Please welcome Alissa Johnson to the blog today!!
I’m delighted to introduce A Talent for Trickery, the first book in my new Victorian-set “Thief-takers” series.
Our hero, Private Investigator Owen Renderwell, is on the hunt for a thief and murderer. And he knows just how to catch his man. All he needs is a little help from our heroine, Miss Charlotte Walker-Bales. The daughter of an infamous confidence man, Lottie is in a unique position to offer insight into the mind and motives of a hardened criminal. There’s just one flaw in Owen’s otherwise excellent plan. Lottie hasn’t spoken to him in eight years. She has no interest in working alongside a man of the law, and certainly not the one who betrayed her trust, endangered her family, and broke her heart.
To celebrate Lottie’s unusual background, I’ve compiled a list of five different methods of trickery.
1. The Bait and Switch — We’re all familiar with this scheme. Its premise is fairly simple. The value of the item advertised is higher than the value of the item received. Pig-in-a-Poke is a variation of this, and originated in the middle-ages. The buyer assumes it’s a nice, fat pig squirming around in the pig-seller’s bag. In reality, it’s a cat.
2. The Pass-Off — This is more of a technique than an outright trick. In Lottie’s early years, she helped her father pick pockets. He would nick a watch or purse, and either immediately passed it off to Lottie, or quickly stashed it away in a nearby hiding spot for Lottie to pick up later. That way, if he was stopped and searched, he came up clean.
3. “Bit Faker,” or “Coiner,” — Victorian slang for making your own money. Counterfeiting requires a certain level of expertise, but the potential payout is essentially limitless.
4. The financial scheme — An enterprising thief can make a fair amount of money off the mere promise of profit. People are always willing to invest in schemes guaranteed to make them rich. The quicker the better. The profits on this are high, but it takes time and effort to build the necessary trust. People won’t hand their money over to just anyone.
5. Shell game, or three-card monte — Over the centuries, there have been any number of variations on this short-con, and most of us are acquainted with the general concept. The mark attempts to pick which cup hides a ball, or which card is the queen, but the con-man has employed some sleight of hand to ensure the mark can’t choose correctly. A clever thief doesn’t just take the money and run, however. He drags the game out…while his accomplice picks the pockets of distracted onlookers.
Title: A Talent For Trickery
Author: Alissa Johnson
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Thief-takers, Book 1
About the Book:
The Lady is a Thief
Years ago, Owen Renderwell earned acclaim-and a title-for the dashing rescue of a kidnapped duchess. But only a select few knew that Scotland Yard's most famous detective was working alongside London's most infamous thief...and his criminally brilliant daughter, Charlotte Walker.
Lottie was like no other woman in Victorian England. She challenged him. She dazzled him. She questioned everything he believed and everything he was, and he has never wanted anyone more. And then he lost her.
Now a private detective on the trail of a murderer, Owen has stormed back into Lottie's life. She knows that no matter what they may pretend, he will always be a man of the law and she a criminal. Yet whenever he's near, Owen has a way of making things complicated...and long for a future that can never be theirs.
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/BNTalentTrickery
Alissa Johnson is a RITA-nominated author of historical romance. She grew up on Air Force bases and attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota. She currently resides in the Arkansan Ozarks where she spends her free time keeping her Aussie dog busy, visiting with family, and dabbling in archery.
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