The second of the Undercover Ladies, Pinkerton agent Maggie, is placed undercover as a mail order bride. Her job is simple: investigate the man she's agreed to marry and prove he is the notorious Whistle-Stop Bandit. But if she doesn't prove his guilt within the month, she'll end up married to the man! But then the more she investigates Garrett, the less certain she is that he is her man . . . or at least, she's less certain that he's the bandit. But if this wounded man and loving father isn't the bandit, what will happen when he finds out the truth about his bride?
When I started the book, I was certain that Garrett was innocent. All they have linking him to the crime is circumstantial evidence. Some of his habits appear suspicious, but I had great faith that they could be explained away. But as time passed, the author certainly did a good job of making me question my convictions!
Even in a lighthearted story like this one, the ramifications of lying--even undercover as a detective--are clear and painful. After hours of worrying together over a sick child, it is terribly difficult for Maggie to separate her undercover role from her feelings, and it just gets worse as time goes by. And then the betrayal that Garrett feels after preparing to wed the woman . . . The author does a good job exploring the feelings of both parties.
The supporting characters were delightful--Garrett's hypochondriac aunt, Maggie's crazily disguised partner, the precocious children. I highly enjoyed the snippets of information on the Pinkertons and undercover work that are sprinkled about the book, which Maggie employs with aplomb. Over all, it was a highly enjoyable novel, with a creative plot and delightful characters.
Thank you Barbour and NetGalley for providing an e-copy for review. I was not required to make it positive,
and all opinions are my own.
1. Petticoat Detective
2. Undercover Bride
3. Calico Spy