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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘Double Crossing’ by Meg Mims

Evanston, Illinois: 1869

‘I burst into the house. Keeping the flimsy telegram envelope, I dumped half a dozen packages into the maid’s waiting arms.

“Where’s Father? I need to speak to him.”

“He’s in the library Miss Lily. With Mr. Todaro.”

Oh, bother. I didn’t have the time to deal with Emil Todaro, my father’s lawyer.

He was the last person I wanted to see – but that couldn’t be helped.’


They say that the first lines of a piece of writing, are always the most difficult to set down on paper. It seems to me, that they may also be the most definitive, as I find they often set the scene in my mind, even before I have turned the first page…

What news was contained in the telegram she had received?

Why is she in such a rush to see her father?

Why does she not want to see her father’s lawyer, right now?


To avoid too many spoilers, I have not included a full synopsis with this post, but should you wish to read more details, please click on the image.

This book was a review copy, sent to me by the author, Meg Mims, and as such, was free of charge.

This in no way influenced any comments I may have expressed about the book, in any blog article I have posted. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.


Want to take part in ‘Book Beginnings’?

Would those first few lines of your book make you want to read more, without revealing too many spoilers?

If you want to share the first lines of a book you are reading, click on the link and visit Katy, at ‘A Few More Pages’

You can then leave a link to your own book beginnings post, or just browse for some great reads, there are always plenty of new authors and titles to be found.

Don’t forget that Katy and all the other contributors to this meme love to hear from you, so why not leave a comment or two at the same time.


Update 27/10/2011

If you click here, you can now read my thoughts and comments about this title


Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Eva,

      When the author got in touch to ask if I would like to read this book, it was described to me as a Western/Mystery. I was a little unsure what to expect, but after reading just the first 14 pages, I am already hooked on the story and the characters, so it is all looking good so far.

      The cover artist over at Astraea Press, Elaina Lee, is particularly talented in my opinion. Some of her cover art is fantastically well put together, although I know that the author Meg Mims had quite a bit of input into this particular cover.

      • Whoa! Sorry I didn’t know you’d posted this already… I would have replied sooner. ;-D Thanks so much, Eva and Yvonne! Double Crossing is a suspense, since the story focuses on the heroine Lily — and everything happens to her. A traditional mystery would have a sleuth, like Holmes/Watson or Brother Cadfael (two of my faves.) Still, I do love putting the twists and turns of mystery — plus a few dead bodies, LOL. Check out my post on http://mfrw.blogspot.com “I See Dead People.” I do love the western setting, and although it’s on a train, I do have a cowboy in DC! Yee-haw!

        • Hi Meg,

          I have never really followed the ‘Cadfael’ series of books. Too many books to read and not enough time, rather than lack of interest, I can assure you. When the books were televised into a series, I did manage to catch a couple of episodes, I will get to watch them all someday.

          ‘Holmes and Watson’ however, are firm amd lasting favourites, both in the written word and on screen, a masterpiece of its time.

          • I’m with you on Holmes/Watson!! And JEREMY BRETT as the sexiest, most accurate portrayal of Sherlock *EVER*… I have the whole series on DVD.

              • Yes, I agree that Brett had a troubled childhood, family and life — what a difference from playing Freddie in My Fair Lady to the moody Holmes! He gave it his all and it showed. Robert Downey Jr? PUH-LEEZE. Although I do like Jude Law as Watson, I prefer the Granada series as faithful to the books.

                As an aside, American author Will Thomas has a fascinating series set in London of the late 1880s, with Barker & Llewellyn – characters similar to Holmes & Watson in sleuthing, but very different. Wonderful details and plots. I highly recommend them.

                • Hi Meg,

                  I’m with you, much prefer the series that is faithful to the books, with the original ‘Watson’ played by David Burke.

                  Thanks for the great author/books recommendation. I have never come across Will Thomas before, but have added all of the titles to my future reading list, they sound fantastic. I have discovered a great site, where I can see all of an authors work in chronological order and generally with a full synopsis, I use it all the time

                  Crime/Detective/Thrillers are my favourite genre, I have to admit. Books obviously, but also television adaptations, when I can get my hands on the remote controls of course! Dave doesn’t share my interest in anything fictional and as the controls are generally his domain, I have to be quite cunning to ever get to see any of them.

    • Hi Laurel Rain,

      I have only read the 14 pages of the first chapter, but I am already loving this one.

      We have already had one death, an intriguing telegram and a very dubious lawyer appear on the scene …. It can only get better!!

    • Hi Bev,

      After just the first few pages, I didn’t think that there was anything specific, more of a general feeling of unease around him. However, get to page 14 and the entire scenario has already taken on a macabre twist, which justifies her feelings!!

      • Bev, I *loved* Dorothy Sayers’ whole series of Lord Peter and Harriet Vane. So classy, but I have yet to catch the BBC TV series. As for Emil Todaro, the lawyer – he’s a toad. Toad-aly. ;-D

        • Hi Meg,

          Dorothy Sayers remains another firm favourite of mine as well. I haven’t read all of the books by any means, although I know that I have the complete set lurking in the depths of my ‘To Be Read’ mountain somewhere.

          As you say, ‘a touch of class’, that it would be very difficult to capture and emulate in these modern times.

    • Hi Bonnie,

      I only managed to get to the end of the first chapter this morning and I have a very busy weekend coming up, but I really HAVE to make some time te read more of this great story, it already has me hooked. I am already hoping that Meg is working on her next book!!

      • Thanks, Bonnie – Double Crossing is still on sale at Astraea Press and the print copies are coming out this month! And yes, Yvonne, I *am* working on the sequel to DC – called Double or Nothing.

        • Hi Meg,

          Thanks, I did find reference on one of your sites to the sequel book, so I shall be waiting for that to appear on the shelves, as will several others of your followers, if the Amazon reviews are anything to go by.

    • Hi Hattie,

      I think that the lawyer has already had his say by the time Lily gets to him and he obviously has great influence over Lily’s father.

      Lily on the other hand, doesn’t trust him an inch and wants to protect her father, although she isn’t sure, from what.

      I have got to the point of no return with the book now, I just have to keep reading…..

      • Lily’s father trusts “the toad” due to their shared experiences during the War of Rebellion (now called the Civil War, although there was nothing civil about it really. War is hell, as General Sherman said, as did General Patton.) Todaro saved Colonel Granville’s life… but there’s something about him that Lily just cannot get over! Gotta keep reading to find out.

  • I do like that beginning! The main character definitely seems rushed and I’m dying to find out what was in the telegram! The cover is rather striking, too. I like the train. 🙂

    Thanks for participating in Book Beginnings!

    • Hi Katy,

      Thanks for stopping by and for hosting again this week.

      The cover is striking isn’t it and I gather that this is where much of the action takes place, so I am already reminded of a certain other mystery write, one Agatha Christie and her book ‘Murder On The Orient Express’ … hope this one is as good!!

      • Well, one reviewer did compare Double Crossing to Orient Express — check out http://www.lakeeffectliving.com and click on Recommended Reads! To be fair, the reviewer is my Critique Partner and friend. But she is pretty brutal when we exchange chapters, so hearing her praise was pretty awesome. 😀

        Thanks, Yvonne and everyone!! I hope you enjoy Double Crossing’s wild ride!

        • Hi Meg,

          That’s the sign of a true friend though isn’t it?

          One who can disagree with you, criticize you and be completely honest with you, without offence on either side.

          A rare thing and something to be treasured.

          Thanks for stopping by and participating in the conversations, we all appreciate it

Written by Yvonne