City of Betrayal

Berkley. (Counterfeit Lady, Bk. 7). Dec. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780593440605. $28. SUSPENSE
The seventh “Counterfeit Lady” novel (after City of Fortune) finds former con artist Elizabeth Bates, her husband, and her mother-in-law in Tennessee to convince legislators to support the amendment for women’s suffrage. The Suffs (as they refer to themselves) have a hard time keeping track of various politicians as they pledge support, then renounce it later. Elizabeth and company are sure bribery is at the root of this change. Complicating matters is the appearance of Elizabeth’s father and brother, who are working a con, taking advantage of the large crowd there for the vote and the thirst for alcohol during Prohibition. As the days pass, tempers fray and violence increases. Can Elizabeth use her skill as a grifter to the benefit of the suffragists? Thompson does a marvelous job portraying the heroic efforts of the women and men who fought for women’s rights. The well-drawn characters and sense of place should appeal to readers. However, the story drags in places and feels more like historical fiction than a mystery.
VERDICT Fans of the series will enjoy revisiting the characters, but readers expecting an engrossing mystery may be disappointed.
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