Saturday, October 19, 2013

Review: The Impersonator by Mary Miley

The Impersonator by Mary Miley is a 2012 Minotaur Books/ Mystery Writers of America First Novel competition winner. It was released September 17, 2013 by Minotaur Books. There is a two chapter sample available on the author's website.

Leah is working hard in vaudeville when she encounters Uncle Oliver. Oliver thinks she is the spitting image of his missing niece Jessie. When he finds out that she isn't his niece, the greedy little wheels turn in his mind and he proposes a con - pose as his niece and sign the papers to become the heir to the Carr fortune and split it with him.

At first Leah turns him down flat. Then she is fired from her act in vaudeville and has second thoughts. Leah becomes Jessie, the greatest role of her career. There's only one problem. Someone knows the truth about what happened to Jessie. Leah won't be able to fool him. Leah sets out to find out what happened to Jessie while she is staying with the family in Dexter where Jessie was last seen.

The characters are well written. Everything seems appropriate for the time - bobbed hair, the Charleston, Prohibition, speakeasies, bootlegging. The details about vaudeville are interesting - the different acts, what life was like for the actors, and especially the inclusion of Jack Benny as one of her co-workers. I liked too that she managed to work in a definition showing the difference between burlesque and vaudeville.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion.