|A Respectable Actress|
By Dorothy Love / Thomas Nelson
When her co-star is killed, famous actress India Hartley is accused of murder. Because she's mobbed wherever she goes, her lawyer, Philip Sinclair, takes her to his secluded island plantation. But while awaiting trial, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that leads back to Philip. Do these clues hold the key to her freedom? 384 pages, softcover from Nelson.
"A Respectable Actress" by Dorothy Love have me hooked early on. You know why? I'll show you.
Savannah, December 20, 1870
Gunfire exploded to the right of the stage, a burst of sound that temporarily deafened her. When the ringing in her ears subsided she was aware of the screams, of shouts for policemen and for a doctor, of the ensuing chaos as officers arrived and began ushering patrons out of the packed theater. Two burly officers leapt onto the stage, seized her by both arms, and manhandled her into a police wagon parked in the alley, the officers with their weapons at the ready, the horses stamping impatiently in the cold. (1)
That was the opening of A Respectable Actress. Now, was that something or what? Does that not make you want to go on and read more? Well, that is the gist of the rest of the book, in the sense of how captivating and intriguing it is. I want to know what happened. How did it happen? Why did it happen and ultimately what comes next.
I've only read some of Dorothy's works, mostly novella collections, and this book was not what I've expected. It's a great read with plenty of descriptions and informative historical references, just like all her other historical novels. The writing is easy to understand and it doesn't drag. What I didn't expect is the mystery aspect of this novel. It seems to play a bigger part than all the other historical romance stories I've read from her. I was completely engrossed in A Respectable Actress and the many twists and turns that I did not see coming. I'm usually fairly quick and accurate in deciphering such mysteries, but this one got me guessing through to the end.
Not only was the suspense bewitching, the romance was one of subtlety. Characters were interesting enough from the strength of India, to the intelligence of Philip to the "spookiness" of Ms. Catchpole (what a name!), we have enough to keep us entranced until the final mystery is concluded. India, our protagonist with make you fall in love with her, just as many in the book does for her fame and her skill as a theater actress. The tenacity of her character strikes a chord with her readers. We feel for her - for her strength in carrying her father in debt, for her skill as an actress and truly loving it, for her sense of responsibility and intelligence in seeking more to life, and her vigor in withstanding the troubles of this whole ordeal. Then, on a personal level, her sense of loneliness as an only child, as an actress, a profession in those times consider low and promiscuous, as a famous actress, one that all love from a distance, and for constant travels without a "home base" physically and in her heart.
This is one that you should not miss. Fans of Dorothy, fans of historical fiction, mystery fans and readers in general, get your copy and don't miss out!
O, final note. I'll be hosting Dorothy on my blog to talk about her and A Respectable Actress early November. Stay tune!
To Purchase a Copy: Amazon, ChristianBook, IndieBound
NOTE: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review. For full disclosures, please check out my disclosure page. Thank you.
A native of west Tennessee, Dorothy Love makes her home in the Texas hill country with her husband and their golden retriever. An award-winning author of numerous young adult novels, Dorothy made her adult debut with the Hickory Ridge novels.