woman he loves doesn’t exist?
Set in 1880s Arizona, Love in Disguise blends romance, humor, and mystery for a can't-put-down read.
Thank you, Bethany House Publishers, for sending a copy of Love in Disguise to me in exchange for a review in my own words.