The Innocents (The Innocents Mystery Series, #1) by C.A. Asbrey (Goodreads Author)
Amy Caudill‘s review
As if being a female Pinkerton detective isn’t hard enough. Abigail Mackay has dealt with numerous skeptical local law enforcement officers, potential witnesses who have good reason to trust no authorities, and plenty of criminals who would rather shoot first and rob later, no questions asked. But even her experience hasn’t prepared her for the likes of Jake Conroy and Nat Quinn, two outlaws with hidden depths and a peculiar moral code.
When Abigail is sent by Alan Pinkerton to investigate the train robbing gang of The Innocents, she literally collides with one of the Robin Hood-type outlaws. Naturally though, it’s not them that rob the train she is travelling on; instead it’s a group of murderous bandits who are impersonating The Innocents to ruin their ~good name. But why would a rival gang pretend to be another?
This is only one question Abi has to answer when two prostitutes are murdered, and the real Innocents are conducting an investigation that parallels hers. When Abi is shot and saved by the duo of Nat and Jake, she proposes an unlikely truce while they join forces to take down the murderers before more lives are lost.
The main characters are very engaging. The dynamic between the two outlaws and the female federal agent is charged with electricity and sexual tension. I was almost surprised that Abi didn’t end up in a love triangle, but probably the two males are too honorable for that to happen. Perhaps Abi will be drawn to Nat; that certainly seemed the direction author C. A. Asbrey was going in the final scenes. However, considering this was only the first book in a series who’s to say for sure.
I also was intrigued enough by this story to actually Google female Pinkertons; yes they existed and one in particular helped foil an assassination plot against Abraham Lincoln. Yeah for early female role models; I don’t remember any mention of this group in my high school or college history courses.
Overall, this was a very interesting historical fiction/detective/romantic western novel, and well worth checking out. I give this book five stars.