Our guest today is Victoria Thompson, author of the bestselling Gaslight Mystery Series. Her new book, City of Secrets, is the second in her new Counterfeit Lady Series, which releases on November 13. She’s thrilled to have this opportunity to tell you all about the new series.
Everyone knows it’s wrong to lie. It’s even one of the Ten Commandments. Except… Well, let’s face it, we all lie, at least a little. We lie to avoid hurting people’s feelings (Does this make me look fat?). We lie to save ourselves (We can’t have Thanksgiving at your house. We already promised to take the kids to DisneyWorld.). We lie because we feel guilty (I’d love to help you stuff those envelopes.). Everybody lies, as Dr. House used to say every week on his TV show. So why did I create a character who does not lie?
Obviously, because I’m insane. When I started my Gaslight Mystery Series back in 1999, I gave one of the characters a quirk that proved troublesome, so I decided not to do that in the Counterfeit Lady Series. Then Gideon Bates announced (quite without my permission) that he never lies.
This seemed like a really neat quirk for him to have because he falls in love with a con artist, Elizabeth Miles, who hardly ever tells the truth. But do you know how difficult it is to write a character who never lies? Who tells people they look fat and that he just doesn’t want to suffer through Thanksgiving at your house, and who simply refuses to help stuff the envelopes? How can we even like him? This became especially troublesome when Gideon is forced to help Elizabeth with a con.
Of course Elizabeth only does cons now to help those in need of justice, but even a con done for a good cause requires a certain amount of lying. Gideon absolutely can’t help with that, because even if he tried, he’d be terrible at it. Does this cause friction between Gideon and Elizabeth? You bet it does. Does it even come between them and threaten their relationship? Does it actually cause them to break their engagement? Well, probably.
So how does an honest man reconcile himself to life with a professional liar? That’s only one of the questions I deal with in City of Secrets. I also cover blackmail and a few other topics. Please let me know what you think—and you can lie to spare my feelings!
“This is a suspenseful and twisty story guaranteed to bate breaths and engage readers until the wee hours. Fans …will welcome the addition of another strong woman to the ranks of early-twentieth-century crime solvers.”
Bio: Edgar® and Agatha nominated author Victoria Thompson writes the Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring midwife Sarah Brandt. Her latest, Murder on Union Square, was a May 2018 release. City of Lies was the first book in her new Counterfeit Lady Series, and it came out in paperback in October 2018. The second book in the series, City of Secrets, will come out on November 13. She also contributed to the award winning writing textbook Many Genres/One Craft. Victoria teaches in the Seton Hill University master’s program in writing popular fiction. She lives in Illinois with her husband and a very spoiled little dog.
Elizabeth Miles knows that honesty isn’t 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, her 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, less than nine months later, Endicott is dead in what appears to be another terrible accident.
Everyone is whispering, but Priscilla confides to Elizabeth that’s the least of her troubles. She’d believed Endicott was wealthy, too, but her banker is telling her she has no money left and that her house has been mortgaged. He’s also hinted at a terrible scandal and refuses to help. Priscilla doesn’t know where to turn.
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 that 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.