Deception's Daughter

The Martha Beale Mysteries

Book 2
Open Road Media
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Philadelphia heiress and amateur sleuth Martha Beale investigates the kidnapping of a society girl on the verge of marriage in Cordelia Frances Biddle’s second Martha Beale mystery

Martha Beale, now the guardian of seven-year-old Ella and five-year-old Cai, has just returned to Philadelphia after summering in the country. The children have to begin school, and Martha looks forward to a reunion with Thomas Kelman, even though she isn’t sure where their relationship stands. But a string of robberies is plaguing the city and the nineteen-year-old daughter of one of Philadelphia’s wealthiest families has vanished. 

With no unified police force, the mayor depends on Thomas Kelman to sort out criminal matters. Martha reluctantly acts as a liaison between Thomas and the missing girl’s parents, but the investigation soon takes a darker turn. As suspicion falls on rich and poor alike, both the guilty and innocent become ensnared in a web of deception and escalating violence.
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About the author

Cordelia Frances Biddle is the author of the Martha Beale Mystery series. A member of one of Philadelphia’s oldest families, she uses many of her actual ancestors as characters in her historical mysteries. She also cowrote the Nero Blanc Crossword Mystery series with her husband, Steve Zettler, with whom she lives in Philadelphia. Her website is
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Additional Information

Open Road Media
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Published on
Jun 17, 2014
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Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Three mysteries set in nineteenth-century Philadelphia: From elegant drawing rooms to tragic slums, an heiress investigates a string of shocking crimes.

The first three instalments in the acclaimed Martha Beale Mystery series are “a feast for those fans who enjoy engaging characters and . . . readers who loved Caleb Carr’s attention to detail in The Alienist and Jacqueline Winspear’s appealing sleuth, Maisie Dobbs” (The Philadelphia Inquirer).
The Conjurer: When Martha’s father disappears from the family’s country estate, she begins an investigation that takes her from the pinnacle of society—abuzz with the arrival of a European conjurer who communicates with the dead—to the city’s poorest neighborhoods where a killer is targeting prostitutes.
“Biddle wonderfully evokes the color and culture of the time.” —Publishers Weekly
Deception’s Daughter: Now the guardian of two young children, Martha returns to Philadelphia to find it torn apart by the disappearance of a young heiress and a succession of unsolved robberies. Martha acts as liaison between the mayor’s aide and the missing girl’s parents, but the investigation takes a darker turn as rich and poor alike face a deadly threat.
“A good read . . . skillfully evokes the elegant society salons and grubby streets of 1842 Philadelphia.” —Philadelphia Magazine
Without Fear: When a mill worker’s corpse is found on an estate outside Philadelphia, Martha joins the investigation. But a friend also needs help escaping her abusive socialite husband. As Martha navigates the growing divide between classes, she comes face-to-face with an evil that touches everyone, including her own adopted daughter.
“The setting is unfolded as vividly as the characters. . . . A fine mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist
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