Sunday, December 27, 2015

Women's Fiction Book Review - A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love

When India Hartley is accused of murder, she must uncover the deceptions of others to save herself.
India Hartley, a famous and beautiful actress, is now alone after her father’s death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah’s Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night’s performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime.
A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best—and handsomest—lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.
Because India can’t go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia lowcountry and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip’s dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her.

Review:

A RESPECTABLE ACTRESS by Dorothy Love is a cozy mystery romance between a young actress named India Hartley and her benefactor/lawyer Philip Sinclair. The story is told through the India's point of view. I truly enjoyed the southern theater setting which was well researched and nicely detailed, lending a nice flavor to the tale. A nicely complicated mystery weaves itself throughout with plenty of plot twists and turns that kept me eager to find out what happened next. A nice sized cast of colorful characters adds plenty of interest and some red herrings to the story. And of course, the ending was nicely satisfying, tying up all the loose ends and providing all the answers that ran through my mind as I read. This is more than a simple mystery or love story. It is a novel about risk and trust, betrayal and honesty, and plenty of love and redemption. Nicely crafted and a lovely story! Highly recommended.


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