Reviewed by Meg Massey

Ellie Moore is devastated when she loses her job as a costume-maker. Just when she’s lost all hope, she learns of a job opening as a detective for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Her mission is to leave cold Chicago and head to Arizona, where she is to uncover who is behind the theft of silver from various mines near the small town of Pickford. But when Ellie travels to meet the young woman who is to serve as her partner in the investigation, she learns that she will have to go at it alone. Fearful that her new employer may take her off the assignment if they learn she is attempting to uncover the truth alone, Ellie concocts an elaborate scheme to keep her new job.

Suddenly she’s transformed into Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow. She soon learns that most of the men in the more salacious parts of town don’t spill their secrets to a widow, and realizes that she must create a new identity that they can relate to. The result is the dazzling Jessie Monroe, Lavinia’s beautiful and vivacious niece. But Ellie runs into a problem when she begins falling for Steven Piece, a local mine owner. As Lavinia, Ellie offers to help Steven, particularly in the form of an investment, in the hopes of getting close enough to discover what’s really going on at the mines. And Steven soon falls for her other character, Jessie. But when the thieves catch wind of Lavinia’s questions, Ellie isn’t safe no matter what costume she wears. She quickly realizes that she must unravel the truth, before she ends up hurt…or dead. And when Steven finds out the truth about Ellie’s identity, will he be able to forgive her deception?

In Love in Disguise, author Carol Cox has created an exciting and suspenseful tale that will keep readers guessing. The character of Ellie is fantastic, as she struggles to play two very different women, all while trying to figure out her own identity. While at times her transformation into two different women seems anything but realistic, it certainly proved to be a humorous and exciting method of solving a crime. In Steven, Cox has created the type of hero that every story needs: flawed, but unfailingly good and courageous. If you love historical fiction, you will love this tale, which takes place in the late 1800s, in the exciting “wild west”.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Library professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between on her blog.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Bethany House. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.