The Counterfeit Lady: A Victorian Bookshop Mystery

Written by Kate Parker
Review by Kathryn Johnson

The fraudulent lady of the title of Kate Parker’s latest novel is heroine Georgia Fenchurch – for Georgia isn’t a lady at all, by society’s standards. She’s a simple, middle-class antiquarian bookseller. But when the Duke of Blackford comes calling to ask her to pose as his paramour and help him investigate the murder of a dear friend’s cousin, well… can she possibly say no? After all, hasn’t she wished for just such a chance to be close to the handsome duke? And then there are all those delicious parties she’ll be able to attend on his arm, and of course she’ll have to dress the part. But the daydreaming must end when all becomes serious business and she’s thrown fully into the investigation. The nation’s security may well be at stake – for it seems that blueprints for an innovative new battleship were stolen at the time of the murder. And now the husband of the victim is not only accused of his wife’s murder, he’s suspected of treason and selling the plans to Britain’s enemies.

Readers of Victorian mysteries may want to give this series a try, if they haven’t already. The pacing is leisurely, the drama gentle and on target for fans of cozy mysteries – nothing too bloody or terrifying occurs. Romance readers will find just enough fluttering of hearts to satisfy them as well. And the historical details woven into the story may be on the thin side, but they fit naturally into the scenes. A good addition to the series for light reading pleasure.