Though This Be Madness
by Penny Richards
Edition: paperback, 2017
Synopsis: Shakespearean actress turned Pinkerton detective Lilly Long and her reluctant partner, Cade McShane, travel to New Orleans to save a young widow from a fate worse than death…
1881, Chicago. Assigned to her second case as a Pinkerton, Lilly still needs to prove herself—both as a novice detective and as a woman in a man’s world. Ordered to once again work with Lilly, Cade needs to redeem himself for conduct unbecoming to a Pinkerton—a grief-driven drunken brawl. As if their forced partnership wasn’t bad enough, the agents must pose as husband and wife servants in the troubled household of a wealthy New Orleans family. An acting challenge if ever there was one…
The elderly matriarch of the Fortenot family is convinced her grandson’s former widow has been unjustly committed to an insane asylum by her second husband. She believes the man is attempting to wrest the family fortune away from his new wife. Soon, behind the beautiful façade of the Fortenot mansion, the detectives uncover secrets, betrayal, voodoo curses—and murder. Even as Lilly and Cade chafe against their roles, they must work together to expose the true villain of this tragedy before the hapless widow faces her final curtain call.
Lilly Long is off on her second assignment. This time she has an official partner, Cade McShane, who had watched over her during her first case. These two must learn how to work together as they travel to New Orleans for a case filled with secrets, betrayal, voodoo, and murder.
As a sequel, this is a fantastic book. It builds on the first one in a brilliant way, allowing us to see that Lilly still has a lot to learn in her new profession. At times, she does seem too hard on herself, and that was sad to see.
I do wish the narrative had remained with her more, instead of moving to Cade as often as it did. It was necessary for the story to be told, but I want more of Lilly not Cade! As a side character, Cade is not bad, but he just didn’t keep my interest in this book.
For readers who enjoy a female detective using her skills to the best of her ability, this is a must read.
The author was kind enough to give me a physical copy of the book for reviewing purposes.