India Hartley, a famous and beautiful actress, is now alone after her father’s death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah’s Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night’s performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime.
A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best—and handsomest—lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.
Because India can’t go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia lowcountry and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip’s dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her
**I received a copy of this book as part of the Thomas Nelson Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**
This is one of those novels that I wish I could go back and read again for the first time. And then do that again. And perhaps a few more times.
This was a novel that was incredibly hard to put down. At one pivotal scene at the end of a chapter, it ended on a cliffhanger. I just had to know what would happen next and skimmed the next page or so only to find out something even bigger was coming. And that is how this entire novel seemed to go. Each moment in the book added to the complexity of the plot and the mystery that is set into motion in the first few pages. The novel opens with a bang and keeps up that strong momentum.
The characters in the book were fantastic. They ranged from former slaves, to theater types, the gentry and everywhere in between. I’m sure the characters were walking around my living room as I read 😉 But honestly, India and Phillip were well developed. Neither were perfect but had just the right number of flaws to make them human.
I adored this book and highly reccommend it to those who enjoy a bit of mystery mixed in with their historical fiction.
“All I’m saying is that one should never pospone the pursuit of happiness. One never knows whether tomorrow will dawn fair or foul.”
-India Hartley, A Respectable Actress
About the Author:
Born in the middle of the twentieth century, Dorothy Love is certain she arrived on Planet Earth a hundred years too late. An avid scholar of 19th century American history, she spends most of her time poking through museums, reading dusty books, and studying the journals of the Victorian-era women whose lives inspire her Southern historical novels.
She prefers a fountain pen to a computer keyboard, print books to digital downloads, and face to face conversations to 140 character tweets. Though she admits that modern technology makes it easier to stay in touch with her readers, whenever possible she avoids automated phone systems, online banking, and booking her own airline tickets. When she’s not busy researching or writing books or avoiding technology, she enjoys teaching at writers conferences. She is a former associate writer in residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, FL. She has taught at dozens of writers conferences nationwide including the Florida First Coast Writers Conference, the Columbus Ohio Writers Conference, the South Carolina Writers Workshop, and the graduate program at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA, and was a featured author on the Writer to Writer series for Florida Public Television.
Dorothy enjoys traveling with her husband, collecting antique ephemera, and playing Frisbee with Jake, the couple’s golden retriever. A native Southerner, she currently lives in the Texas hill country
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