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A Talent for Trickery

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

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

A Talent for TrickerySet in England in 1872

Owen Renderwell, the first Viscount Renderwell and Gentleman Thief-Taker needs to solve a series of crimes. And to do so, he needs the help of a woman he hasn’t spoken to in eight years. A woman who sent all his letters back unopened.

(O)ut here, a man could relax.

He dropped his hand and considered the various weapons currently attached to his person.

A man could probably learn to relax.

He thought of Lottie last night, standing in front of his knife.

God Almighty, he needed to learn how to relax.

Lottie (once Walker, now Bales) has been happy and comfortable in the country, where they have been hiding from their father’s many enemies. She and her sister have kept their younger brother unenlightened as to their past, and is not pleased to see the Gentleman Thief Takers on her doorstep.

“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.”

Lottie is especially unhappy to see Oliver Renderwell, with whom she is still furious. But when he tells Lottie of a thief and murderer who left behind encrypted notes very similar to ones created by her father, she agrees to help.

Lottie’s heart twisted at the thought and at the dim memory of the woman who’d taught her to waltz and how to hide a dagger in her décolletage. At eleven, Lottie’s décolletage had been nearly indistinguishable from her waist. Still, it had been a sweet gesture.

This is a fun story, with both a second-chance romance and a mystery.

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Rating: 8.5/10

 

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