Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Review of A Wicked Truth by Kelli Keith

Kelli Keith

November 12, 2017

Book Title:
A Wicked Truth (Book 3 in the Cady Delafield Series)

Book Author:
Joyce Proell

Date of Publication:
September 7, 2015

Number of Pages:

Main Characters:
Arcadia “Cady” Delafield is the administrator for the Women’s Prepartory School. With the wedding date set, one nefarious act after another threatens her happily ever after.

Doyle Flanagan is a wealthy businessman continuously cloaked in controversy. He was shunned from high society when his wife’s, Millicent, suicide was investigated as a murder—with him as the prime suspect. After his name was cleared, life seemed to be getting back to normal, when he is drawn into a new mystery.

Other Important Characters:
Sophie Newberg was the best friend of Doyle’s deceased wife. She comes to him seeking help in locating her missing sister.

Inspector Jack Dinsmore is the lead detective on the kidnapping and homicide cases.

Faith and Hope Delafield are twins and sisters to Cady.

Victor Masters is the voice coach to Sarah and Faith. He is also the unwitting liaison for the kidnappings.

Hollis Grover is a greasy conman climbing the societal ladder along with his brother, John (Grover) Gilbert. Gilbert is the long-time foe of Doyle, seeking revenge any chance he can.

Chicago, Illinois; May, 1881.

Young girls are being kidnapped into a brothel to service Chicago’s elite. When someone from Doyle Flanagan’s past requests his assistance, he becomes a reluctant detective into the seedy underworld of human trafficking, brothels, and cover-ups. When Cady’s sister becomes a victim, time is running out to solve the crime. Is it revenge against Doyle or happenstance?

Key Points/Conflict:
It should be noted that I have read the other two books in the series and will attempt a standalone review of A Wicked Truth.

Book 3 of the Cady Delafield series begins by setting a scene within a brothel. A young girl awakes, groggy and disoriented, only to remember she has been sexually assaulted and is now being held captive. A portly man (Police Chief, Vernon Lester) enters the room to repeat the previous night’s escapades, which robbed the girl of her innocence. Armed with only a weapon of opportunity, she stabs the man. The girl’s captor enters and throws her, causing her death. The captor disposes of Vernon and Sarah, by the river.

Doyle Flanagan is visited by Sophie Newberg, a friend from his past. She is seeking his assistance in locating her missing sister, Sarah. Rumors were flying that Sarah had run away with Patrick Driscoll, to elope. Due to Sophie and Sarah’s elite status in society, going to the police was out of the question. Doyle agreed to help because his sister is roughly the same age and he would hope someone would help if it were she that was missing. All the while, Doyle and Cady are planning a wedding for June 18th, much to the dismay of Cady’s grandmother.

We are introduced to Hollis and John (Grover) Gilbert, two half-brothers who have conned their way into a societal position. They began with nothing, scheming and lying their way to the top. Hollis is the mastermind behind all the dirty dealings, while John is the one who arranges for the kidnappings. We learn they are responsible for Sarah’s death and are on the lookout for a new virgin to service their clients. While John seems hesitant and quick to blame Hollis’s temper for the snafu, he goes along with the plan, especially because it may exact revenge on his main rival, Doyle Flanagan.

Detective Jack Dinsmore is the lead homicide officer on the cases. He enlists Doyle’s help to question Sarah’s family and on the cases in general. Sarah’s family decided to keep her death under wraps and tell people she eloped to keep suspicion and gossip at bay.

When a little girl (Molly) is kidnapped from the orphanage, John is suspected and thrown in jail. Upon his release, Cady’s sister Hope is also kidnapped. These events coincide with Cady’s grandmother having a horrible accident that results in a broken hip and a lengthy hospital stay.

With time running out to save Molly and Grace, Cady and Doyle must break societal rules to find them.


The prologue immediately draws the reader into the heart of the story, which begins May 12, 1881. Each chapter is subsequently labeled with a day of the week so the reader is able to keep close tabs on the timeline of the story. (Chapter 16, about 50% through the story, is one day short of two weeks from Sarah’s murder.) Although, this reader lost track of how many days had past!

As part of the series, this novel was the best as a standalone. The continuity was on point and the characters were well-developed. I found myself breathlessly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

When Cady’s grandmother had an accident, it felt misplaced and more like filler. Four to five chapters later, it became clear it was being used as a way to repair the damaged relationship between Doyle and Mrs. Prentice—which was necessary for a successful marriage and family life for Cady.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is, by far, my favorite out of the series. It truly stands on its own and would not require any additional reading.

A Wicked Truth is available on Amazon, Kobo, at Barnes & Noble, and at the Champagne Bookstore.

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