City of Schemes

Counterfeit Lady #4

By Victoria Thompson


Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele


The Great War is over, and Elizabeth and Gideon are busily planning their wedding and welcoming home old friends now discharged from the army. One of them, Captain Logan Carsten, the son and heir of a wealthy Knickerbocker family, seems less happy to be home than Gideon had expected. While Logan was in France, he fell in love with a beautiful French woman named Noelle. He desperately wanted to propose, but he was already engaged to a girl he had known all his life back in America.

When Logan receives a letter supposedly from Noelle begging for money to help her flee the terrible conditions in France and come to America, Elizabeth is suspicious. There’s no way to verify the letter is actually from Noelle, and she fears that a conman or woman might be trying to take advantage of Logan in his vulnerable state. But that’s not all Elizabeth has to worry about. Vicious thug Oscar Thornton has gotten wind of her wedding announcement and realizes the woman who conned him is still alive and well. Gideon and Elizabeth have to figure out a way to help their friend while making sure their worst enemy doesn’t destroy their future…. (Goodreads)


Victoria Thompson’s fourth Counterfeit Lady novel City of Schemes finds Elizabeth facing her most personal, potentially life changing, con to date in addition to helping Gideon’s friend and planning her wedding.  More escapade than mystery, it is a fun multi-layered deception sure to please fans and new readers alike.

Reformed con artist Elizabeth and her fiancé Gideon are counting the days until their wedding but trying to keep the affair intimate and under-the-radar.  When Gideon’s friend Logan’s fiancée Rosemary spills the beans to the society pages, a former mark learns that Elizabeth is alive and returns to blackmail her.  Logan feels duty bound to marry Rosemary, but he left his heart in France with another woman, Noelle.  When he receives letters from Noelle asking for money so that she can come America, Logan, along with Gideon and Elizabeth, feels that something else is afoot.  What unfolds is a triple scheme where everyone gets what they deserve.

I have come to really like Elizabeth over the course of the series.  She is plucky, brave, intelligent, and resourceful.  Ever truthful Gideon is her perfect foil, and I love him for his upright manner.  Readers get glimpses of their parents, but they do not get a lot of time this time around.  Logan reminds us that even though the war is over, it is still relevant and very much part of everyday life.  I appreciate his intention to fulfill his promise to marry Rosemary, but they would both be so miserable.  Rosemary is unlikable even before she makes an appearance, and watching her story unfold is the highlight of the book.

It is a pleasure spending time with Elizabeth and Gideon, and I hope there are many more adventures ahead.  City of Schemes can be read as a standalone but is probably best enjoyed as part of the series.  Recommended.