Monday, December 28, 2015


Brittany McEuen reviews A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love

Back Cover Synopsis:

When the illustrious India Hartley is accused of murder, she has to uncover the deceptions of others to save herself.

India Hartley, the famous and beautiful actress, is now alone in the world after her father’s death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah’s Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night’s performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime.

A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best—and handsomest—lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.

Because India can’t go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia low country and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip’s dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her.

My Review:

I really enjoyed the pacing of A Respectable Actress. It flowed very smoothly as I read it. I also enjoyed the mysterious, deep-south feeling of this book. The author did a very good job at describing the scenery and making me feel that I was really back in early 1870’s Georgia. This time period and the setting of post war St. Simons Island, with its wide variety of residents, added a mysterious quality to the story that enhanced the feeling of restlessness that flowed throughout the book.

The main characters, India and Philip, were very likeable. It was hard to watch as India was accused of murder. And I was amazed at the speed with which the trial progressed. This story, with its secretive twists and turns, kept my attention from start to finish. I thought that the author did a very good job of dropping surprises here and there for the reader and creating a plot that was not easily solved because of the many players involved.

Add in a bit of a sweet romance that began to brew in the midst of uncertainty and desperation, and I
found A Respectable Actress to be a very enjoyable and mysterious read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

About Reviewer Brittany McEuen:

I am a busy homeschooling mom to four children, ranging from kindergarten to high school. I’m happily married to my high school sweetheart and am an avid reader and book reviewer. I feature book reviews, giveaways, and occasional author interviews on my blog, Britt Reads Fiction. You can also connect with me on Pinterest and Goodreads.


  1. "A Respectable Actress" sounds like a rewarding read, Brittany, and features such a superlative cover... I'm especially intrigued by the combo inspy legal thriller/historical romance concept. That's a true two-for-one in my opinion. Delightful review. Happy New Year, ma'am!

    1. Thank you, Sybil! I love the cover, too. I do have to say that the legal system of the time sure is different than ours today! Happy New Year!

  2. This story sounds like a good historical read esp since it takes place right after the civil war in the south (one of my favorite time periods!) I also like a book with plot twists and surprises as that is what reading mysteries is all about. I'm going to have to put this on my to-read list!

    1. Hi Angela, thanks for stopping by. I really enjoyed the time period and setting of this story. I hope you get a chance to read it!

  3. Stunning cover and wow looks like a very compelling read! I love stories from a different place in time, and I doubly love them when there is a little thrill! Thanks for sharing Brittany!

  4. The story seems to have great depth, and I love that cover!


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