Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

A Talent for Trickery

Sunday, August 23, 2020

A Talent for Trickery (2015) Alissa Johnson (The Thief-Takers)

A Talent for TrickerySet in England in 1872.

It’s still the time for falling back on old favorites.

This book was my introduction to Alissa Johnson, and I immediately snatched up everything by her I could find.

Charlotte Walker (now Bales) was the daughter of an infamous confidence man–and for years his assistant. But when he was caught and decided to start working with the police, Charlotte had put her foot down and stopped helping him, believing that he too had chosen reform.

Owen Renderwell earned a title and rewards for helping rescue the kidnapped Lady Stale–and her diamonds. He and his men took much of the credit for the rescue, and soon quit working for the Met and started their own agency.

Even though Charlotte and her siblings are now living under assumed names in the country for their protection, Lottie still blames Owen for not rehabilitating her father’s image. But nothing at all is as simple as Lottie believed.

“Damn it.” Lottie briefly squeezed her eyes shut. “This would be so much simpler if we had told him everything from the start.”

“Everything?” Esther echoed in disbelief. “That we’ve changed our names because our father was a confidence man turned snitch and we don’t want anyone to know? That’s not a secret a child of six could have kept.”

“We kept secrets at that age. We knew what father was before—”

“Allow me to rephrase. It is not a secret a six-year-old Peter could have kept. It is not a secret we can be certain he would keep now.”

Despite what Lottie believes, Owen is a good man, who does the best he can.

There were words for men who made advances toward women in no position to rebuff them. All of them insufficiently foul.

I adore everything about this story.

Resolute, he grasped the knocker and brought it down for three quick raps. Then he stood back and waited to regret his decision.

He had tried to forget her and, for long stretches of time, he had failed.

I especially love when the two are arguing.

You used to smell of flowers. Roses and lavender and such. Now you smell…” He bent closer and took in a breath. “Like lemons. Tart.”

“If the scent offends you, I’ll go inside—”

“Didn’t say it offends me.”

“— and bathe in it.”

This story is just fun and has a mystery and Peter is an obnoxious twit even as he very obviously loves his sister-just like a teenager.

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Rating: 8.5/10


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