The Counterfeit Wife
by Mally Becker
September 19 – October 14, 2022 Virtual Book Tour
Philadelphia, June 1780. George Washington’s two least likely spies return, masquerading as husband and wife as they search for traitors in Philadelphia.
Months have passed since young widow Becca Parcell and former printer Daniel Alloway foiled a plot that threatened the new nation. But independence is still a distant dream, and General Washington can’t afford more unrest, not with food prices rising daily and the value of money falling just as fast.
At the General’s request, Becca and Daniel travel to Philadelphia to track down traitors who are flooding the city with counterfeit money. Searching for clues, Becca befriends the wealthiest women in town, the members of the Ladies Association of Philadelphia, while Daniel seeks information from the city’s printers.
But their straightforward mission quickly grows personal and deadly as a half-remembered woman from Becca’s childhood is arrested for murdering one of the suspected counterfeiters.
With time running out – and their faux marriage breaking apart – Becca and Daniel find themselves searching for a hate-driven villain who’s ready to kill again.
Praise for The Counterfeit Wife:
“The Counterfeit Wife by Mally Becker has it all — adventure, romance and deceit … [w]ith smooth-as-ice prose and pitch-perfect dialogue.”
Tina deBellegarde, Agatha- and Derringer-nominated author of the Batavia-on-Hudson Mystery Series
“The Counterfeit Wife is a not-to-be-missed adventure that gives new meaning to rebel and loyalist, spy and spouse.”
Lori Robbins, award-winning author of the On Pointe and Masterclass Mystery series
“As the young country struggles for independence, so does Becca, and she will have you turning pages well into the night … I highly recommended The Counterfeit Wife and I’m already anxious for the third of the series.”
Eileen Harrison Sanchez, award-winning author of Freedom Lessons—A Novel
Genre: Historical Mystery
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: September 2022
Number of Pages: 300
Series: A Revolutionary War Mystery
Book Links: Amazon <!– HIDE THIS TEXT | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads–>
Read an excerpt:
Q: How did you get interested in history and crime?
Mysteries and history have always fascinated me. History is a three-ring circus. Wherever you look, there’s something new to see heroes and villains; disasters and triumphs; and human drama in spades. How could I not be interested? Like history, crime fiction tells stories that illustrate the best and worst of humanity. I especially love mysteries about everyday people like myself faced with extraordinary challenges. Those stories have my cheering for the protagonist(s) and wondering how I’d fare in similar
Q: When did you begin writing stories?
It took an empty nest to get me started on the most satisfying career I’ve ever had. I started writing fiction just about the time our son went off to college.
Q: How many books have you published so far?
I’ve published two books so far. My Agatha Award-nominated mystery, The Turncoat’s Widow, came out last year. The Counterfeit Wife, book two in my series will be available wherever books are sold on September 20. I’m working on book three, tentatively titled The Paris Mistress, which should be released in 2023.
Q: Do you enjoy being a writing instructor?
We all struggle to bring our stories to life on the page, and we all cheer each other on. I’m humbled by the talent, creativity and kindness students share with me and each other. Those writing workshops are a high point of my week.
Q: Is it tough juggling your writing and teaching careers?
There are times I find myself thinking about my students’ stories and characters when I should be focusing on my own work. Their characters just muscle their way into my imagination. It’s a wonderful problem to have.
Q: Who are the main characters in The Counterfeit Wife?
Young widow Becca Parcell and former British POW Daniel Alloway are the two main characters in my new mystery. Just a year before my story begins, young widow Becca and Daniel were strangers and too busy struggling to survive to give a hoot who won the War for Independence. Becca had sworn to remain single, given her disastrous first marriage and her independent ways, and Daniel still lived in a cocoon of grief following the death of his much-loved wife and infant son. That all changed when General Washington and Alexander Hamilton recruited them for an espionage mission through British-occupied New York City to uncover the secrets that Becca’s deceased husband left behind. Uncovering a plot that threatened the new nation, Becca and Daniel also begin to build an unusual-for-the-time friendship. My first book, THE TURNCOAT’S WIDOW, tells that story.
In THE COUNTERFEIT WIFE, Becca and Daniel accept a new mission for General Washington. They travel to Philadelphia to track down the ring of counterfeiters flooding Philadelphia with fake money and upending the local economy. Becca’s talent for mathematics and Daniel’s background as a printer make them the perfect pair for the job. But first they need to find a way to share information about their suspects without being overheard. Sounds simple, right? But it would have been a real challenge to avoid being overheard, given the 18 th century’s strict rules of behavior. Reluctantly, they agree to masquerade as newlyweds to sidestep society’s prohibition on men and women spending time alone together without a chaperone. But Becca’s and Daniel’s growing attraction complicates their pretend marriage and challenges everything they believed about themselves and their future.
Q: Tell us, readers, what inspired your new release, The Counterfeit Wife. My stories are inspired by historical events I find that change my own view of our past. The more I learn about the American Revolution, the more like the present it feels to me. That’s the inspiration for my series, though each book is driven by my characters’ strengths, weaknesses and desires. We all learn in school that Philadelphia is the birthplace of our country’s liberty, right?
Maybe, we recall hearing that England invaded and controlled Philadelphia for about a year in the
middle of the Revolutionary War. The redcoats left the city in 1778 and never returned. In my mind that invasion hardly registered. But I learned that residents’ lives didn’t just return to normal when the British left Philadelphia. The event left behind a wake of distrust and sadness, but also of innovation and patriotism. The first law to limit slavery was enacted in Pennsylvania in 1780. The first woman’s political group was formed that year by Esther Reed, who wrote that American women were “born for liberty,” then organized a group of women in Philadelphia in the summer of 1780 to go door-to-door to raise money for the Continental Army. Those events impact my characters’ lives directly.
Finally, THE COUNTERFEIT WIFE couldn’t exist without the crime of counterfeiting. The British printed and distributed fake money here throughout the war to create economic chaos and sow distrust of the new American government. Their tactics were effective and may be one of the reasons that the punishment for counterfeiting was death!
Q: How would you describe your writing style using three words?
I write character-driven historical mysteries.
Q: What is your advice for aspiring writers?
To quote famous author Jodi Picoult, “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit an empty page.” Yes, it can feel awkward to be a beginner as an adult. But so, what? Just keep writing, and don’t edit your work until you come to the end of your first draft. You may not even discover what your story is really about until you write “The End.” (This I know from experience.)
Q: Where can readers find you and your books online?
You can find me and my books wherever books are sold and at http://www.mallybecker.com, Facebook, and Goodreads.
Mally Becker combines her love of history and crime fiction in mysteries that feature strong, independent heroines. She is the Agatha Award-nominated author of The Turncoat’s Widow, which Kirkus Reviews called, “A compelling tale… with charming main characters.” Her first novel was also named a Silver Falchion finalist and a CIBA “Mystery & Mayhem” finalist.
A member of the board of MWA-NY, Mally was an attorney until becoming a full-time writer and an instructor at The Writers Circle Workshops. She is also a member of Sisters in Crime and the Historical Novel Society. Mally and her husband live in New Jersey, where they raised their wonderful son and spend as much time as they can hiking and kayaking.
Catch Up With Mally Becker:
BookBub – @mallybecker
Instagram – @mallybeckerwrites
Twitter – @mally_becker
Facebook – @mallybeckerauthor
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