SUMMARY: When India Hartley is accused of murder, she must uncover the deceptions of others to save herself.
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. Simon's 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.
REVIEW: This is an interesting story. India is accused of murdering her co-star after he is shot by her on stage in front of a packed theater. But, appearances can be deceiving. Philip is determined to find the real murderer while the public is determined India is the only one at fault.
Unfortunately, there are quite a few other mysteries that need to be solved within this story that get tangled up with the information about India. About the time I thought the first story line was to be solved, I realized I was still in the first quarter of the book and another enigma made an appearance. Between India's trial for murder, the disappearance of a former slave, the death of Philip's wife, the mystery woman at the theater before Arthur's murder, and the vanishing funds of the theater, trying to keep track of all the questions and problems was difficult.
My favorite part of the novel was even though India and Philip were attracted to each other, they did not rush their affection for each other. They both grieved the loss of someone they loved and wanted to pursue their relationship slowly.
A Respectable Actress is a good book. It was an easy read and the ending was enjoyable. Check it out for yourself.
This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group, Thomas Nelson Publishers,
and Fiction Guild for review without compensation.
Dorothy Love, a native of West Tennessee, makes her home in the Texas hill country with her husband and their golden retriever. An accomplished author, Dorothy is known for her Hickory Ridge novels among others.