When there’s a book about a murder mystery that’s a historical fiction, you can count me in. Mysteries are some of my favorite books to read. I love trying to find all the clues and hints and who did what. Lucky for me, the latest from Dorothy Love combines all of those elements!
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.
I really enjoyed trying to figure out who was responsible for the murder. There were some plot twists to the murder and mystery as well, and it was enough to keep me guessing. Sometimes too many twists can pull down a novel, but that wasn’t the case with this one. It was the perfect amount!
I didn’t connect too much with the relationship between Philip and India, but that didn’t totally ruin the story for me. It wasn’t the focus of the novel for me, so I was still fully engrossed in it. I wanted to know who killed the actor and why more, so as I said, the story still worked.
I liked a lot of the secondary characters as well. As readers, we see a bit more about how life was in the South post Civil War and what an interesting time that was.
Have you read any of Dorothy Love’s books? Who is one of your favorite Southern authors?
(Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)