An Untimely Frost is the first book in the Lilly Long Mystery series. It is 1881 in Chicago, Illinois. Lilly Long is an actress with the Pierced Rose Theater Troupe. Lilly married Tim Warner a few months ago, but it has not been an ideal match. Tim is threatening Rose Wainwright. Rose and her husband, Pierce (manager of troupe) raised Lilly after her mother passed away. Rose has been keeping Lilly’s savings for her. Lilly made the unfortunate mistake of telling this little tidbit to Tim. Tim is a scoundrel, thief, liar, and philanderer. This incident propels Lilly to respond to a Pinkerton National Detective Agency. They are looking for female agents. Lilly meets all the qualifications except for her age (she is too young). Lilly schedules an interview anyway and hopes for the best. Lilly is interviewed by Allan Pinkerton’s sons, William and Robert. Robert is against hiring women, but William is opened minded (especially since his father ordered them to hire women). Lilly impresses William with her abilities/skills, but she is turned down for the position (age). She then proceeds to use her make-up and acting skills to interview as other women. One of them gets a call back (technically a letter for a second interview) and Allan Pinkerton himself is present for this interview. After Lilly reveals her deception (which outrages Robert), Lilly is hired. Lilly’s first assignment is to find the owner Heaven’s Gate (a house) in Vandalia, Illinois. Pastor Harold Purcell and his family disappeared twenty years ago (I sense a juicy scandal). Lilly is excited to start her first case (even if it is an easy one). After talking with a few people in Vandalia, Lilly finds out that there is nothing simple about this assignment. Join Lilly on her investigation in An Untimely Frost to see how she fares with the case of the missing pastor.
An Untimely Frost was an enjoyable historical mystery. I liked Lilly Long as a character. She may have been bamboozled, but she was not going to let this keep her down. Lilly took the experience and was using it to help others. The mystery in An Untimely Frost was very good (complex). I was able to figure out most of it, but there was one twist I did not see coming (I like to be surprised in a mystery). The book is well-written and easy to read (good pace). I love it when a villain gets his just desserts! I give An Untimely Frost 4.5 out of 5 stars (I more than liked it). You can tell when I enjoy a novel because I stay up late reading it (and I give it a good review). Penny Richards did a excellent job at capturing the era or time period portrayed in the book as well as the two cities. I will definitely be reading the next book in the Lilly Long Mystery series.
The next book in the Lilly Long Mystery series is Though This Be Madness. It will be out in May 2017 (subject to change without notice). I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel. The comments and opinions expressed are strictly m own.
I want to thank all of you for visiting! I am off to enjoy my dinner (after I finish cooking my mother's) and read Sweet Tomorrows by Debbie Macomber. Have a great (fun and relaxing) evening, take care, and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader