Who's the Real Me?

Is she Ellie Moore or Lavinia Stewart or Jessie Monroe or all three?  Love in Disguise, Carol Cox's newest novel, introduces us to a heroine who is down on her luck.  Actually, Ellie already ran out of luck.  She is unemployed because the actress she worked for as a dresser in Chicago travels to Europe and doesn't take her, her savings are depleted, she has no family and can't find another job.

She overhears two Pinkerton detectives discussing the need for a woman to assist in an investigation in Arizona.   Although Ellie is quite young, her theatrical make-up tricks and the trunk of wigs, make-up and costumes her former boss left behind serve her well as she transforms herself into sweet, elderly Lavinia because that is the type of woman the Pinkertons need for the job.

The situation becomes more complex when the female detective she is supposed to  work with ends marrying and turning in her detective badge.  Ellie is stuck in Missouri with no partner, no detective experience and no idea what to do next.

However, you can't keep a good woman down.  Ellie takes the initiative and heads out to the wild west on her own without revealing to the Pinkerton Detective Agency that she never met up with her partner.  And when Ellie's investigation becomes bogged down, she decides to also become the ravishing redheaded Jessie  Monroe, the fictitious Lavinia's fictitious niece.

Pretty soon Lavinia has a suitor, several men are chasing after Jessie and Ellie is falling in love with the owner of a silver mine who was one of the men who hired the Pinkerton Agency to solve the problem of their stolen silver.  But Ellie doesn't even exist in Arizona and how can she compete with Jessie for the heart of Steven?  Not to mention there is not much progress with her investigation.

Love in Disguise is an entertaining summer read filled with twists and turns as Ellie tries to be two women at the same time, rekindle a faith in God that died out long ago and not fall in love with a man who is in love with the provocative Jessie.

Love in Disguise by Carol Cox
Bethany House Publishers, 2012
Christian Fiction, 350 pages

Bethany House Publishers provided a free copy of Love in Disguise for review. The opinions stated are my own.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like fun! Have you read Rosamunde Pilcher? My favorite is Winter Solstice. Her characters are very real, they make mistakes, they misunderstand, they plain ol' goof up. But they grow and learn. Gives me hope that maybe someday I will learn, too...