City of Fortune

Berkley. (Counterfeit Lady, Bk. 6). Dec. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780593440575. $27. M
Thompson’s sixth “Counterfeit Lady” mystery (following City of Shadows) is an entertaining, delightful caper novel with twist after twist. Elizabeth Miles Bates has tried to give up her life as a con artist, but sometimes she has to help someone. She and her lawyer husband, Gideon, are invited to the Belmont Stakes by one of his clients, Sebastian Nolan. There they meet his daughter, Irene, who has been worried about their horse, Trench. Trench stops dead in the middle of his race, leaving his jockey, Cal Regan, with a career-ending injury. Trench had been tampered with, and both Irene and Sebastian suspect her father’s longtime enemy. When Elizabeth realizes that Irene loves Cal, and is pregnant, she knows her father will never allow his daughter to marry a jockey with no prospects. So Elizabeth hatches a scheme to avenge the sabotage while getting money for Irene and Cal. She enlists her father’s help in finding a suitable woman to run a marriage scam, a woman who already has plans to dupe the greedy men of New York society.
VERDICT Captivating characters, such as Elizabeth and her mother-in-law, sparkle in this refreshing and amusing con narrative.
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