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A Respectable Actress

Format: Paperback

Availability: In stock

Quick Overview:

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

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

India Hartley, a famous and beautiful actress, is now alone 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 lowcountry 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.

Contributor(s) Dorothy Love
About the Contributor(s) Dorothy Love

A native of west Tennessee, Dorothy Love makes her home in the Texas hill country with her husband and their golden retriever. An award-winning author of numerous young adult novels, Dorothy made her adult debut with the Hickory Ridge novels. Facebook: dorothylovebooks Twitter: @WriterDorothy


ISBN-10 1401687598
ISBN-13 9781401687595
Release Date Oct 13, 2015
Weight (lbs) 1.1110
Height 8.38
Width 5.50
Length 384
Length Unit Pages
Publisher Thomas Nelson
Price $15.99
Format Paperback
Language English

Customer Reviews

Review by Deana
Overall Rating
"Gunfire exploded to the right of the stage, a burst of sound that temporarily deafened her." As I read that very first sentence of the book, I knew it was time to get comfortable because this book was going to grab my attention till the very last world was read. India Hartley is a well known actress who finds herself being arrested for the murder of her co-star Arthur Sterling. How could a prop gun get replaced by a real gun without anyone seeing it? Who would want Arthur dead?

Since India is so famous, it is impossible to go anywhere as she awaits trial without being recognized. The mobs must have been terrifying to India, with all the accusations being thrown at her. Her lawyer, Philip Sinclair decides he must step in and help his client out. He invites her to come stay with him and his sister at his plantation. Hopefully being away from the strains of the charges against her, India can get some rest and collect her thoughts.

I loved the time period this intriguing story is set in the post Civil War era. There were people during this time period still trying to recover from the effects of a war that had devastating consequences. The author develops India's character very well and shows how vulnerable she became as she struggled to prove her innocence. A once very famous actress is now nothing but a recluse. How does she feel knowing that her stardom is almost a thing of the past? Will her loneliness cause her to feel unwanted ?

As the investigation heats up, something turns up that will be far more explosive than anyone could ever imagine. What was discovered that has everyone scrambling and talking? India will go through a torturous trial and there will be twists that the reader will not see coming. I love mystery books that are unpredictable and keep readers guessing till the end. Will you be surprised of the verdict at India's trial ?

I received a copy of this book from the author and Thomas Nelson said for an honest review. (Posted on 1/19/2016)
Review by Brittany at the Books and Biscuits Blog
Overall Rating
Dorothy Love’s newest novel, A Respectable Actress, returns her readers to the post-Civil War American South. In 1870, India Hartley has emerged as one of the foremost actresses of her day. After the death of her father, she plans on touring the South, starting with a play at the Southern Palace Theater in Savannah, Georgia. After a couple of rough performances, the unthinkable happens when an unplanned script change leads to a murder on stage. India finds herself at the center of a sensational trial, with an audience full of witnesses and few friends to defend her. As India continues to claim her innocence, she befriends Philip Sinclair, a successful lawyer with a few tricks up his sleeve to keep India safe. Throughout the trial, India and Philip discover the hope of second chances, while uncovering the unexpected truth behind several seemingly-unconnected deaths.

Ms. Love remains true to her strengths in building upon a legacy of Southern fiction set during the nineteenth century. A Respectable Actress offers a unique perspective into the world of theater when those within the profession were looked down upon by members of polite society.

Overall, I was left with mixed feelings after reading A Respectable Actress. While the topic and summary sound interesting, I found the story arch to be rather misleading, as the murder trial depicted on the back cover comprises a very small part of the overall book. Additionally, the novel had several key resolutions throughout the storyline, leaving me with the feeling that the book should have ended at multiple points, including during a section that was less than half-way through the book. In general, Ms. Love does a nice job creating good characters and a sense of place. However, I was rather disappointed to find little to no content or reference to Christian themes, especially with the inclusion of such themes as mental illness, murder, and suicide arising within the story. While the story was generally clean, I was left wanting a more cohesive story, more fascinating characters, and a more Christian-centric approach to the novel’s events.

Special thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the advanced copy of A Respectable Actress!

Brittany at the Books and Biscuits Blog
(Posted on 11/10/2015)

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