cover image Though This Be Madness

Though This Be Madness

Penny Richards. Kensington, $15 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4967-0604-1

Romantic tension pervades Richards’s uneven second historical featuring Pinkerton operative Lilly Long (after 2016’s An Untimely Frost). An undercover assignment requires Lilly to pose as a servant and infiltrate the New Orleans household of LaRee Fontenot, the Chicago-based Pinkerton firm’s newest client. Mrs. Fontenot suspects that her grandson’s widow, Patricia Ducharme, has been wrongfully committed to an insane asylum by Patricia’s second husband, Dr. Henri Ducharme. Lilly’s mission to learn the truth becomes harder when she is partnered with Cade McShane, an attractive male Pinkerton agent who will pose as her husband. Despite her disdain for Cade, Lilly is unable to keep her heart from racing when he gives her a “wicked grin,” and the arc of their relationship proceeds predictably even as they adopt their new roles. Some melodramatic developments concerning Lilly’s past don’t enhance the plot’s plausibility. [em]Agent: Jim Hart, Hartline Literary. (May) [/em]