October 14, 2013

The Impersonator by Mary Miley

The Impersonator
The Impersonator by Mary Miley
Series: N/A
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Publication Date: September 17, 2013
In 1917, Jessie Carr, fourteen years old and sole heiress to her family’s vast fortune, disappeared without a trace. Now, years later, her uncle Oliver Beckett thinks he’s found her: a young actress in a vaudeville playhouse is a dead ringer for his missing niece. But when Oliver confronts the girl, he learns he’s wrong. Orphaned young, Leah’s been acting since she was a toddler.

Oliver, never one to miss an opportunity, makes a proposition—with his coaching, Leah can impersonate Jessie, claim the fortune, and split it with him. The role of a lifetime, he says. A one-way ticket to Sing Sing, she hears. But when she’s let go from her job, Oliver’s offer looks a lot more appealing. Leah agrees to the con, but secretly promises herself to try and find out what happened to the real Jessie. There’s only one problem: Leah’s act won’t fool the one person who knows the truth about Jessie’s disappearance.

Set against a Prohibition-era backdrop of speakeasies and vaudeville houses, Mary Miley’s Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition winner The Impersonator will delight readers with its elaborate mystery and lively prose.
Off stage, we are not respectable, like gypsies or immigrants.

I requested The Impersonator on a whim, so I was pleasantly surprised when it was an enjoyable read. I don't usually read adult books, so it was a (sort of) new experience. Right off, I'll tell you that I liked Leah's maturity, because it's something that we just don't often see in YA literature.

Leah was a good character for me. She was spunky and smart - her sleuthing was amazing. Every idea that she came up with about "Jessie" was spot on. I could imagine every one of those scenarios happening, and that made me like her more. She had common sense! I can say, however, that I felt kind of bad for her. I got past it, but... her struggles in "vaudeville" were so honestly and openly portrayed. It wasn't all fun and games, though, and I liked that. She was very brave.

It really surprised me when she took the job, though. Henry was so creepy when he talked to her, and she seemed so determined to stay out of it. But I was glad that she took it, in the end. It made for a good story, and she was good for it.

I enjoyed the crime level - the suspense was balanced out perfectly with the normal, every day moments. I was never bored, neither was I bowled over by action. Like I said, perfect blend! I was constantly trying to figure out the who-done-it part of the mystery; and there were several times where I questioned myself about Jessie. Did I truly think she was dead? I had to hold out for the ending to see, and sometimes it was downright hard. But in the end, I was happy with it. Every little plot point added up. (Psst... what a surprise ending, though! Never saw it coming.)

The atmosphere was what really took the cake, though! I love the little glimpses into 1920's society, and I loved that everything was just so... true sounding. I just couldn't get enough of it. All in all, I would definitely recommend The Impostor to you guys. It was a nice change from the norm, and I really enjoyed it!


  1. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)October 14, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    I have to read adult occasionally or I'd go nuts. I just need to spend time with more mature characters, and Leah sounds like a great one. It's great that the suspense part was so well done, I'm adding this to my tbr.
    Great review.

  2. Megan@The Book BabeOctober 14, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Haha, I'm not really like that, but I enjoy reading Adult. It's a nice change! Leah was an amazing character - I really liked her, and the suspense was amazing. I hope that you like this one! Thanks, Maja!

  3. Great review!I usually avoid crime & mystery books, but this sounds interesting.

  4. Megan@The Book BabeOctober 15, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Thanks! I usually do too. I don't why, because I really enjoyed this one. Um... this is an adult book. I hope you read it!

  5. Megan@The Book BabeOctober 15, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    It's frecking awesome, Sunny! Why have you not heard of it? ;P I can't actually say that I'm pick about books in general... o.O It is very My Fair Lady-esque! Except less high society romance and more intrigue and death. ;) Hahaha, that was my thing. Henry is so creepy, and even though I wanted her to take the job for the story, I wanted her to stay away from him. ;P Thanks, girly!