Born and raised in Michigan, Meg loves watching the four seasons, visiting lighthouses in the Great Lakes and reading books. She lives with her husband and dog - a "make my day" Malti-poo. Her beloved Lhasa Apso rescue dog is featured in Santa Paws, and her daughter's black cat is the star of Santa Claws -- both are chasing each other beyond the Rainbow Bridge now. Meg is also one-half of the D.E. Ireland writing team for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mystery series published by St. Martin's Minotaur.
Double Crossingby Meg Mims
August, 1869: Lily Granville is stunned by her father's murder. Only one other person knows about a valuable California gold mine deed - both are now missing. Lily heads west on the newly opened
WINNER of the 2012 BEST FIRST NOVEL Spur Award from Western Writers of America AND a 2012 FINALIST for the USA BOOK NEWS Awards - for Fiction: Western
August, 1869: Lily Granville is stunned by her father's murder. Only one other person knows about a valuable California gold mine deed - both are now missing. Lily heads west on the newly opened transcontinental railroad, determined to track the killer. She soon realizes she is no longer the hunter but the prey. As things progress from bad to worse, Lily is uncertain who to trust-the China-bound missionary who wants to marry her, or the wandering Texan who offers to protect her ... for a price. Will Lily survive the journey and unexpected betrayal?
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- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.43(d)
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Review by April: Vivid historical fiction mixed with murder, suspense and a lovely dash of romance makes Double Crossing by Meg Mims an out of the ballpark hit. I have to admit that for me, Double Crossing is a bit different than the books that I normally read. However, I was curious to give it a try and can honestly say that I would have missed out on an amazing book if I had not! Author Meg Mims delivers a story that is not only amazingly vivid, clear and engrossing, but she takes readers into a another time and place with her details. It truly never ceases to amaze me to read what life was like centuries ago for women. They were to be "looked after" by a man (or a chaperone) and to become learned was out of the ordinary. In short, women were to be obedient and more or less a puppet of sorts. The main character in Double Crossing, however, is nothing like this. Lily Granville is an incredibly intelligent and strong willed woman, whose courage and perseverance is highly admirable. When Lily's father is murdered, she happens to catch a glimpse of his murderers as they flee from the house. It is her desire and heartfelt duty to find and confront the killer. This, however, is anything but simple and Lily quickly learns that she can trust very few people. As I mentioned before, Meg Mims does an outstanding job in her descriptions. As I crossed the countryside with Lily and her friends (and unknown foes), I was thrilled to learn and read what the land once looked like. The fact that peppermints and fruits were such an amazing treat made me stop and think how different things were in that time compared to now. The way the lifestyle of that era was brought to life sucked me into the book deeply. The majority of the story takes place on train and during its stops. This was another aspect that I found interesting and fascinating. The suspense was drawn out throughout Double Crossing perfectly and the blossoming romance between the "bad boy", Ace (who Lily hired to help her get to her destination and keep her safe), was enthralling. I truly cannot think of a single aspect of this story that I would change. It is perfect and wonderful. The ending was also written in an excellent manner that leads the reader to believe that a sequel is on its way (fingers crossed very tightly!). I highly recommend Double Crossing by Meg Mims to anyone looking for a superb story - whether a lover of historical fiction or not!
I couldn't put this book down until I'd finished every last wonderful page. Highly recommended.
Mims' crisp style propels the action and delivers a well-rounded protagonist in Lily. But just because the prose is tailored like one of Lily's beautiful dresses doesn't mean Mims skimps on luxurious details and time-appropriate accessories. Authenticity abounds in the food, the clothing, the topics of conversation--something which has always impressed me about historicals when they are done well. (I can't fathom the amount of research Mims must have done for this story.) At every step of the way, I was right there, riding the rails into the wild West on my way to California to hunt down a murderer. Since Lily is almost as much of a neophyte to this world as I, it was easy to experience the thrills and chills of the setting through her senses. And, take note of the ending because it will certainly make you ready for the next book!
Author Meg Mims describes her historical Western mystery-adventure, Double Crossing, as a sort of True Grit on a train. It's an apt description, with a determined heroine, Lily Granville, setting out from Chicago in 1869 to track down her father's murderer and hiring an unknown tough guy, the Texan Ace Diamond, to help and protect her. The deed for a California quicksilver mine has also gone missing, with neither the killer nor Lily knowing where it is, and presumably the mine's ownership is the motive for the murder. To thwart the plan, Lily boards the newly completed First Transcontinental Railroad to join her uncle, now her legal guardian, in Sacramento. The train serves as the story backdrop, with the dangers of wilderness travel heightened by the killer's ongoing attempts to locate that deed (as no one seems to believe that Lily doesn't have it hidden away in her luggage or corset). Lily must also learn to work with and trust her former Confederate cavalry protector, a task Diamond does little to assist. Double Crossing is a classy debut for Mims. Although the mystery is a hair too simple, the adventure plotline is well drawn, with twists and turns like a mountain railroad, and the characters are a crafted balance of believable, historically accurate, and sympathetic. Mims treats the setting as an extra character, with well-crafted descriptions of actual places that are accurate to the time period. Her writing is elegant and easy to read, a testament to her MA degree from Seton Hill University's excellent Writing Popular Fiction program. (No, I'm not biased.) The interspersed Bible verses and inspirational elements are historically accurate, help define the characters, and enhance the plotline. The romance is kept out of center stage and enough plot elements remain unanswered at story's end to assure this reviewer that a series, or at least a sequel, is in the works. With most current historical mystery series confined to the Regency or Victorian England, and with the current tendency to ignore historical elements that don't fit the author's agenda, an accurate series set in the American West is a welcome addition. Normally this reviewer would not assign a five-star rating to a mystery that I solved, but here mitigating circumstances include: a) the book's high quality, with the usual grammatical lapses and substituted words kept to a bare minimum, b) the excellent adventure plotline, characters, and historical accuracy, and c) the multiple "mini-mystery" plot elements that I didn't solve, including the mine deed's hiding place. The good easily outweighs the mystery's simplicity and overturns that rule.
This book is a mystery with a little bit of romance. It ended as if there will be a sequel, if so I would like to read the next book to know what happens to Lily next.