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An Empire State Novel Trilogy – Elizabeth Camden

Title: Book 1 – A Dangerous Legacy

Author: Elizabeth Camden

Genre: Historical Fiction

Plot: Lucy Drake and her brother, Nick, have been fighting their family’s legal battle against their Uncle Thomas’s family for over 40 years. Lucy and Nick believe their grandfather was swindled out his inheritance of being part of inventing a new kind of valve that would allow indoor plumbing to flow higher in buildings. But their uncle is filthy rich and can afford better lawyers, and plays dirty. Lucy works at a telegraph office, Associated Press, and listens in on her uncle’s telegrams. When she overhears part of a plot against the president and his plan for the Panama Canal, Lucy knows she must do something. Colin Beckwith works with a rival telegraph office, Ruegers, and is in charge of the cables that transmits both companies telegraphs. No one is taking Lucy seriously, so Colin offers to help. But that means getting close to Lucy’s uncle. They use Colin’s homing pigeons to communicate. But Lucy finds more telegrams that involve her uncle and cousin. Now Colin’s life is threatened, too. Lucy rushes to find Colin at her uncle’s house. But will it be in time? Will Lucy find enough evidence to overturn the court cases and convict her uncle and cousin? Or will that put Lucy and her brother in deeper trouble?

Rating: 3.7 – a good historical fiction with some mystery

Opinion: This was a very good historical fiction book. I enjoyed learning about how telegraphs worked and the history surrounding them. I didn’t know that there were two routes for the what today is the Panama Canal. While I enjoyed this book, I felt like it was a little over dramatic for me. I understand that there was supposed to be an air of mystery, but it felt a little overdone. While overall this was a great book, this wasn’t my favorite book by this author. Maybe because the characters were a little too stubborn for me, or too confrontational. While the characters want what’s best for each other, they don’t always stop to listen completely. Though by the end, that changes. I’m also glad that the characters start letting go of their pasts to move on with their futures. The ending of the book wraps everything up nicely, but leaves enough room for the next two books. I’m not sure I want to read them right away, but I’ll read them eventually.

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