To be completely honest, I was intrigued by the cover and title of this book and it is really the only reason I picked it up. Dorothy Love has been popular among readers who like a southern historical romance. When I look at past titles, I realize I have read a couple of them here and there and always liked them. So I am happy to report after picking up A Respectable Actress I enjoyed reading what I would say is a romantic suspense but historical not contemporary. (how’s that for a new genre?)
India Hartley is a beloved actress. Her father’s death left her destitute and she decides to tour the southern theaters in his honor, but also to make a living. The first stop is Savannah, Georgia and she is playing to sold out shows. The second night something goes horribly wrong and she ends up shooting and killing her fellow actor. It is by accident and yet she is the one accused of the crime. India is unsure where to turn, but a very rich benefactor hires a local lawyer to help her with her case.
Philip Sinclair believes removing her from Savannah until the trial is the best thing for India. He offers her shelter at his plantation on St. Simon’s island. Some of the locals are very welcoming and others are not. While India is awaiting her trial, she stumbles on what seems to be another mystery. No one believes her when she tells Philip of her theory, but she is sure there is something sinister going on.
So mysteries abound in this book, which makes for a very pleasant read. If you have read Dorothy’s book The Bracelet, then you will want to read this one also. They are not connected, but there are a few characters in the book that you will want to visit with again, along with the grand lady, the city of Savannah.
Dorothy has risen to the top of many readers' must read booklist, myself included. She has a wonderful way of making not only the characters come to life, but also the setting. I used to live just north of Savannah, Georgia and have visited the city many times. It was a joy to ‘visit’ again, even if it was from a time long past.
If you enjoy historical fiction, this should be a must read, but also if you like mysteries I would recommend picking this book up and helping solve the who-dun-it.