As soon as I heard about Michelle Griep’s “Ladies of Intrigue”, I was drawn in, and I jumped at the chance to review it. Three stories from the nineteenth century, tinged with mystery? Sign me up! Despite the brevity of the stories, each one had a twisting denouement and a swift but satisfying conclusion. They could all have easily been novel-length, but as it was, the rapid pace assured that there was no lagging to the plot. “The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady”, set on the Cornish coast in 1815, reminded me of Abigail Wilson’s “In the Shadow of Croft Towers”, so readers of this short story may enjoy that novel and vice versa. From there Griep takes us to 1862 Minnesota in “The Doctor’s Lady”, which was the least mysterious of the three but full of other conflict, including that between the Indians and the United States during the Sioux Uprising and the dangers of being a single woman during that time. My favorite, however, was “A House of Secrets”, which differed from the previous two stories in both title format and writing style. This last tale was written more poetically and featured characters from the upper class in Minnesota in 1890, and it held the most secrets. Each narrative focused on the characters’ need to trust and rely on God and His provision. It was interesting to trace how women’s roles and societal expectations changed over the decades through the timeline arc of this collection. Historical fiction and romance fans will enjoy these stories, which combine love, the conventions of the past, and the necessity of faith—both then and now.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and CelebrateLit and was under no obligation to post a review.