Friday, November 14, 2014

Petticoat Detective by Margaret Brownley

Pinkerton detective Jennifer Layne is no stranger to undercover work. But posing as a lady companion named Amy at Miss Lillian’s Parlor House and Boots is a first for her. She’s finally landed a high-profile case and is on the trail of the notorious Gunnysack Bandit, when one of Miss Lillian’s girls essential to her investigation meets an untimely demise. Only a handful of people are in the house at the time of her death, including handsome Tom Colton, a former Texas Ranger determined to clear his brother’s name. Amy has many reasons to suspect Tom of murder—and one very personal reason to hope that she’s wrong about him.
I really enjoy Ms. Brownley's Westerns. She is always able to weave in a fun western setting with humor and romance.

Even after reading the synopsis I didn't realize the story takes place at a bordello, our heroine Amy has to pose as a prostitute in order to track down the Gunnysack Bandit. Even though the story takes place at a bordello and the mystery around two murders, it was an uplifting and pretty lighthearted read, never felt too heavy even though the subject matter was pretty serious.

Amy works for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, I remembered studying them a little while in college and it's always fun to see them references in my historical novels. Anyway, Amy has a hard time with this assignment, but it was interesting to get a "behind the scenes" look into a bordello and your heart can't help but hurt for ladies forced into this profession. One of the girls Rose is killed the day Amy arrives, she was also supposed to be Amy's contact so she's having to start from scratch. A mysterious stranger in town, Tom Colton is also investigating the case and the two pair up to try and solve the mystery. Tom doesn't realize Amy's true identity and purpose and is turn when he starts to have feelings for who he thinks is a prostitute. There are some funny situations that arise from Amy's deception and I was impressed that the author was able to keep things light. I also liked how things wrapped up at the end.

Overall, a fun western romance.

Romance: Clean
Language: None
Violence: Mild
Religious: Moderate
Other: Mild (details about life at a bordello)

Source: Received ARC from publisher for honest review.

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