Our guest today is Victoria Thompson, author of the USA Today Bestselling Gaslight Mystery Series. Her new book, City of Scoundrels, is the third in her new Counterfeit Lady Series, which was released on November 5. She’s thrilled to have this opportunity to tell you all about the new book.
Imagine getting sick with a deadly disease for which there is no treatment or cure. Then imagine hundreds of people getting sick with the same disease at the same time, whole families, whole neighborhoods. Then imagine this happening in every city and town in the entire world! Sadly, we don’t have to imagine this because it actually happened in the fall of 1918, and at least 50 million people died world-wide.
In my new book, City of Scoundrels, con artist Elizabeth Miles and her fiancé, Gideon Bates, are holding down the home front while WWI rages a continent away. Gideon knows he will be drafted soon, so he’s spending his time helping soldiers write their wills before they ship out. When a widow of one of these men gets cheated out of her inheritance by her scoundrel of a brother-in-law, the law is on his side, so Gideon and Elizabeth must go beyond the law to get justice. Using Elizabeth’s skills as a grifter, they must outwit not only the brother-in-law but a gang of German spies into the bargain.
But as Gideon and Elizabeth work desperately to beat their adversaries, a new disease begins striking down their friends and neighbors. The influenza epidemic began in an army camp, and it quickly spread, going with the troops as they shipped out across the world. The press—restrained by war-time censorship—fails to adequately warn the public, and thousands die. The flu finally strikes very close to home for Elizabeth, and takes someone near and dear.
New York City lost more people to the flu than to the war. To this day, no one is really sure what strain of flu it was that proved so deadly. We like to think something like that could never happen again, outside of a horror movie, but can we really be sure?
Did your family lose someone in the great flu epidemic?
USA Today Bestselling author Victoria Thompson writes the Edgar and Agatha Award nominated Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring midwife Sarah Brandt. Her latest, Murder on Trinity Place, was a April 2019 release. City of Scoundrels is the third book in her Sue Grafton Memorial Award nominated Counterfeit Lady Series. She also contributed to the award-winning writing textbook Many Genres/One Craft. Victoria teaches in 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 faces the terrible truth that all is NOT fair in love and war…
Elizabeth Miles finds herself in a position no scheme can help her escape: Her beloved fiancé, Gideon Bates, is awaiting his draft notice to fight in the Great War. Elizabeth finds it hard to think of anything else, but Gideon has thrown himself into his work, preparing wills for soldiers before they ship out.
As part owner of a company that makes footwear for the army, Corporal Tom Preston has a rather large estate. He needs a new will, however, because he has just secretly married Rose, a woman whom his family would never approve. He wants to make sure she and their unborn child are provided for if he does not return.
When Tom is later reported killed, Elizabeth and Gideon learn that after Tom’s bride revealed her identity to his family, the new will has gone missing. Unless it’s found and validated, the original will, which leaves everything to Tom’s brother, will prevail and Rose and their child will get nothing. If she even survives.
Some terrible threats have been leveled against her, and Elizabeth and Gideon must figure out a way, legal or not quite, to secure Tom’s fortune for his wife and child while saving her life in the process.