Trust is a thing that is earned, not given, to those in our lives. Unfortunately, sometimes those who seem closest to us are the ones who will stab us in the back if given the means and opportunity to do so. The idea of trust is put to the test in Meg Mims’ historical fiction mystery novel Double Crossing. Through trials and tribulations the main heroine learns these difficult lessons about trust, as well as the old adage that one should keep their friends close, but their enemies closer.
Lily Glanville lives in Evanston, Illinois in post-Civil War America and seems to be at a crossroads in her life. She can get married to Charles Mason and join a missionary trip to China, or she can get married to another suitor and stay near her recently widowed father. One night near her birthday, her father is unexpectedly murdered and deeds to a California gold source are stolen. Lily suspects her father’s friend Emil Tadaro, who happened to be at the house when her father was murdered. While receiving condolences at the funeral her Aunt Sylvia, along with her husband Sir Vaughn who she hasn’t seen in years, approach Lily and plan to take care of her. They prove to be too much for Lily, and she escapes one night with help from Charles. She plans to go to California to intercept Tadaro, who was planning on meeting up with Lily’s Uncle Harrison. Along the trip, she meets a Texan named Ace Diamond who she pays to help protect her and Charles on their mission to California. By the end of the trip, she discovers who can be trusted and who has been acting the whole time.
I must admit, I liked this book a lot more than I originally expected to. I am not a huge mystery fan; I like Dan Brown’s works, but other than that and The Boxcar Children I really don’t find many mysteries to be interesting unless they’ve been made into a movie. However, Meg Mims wrote this book in such a way that would make it perfectly translatable to film. Right away I was casting the roles in my head, and I was able to do so because of how much detail she put into the book. She explained every chapter down to the smallest detail so that any reader could visualize them. The characters were extremely well written and most of them were extremely relatable. Even the villains of the novel had a really interesting story and when you find out who double crossed Lily at the end, I guarantee you’ll be shocked because I did not see it coming. Even though there are some foreshadowing clues, I never expected the ending to be as thrilling and exciting as it was. The different parts of the novel are a great build up to the climax and I often found myself making predictions as to how the novel was going to end.
Another aspect of the book that I found really interesting and really made me like the book a lot more was how strong of a heroine Lily was. Given that the story took place in the late 1800s and women were still seen as second class citizens, it was really interesting to see how strong-willed Lily was. She was truly an independent woman, and she thumbed her nose at people who expected her to do what society expected of her. She was a great character and I really enjoyed reading about her growth from start to the finish.
All in all I really enjoyed this book. It grabbed my attention from the start and throughout I found myself cheering out loud for Lily. I would definitely love to see a sequel because I want to know where Lily goes next.
4 out of 5 Stars
Double Crossing by Meg Mims
Astraea Press (2011)
Paperback: 257 pages
Special thanks to Astraea Press for my review copy!