When costume-maker Ellie Moore suddenly finds herself out of a job in the middle of a bleak Chicago winter, she uses her knowledge of theatrical disguise to secure a position as an undercover operative with the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Her assignment: find the culprit behind the theft of silver shipped from the mines near Pickford, Arizona.

Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie begins her investigation. Soon she finds she must also pose as the dazzling young Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.

Mine owner Steven Pierce is about to lose his business after the theft of several bullion shipments–until hope arrives in the unlikely form of Lavinia Stewart, who offers to invest in Steven’s mine. In his wildest dreams, Steven never expected to be rescued by an inquisitive gray-haired widow…or to fall head over heels for Lavinia’s captivating niece, Jessie.

But then the thieves come after both Lavinia and Jessie. Ellie isn’t safe no matter which character she plays! Will she be forced to reveal her true identity before the criminals are caught? What will Steven do when he discovers the woman he loves doesn’t exist?

***To my regular readers: The following review is shorter than normal. I received this book late from the publisher and need to have the review done before I return to full-time studies (which start tomorrow!). You’ll have to read the book yourself to find out more – trust me, it’s worth it.***

Love in Disguise by Carol Cox was a pleasant surprise. I was expecting the typical Christian love story, but found that the detective role the main character played made the reading much more enjoyable. Watching the main character juggle her dual roles as older widow and younger niece was delightful.

With a wild cast of characters set in 1880’s Arizona and a mystery needing to be solved by a novice detective with no training gave the story momentum and kept the pages turning. The writing was fast-paced, the descriptions were well done and I was rooting for Ellie from page one. This book is a keeper in my library and I look forward to reading it again.

I give this book 5 stars out of 5.

I received this book free from Bethany House.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.