The old adage says never to judge a book by a cover, but, for better or worse, a cover is frequently what gets our attention. I got my copy of Words Spoken True by Ann Gabhart at the library where it had the cover on top, featuring a journal, quill and flowers. I've read other books by this author and enjoyed them so it did have an advantage in that regard, but the cover intrigued me as well and invited me to open the book.
When I did a search tonight on Amazon prior to posting this review I discovered the cover below which features an image of the heroine Adriane Darcy. Something about this cover just shouts "cheap novel" to me and I probably wouldn't have taken the time to read it. That would have been unfortunate as I really enjoyed the time I spent with this book.
Words Spoken True is a historical romantic mystery which takes place in Louisville, Kentucky in 1855, a time of great political turmoil. There were several newspapers in Louisville at that time, many of which had a political agenda. The American party, also known as the Know-Nothings, was hard at work trying to limit opportunities for the new immigrants coming to America, especially those who were Catholic.
Adriane Darcy is a young woman who grew up working on one such newspaper under the father's direction. At her father's wishes, she is engaged to Stanley Jimsom, the son of an influential Know-Nothing politician running for office. Adriane tries to make herself obey her much-loved father even though the thought of a life with Stanley makes her ill. In addition, she's recently met Blake Garrett, the editor of a rival paper whom she can't seem to avoid or get off of her mind.
In addition to the electoral turmoil, there is a serial killer on the loose, preying upon young Irish women. While all are concerned, Blake is determined to discover who did it.
This is a fast-moving novel with several interesting story lines. It depicts a strong career-minded woman struggling with her place in society, offers a lesson in political and social history of the era, as well as provides both an engaging love story and mystery. Well-done!