Cozy Wednesday with Kate Parker – Author of The Counterfeit Lady (Giveaway too!)

cozy wednesday 2013 640Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!!

I am excited to welcome Kate Parker today!

I stayed up late into the night finishing The Counterfeit Lady!

Summertime Heat
By Kate Parker

The_Counterfeit_LadyIn The Counterfeit Lady, my heroine, Georgia Fenchurch, experiences a summertime heat wave. She lives in late Victorian London, before air conditioning, electrically run refrigerators, and swimming pools. Cooking or lighting a fire is going to give off lots of heat. What is Georgia going to do?

_DSF0008Open windows. Stay out of the sun. Enjoy summer fruits, including those brought from the Mediterranean countries on refrigerated steam ships that made a favorite summertime drink, lemonade, possible. Anyone who could afford it would travel out of London to the seaside or the countryside, looking for relief everywhere from the Isle of Wight to Scotland. This era began beach vacations in England with the arrival of inexpensive train tickets and the building of summer resorts along the coast.

Georgia is a bookshop owner. She expects to continue to suffer through the London heat wave selling books and magazines to people too hot to do anything but read. She and her assistant Emma are busy in the shop, leaving the front and back doors open to catch any breeze. She isn’t about to lay a fire or have Phyllida cook anything but the lightest meals. And since this story is told about late-Victorian times, all three women are working in the heat while wearing corsets!

Then the Duke of Blackford returns to Georgia’s life, asking her to help him with a case of murder and espionage. A set of blueprints for Britain’s revolutionary new warship have been stolen from the study of the ship’s designer and his wife has been murdered. The designer’s wife was a cousin of Lady Phyllida, and when Phyllida learns of the killing, she wants Georgia to find the person responsible.

The duke also wants Georgia’s help because Scotland Yard believes the designer killed his wife and burned the blueprints to give himself an alibi. Why else have a fire in the fireplace on the hottest day of the year?

Georgia has another theory. The windows to the study were wide open and the killer could have left that way with the ship drawings. But why did the dead woman order the fire?

The duke believes the theft was engineered by the spies of a nation embroiled with Britain in the naval arms race of the 1890s. And no one had a better spy network or had invested more in the warship-building race than the Germans. The duke believes a German diplomat is their master spy and is waiting for receipt of the ship plans.

First Book in this Series

The Archivist Society, the organization of sleuths that Georgia belongs to, is called in to help locate the plans and the killer. Georgia is assigned the task of entering aristocratic society as a newly-arrived widow from the British Empire. With the help of Lady Phyllida who enters the upper-crust society she’s been hiding from for many years, Georgia begins the role of the duke’s paramour. Emma serves as their lady’s maid while passing messages to the Archivist Society and questioning the servants.

Now Georgia learns how the other half beat the heat. Sleep during the day and attend soirees at night with all the windows open, or travel away from London to country house parties. But there’s no rest for Georgia, who works in her bookshop while society women sleep and plays her roll tracking the spy through high society in the cool of the evening.

My interest in how people beat the heat in Georgia’s time comes from stories I’ve heard. When I was young, an elderly relative told me about a heat wave in the city she lived in. People brought out blankets each night and slept under the stars in the city parks. The police had to increase their patrols to prevent burglaries in all these empty households. And this was from a very proper relative who never went camping!

DIGITAL CAMERAIf you were in late-Victorian London, how would you have survived a summer heat wave?

The first books Kate Parker read as a child were Nancy Drew mysteries and her mother’s Agatha Christie novels, and now she can’t write a story without someone dropping dead by chapter five. After years living in the Nation’s Capital, Kate moved to the South and began crafting historical mysteries. The first of the Victorian Bookshop mysteries, The Vanishing Thief, came out in December 2013 with the next, The Counterfeit Lady, arrived this August.

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The Counterfeit Lady
(A Victorian Bookshop Mystery)

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (August 5, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Teresa Fasolino
Cover Design by George Long
Trade Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425266618
E-Book File Size: 1466 KB
ASIN: B00G3L16G2


Who would suspect antiquarian bookseller Georgia Fenchurch of leading a double life—as a private investigator for the clandestine Archivist Society in Victorian London? When England’s national security is compromised, Georgia must pose as a titled lady to root out a spy…

Georgia, Lady Phyllida Monthalf and Emma return in this second Victorian Bookshop Mystery, as do the members of the Archivist Society and The Duke of Blackford. This time of Lady Monthalf’s cousin Clara has been killed and a set of very important blueprints stolen.  Clara’s husband has been arrested for treason and his wife’s murder. The Duke of Blackford enlists Georgia, Emma and Lady Phyllida’s help to catch the real killer. The fun begins when Georgia learns she will be playing the part of the duke’s new paramour, as if she doesn’t already get nervous enough around him. Georgia, a middle class bookshop owner posing as a titled Lady, what could go wrong? Well as we have learned with Georgia anything and everything.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Georgia is an extraordinary character and she is doing double duty trying to keep her bookshop afloat with a little help from her Archivist Society members while dashing off to party after party on the arm of the Duke, all in an effort to find the missing plans and the person responsible for a very brutal murder. She is a very intelligent woman but at times the clues take both her and the reader in circles. Plus she finds herself more and more drawn to the Duke of Blackford. Her mind knows a relationship between classes is highly unlikely but her heart is full of hope.

I thought the story had a real Cinderella vibe. From the moment the plan was put together both Georgia and Emma, who is acting at “Lady Georgina’s” maid, are treated to new clothes and all the accessories. Georgia attends fancy balls and dinners with the Duke arriving in the most beautiful carriages.

The mystery was quite good too as it appears that only Clara and her husband Kenneth were in a locked room when the robbery and murder took place. There are several suspects but placing them in that room is tough. Remember this story is set in Victorian times, no CSI techs checking for fingerprints and DNA.

I started reading this book on a beach during our recent Family Fun Day and I quickly noticed this was a book that needed my full attention, so I put it away and picked it back up as soon as I could the next evening and finished it at 2:14 a.m. the next morning. Once I started reading I just could not stop.

Parker takes us back in time and keeps us on our toes with very interesting characters, history and mystery. She adds a nice balance of humor and romance too. The dialogues were very entertaining. Anxious for book #3.

a perfect escape5 STARFISH

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Leave a comment for Kate for 5 Bonus Entries !

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Contest Will End September 3, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

29 thoughts on “Cozy Wednesday with Kate Parker – Author of The Counterfeit Lady (Giveaway too!)

  1. I read the first book in this series and really liked it. It gave me a Sherlock Holmes vibe by the way London was described. The second books sounds really interesting. Looking forward to reading it.

  2. I like to read about this era, and this sounds like a good mystery. One summer when we had grandkids staying for the summer and it was so so hot, we “camped” out on the deck!

  3. I never would have survived Victorian times with all the layers, the long hair and weekly bathing at most. If there was a heat wave, I would have done what ever (which wasn’t much) was socially acceptable at the time. I watched a reality show which tried to recreate the old west and the modern girls were running around in their bloomers. Great way to get yourself jailed if it really was those times.

  4. If I’d been living in those times, I’d hope I was wealthy enough to have a home outside of London in cooler climes. Of course here in the Colonies those with too much money built their “summer cottages” in a place called Newport, Rhode Island. Much cooler there in the summer. LOL

  5. I’m not sure if my previous comment went through –
    Anyway, my daughter was born in England in 1976 and it was the hottest summer for over 350 years. I dunked in a bowl of cool water to cool her down. There was no air conditioning and people stopped shopping because department stores were so stifling. It was a miserable summer. This looks like a book I would enjoy especially being from my home town. I’ll add it to my list.

  6. The whole idea of sleeping outside is a good one. That’s one of the hardest parts of a heat wave, getting a good night’s sleep. I think I would have been one of the people on blankets in the park.

  7. This is right up my alley! I want to be Georgia 🙂 Though I’m not sure I could do without A/C. My mom tells me they used to sleep out on the porch when it was hot. We slept in our basement when we didn’t have A/C.

  8. Sounds like a great read. I’m up for the challenge to see if I will be up all night reading or will be able to set it down and get some sleep. 😛

  9. I’m always happy when I discover a new cozy author and series.
    If I lived in those times, I’d have to be able to be naked like Lady Godiva, or I’d perish.

  10. The heat waves here are bad enough. I cannot imagine being in late-Victorian London… the clothes! Oh my. I have survived Seattle Summers that are really not that bad, MidWest (Chicago and Minnesota) Summers, Tennessee Summers, and the Middle East. I very much prefer Seattle 😉

  11. I love stories set in Victorian times and I adore cozy mysteries so I will definitely have to check this series out! Thanks so much for the post.

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