An exciting new book in the series featuring woman-on-the-run Elizabeth Miles--from the beloved national bestselling author of the Gaslight Mysteries.
Elizabeth Miles knows that honesty is not always the best policy when it comes to finding justice.
Elizabeth has discovered that navigating the rules of high society is the biggest con of all. She knows she can play the game, but so far, her only success is Priscilla Knight, a dedicated young suffragist recently widowed for the second time. Her beloved first husband died in a tragic accident and left her with two young daughters--and a sizable fortune. While she was lost in grief, Priscilla's pastor convinced her she needed a man to look after her and engineered a whirlwind courtship and hasty marriage to fellow parishioner Endicott Knight. Now, about nine months later, Endicott is dead in what appears to be another terrible accident.
Everyone is whispering, but that is the least of Priscilla's troubles. She had believed Endicott was wealthy, too, but her banker tells her she has no money left and her house has been mortgaged. He also hints at a terrible scandal and refuses to help.
Priscilla stands to lose everything, and Elizabeth is determined not to let that happen. But, as always, Elizabeth walks a fine line between using her unusual talents and revealing her own scandalous past. Elizabeth soon discovers that Endicott's death was anything but accidental, and revealing the truth could threaten much more than Priscilla's finances. To save her new friend's future--and possibly her own--Elizabeth, along with her honest-to-a-fault beau, Gideon, delve into the sinister secrets someone would kill to keep.
About the Author
Reading Group Guide
1. Elizabeth believes that trying to fit in with the wealthy-society crowd often requires her to pretend to be someone she is not. Are there areas of your life where you feel you must act differently or speak in a certain way to be accepted?
2. Following her husband’s death, Elizabeth’s friend Priscilla must grapple with the unspoken rules of 1920s society that state she needs a man to look after her. Are there mandates in your own family or community that you feel obliged to follow? Do these mandates ever conflict with how you want to live your life?
3. Elizabeth and Gideon realize they are very different people in this book. Do you feel that opposites generally attract, or do you look for as much common ground as possible when considering a relationship? Are there certain things—deal breakers—that you and your prospective significant other need to agree on?
4. Gideon has certain expectations of Elizabeth that change throughout the course of the novel. How do you feel about his transformation? What moments in the novel do you think played a part in his decisions regarding his relationship with Elizabeth?
5. In the novel, we learn about the West Side Cowboy, a man whose job includes riding ahead of freight trains waving a flag and carrying a lantern to alert pedestrians of the oncoming train. What other jobs have been made obsolete by today’s technology? Are there any careers you wish were still viable that have become outmoded?
6. Fear of scandal motivates several of the characters in the book, and word of mouth is the main way damaging information is disseminated. What role does this fear play in today’s society? How have things changed regarding what constitutes a scandal and how rumors are spread?
7. Elizabeth and Gideon debate the merits of breaking the rules to help someone in need. What do you think of their approach? Have you ever had to think outside the box to come up with a helpful solution to a problem?
8. The Honesdale family, despite outward appearances, seems to have no moral compass to speak of and regularly do horrible things. Do you agree with what ultimately happens to each of them?