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I got this recommendation from Deanna Raybourn, and was up until 3 in the morning to finish it! Leah, a vaudeville actress is asked to impersonate an heiress that went missing 7 years ago. Leah knows she shouldn't do it, but is left with little choice when her act breaks up. Someone knows what happened to Jessie seven years ago, and they know that Leah isn't Jessie. After a few close calls, Leah knows she must uncover the truth or she's next! I loved Leah's vaudeville sensibility and the way her conscience guides her. I can't wait for the next in the series (out 9/23/14).
Also recommended by Dean & Brenda!— John
In 1917, Jessie Carr, fourteen years old and sole heiress to her family's vast fortune, disappeared without a trace. Now, years later, her uncle Oliver Beckett thinks he's found her: a young actress in a vaudeville playhouse is a dead ringer for his missing niece. But when Oliver confronts the girl, he learns he's wrong. Orphaned young, Leah Randall has been acting since she was a toddler.
Oliver, never one to miss an opportunity, makes a proposition with his coaching, Leah can impersonate Jessie, claim the fortune, and split it with him. The role of a lifetime, he says. A one-way ticket to Sing Sing, she hears. But when she's let go from her job, Oliver's offer looks a lot more appealing. Leah agrees to the con, but secretly promises herself to try and find out what happened to the real Jessie. There's only one problem: Leah's act won't fool the one person who knows the truth about Jessie's disappearance.
Set against a Prohibition-era backdrop of speakeasies and vaudeville houses, Mary Miley's Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition winner The Impersonator will delight readers with its elaborate mystery and lively prose.