"An upbeat historical mystery"
In Denver City, Joby Sawyer runs a detective agency, an
unheard of occupation for a female in the late nineteenth
century. To hide her gender in plain sight, Joby tells her
clients that she is just an agent for her father, a former
Deputy US Marshall, who is away on an investigation or he
is ailing. She insists her father performs all the
sleuthing. In reality her indisposed dad is dead.
Joby is working on several cases involving a jewel thief, a
murder, and finding proof to enable an abused wife to
divorce her nasty spouse. Her only help is Chinese
immigrant Won Li who thinks Joby is a lunatic especially
when she tests new sleuthing ideas. As she works the
cases, collecting the fee from a shyster lawyer may prove
almost as difficult as solving the cases.
A LADY NEVER TRIFLES WITH THIEVES is an interesting
dichotomy. The western historical mystery hooks the
audience with tension yet often renders readers amused with
the antics of the heroine. The story line is loaded with
action while providing insight into the role of women
especially through the gender nuking antics of Joby. In
the final analysis, it is the cast that makes Suzann
Ledbetter's tale one of the better sub-genre entries as
they take the reader through a fun experience.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted April 10, 2003
"The simple truth is, I was born clever...." So says
spirited young Denver City detective Joby (Josephine
Beckworth) Sawyerand she isn't bragging. With a
whip-sharp mind, self-taught expertise in biology,
herbology, chemistry, criminality, and legal action, Joby
can pretty much get her man. But there's one still
hanging on the line: her devoted policeman beau, Jack
O'Shaughnessy. In Joby's line of work, murder and mayhem
come before matrimony. And with two new cases to crack,
her wedding gown can wait.
For now Joby has to get the goods on a no-good abusive
husband so a wealthy wife can get out with her fortune and
her features intact. Then, a high-class jewel thief goes
from larceny to murder as a woman is found strangled with
her pearl necklace. Against Jack's wishes, Joby takes a
crack at the case with the help of her mentor, Won Li.
Determined to prove she's as good an investigator as any
man, Joby must use both her brains and her beauty to catch
a thiefbefore he kills again.