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The Impersonator | [Mary Miley]

The Impersonator

In 1917, Jessie Carr, fourteen years old and sole heiress to her family's vast fortune, disappeared without a trace. Now, years later, her uncle Oliver Beckett thinks he's found her: a young actress in a vaudeville playhouse is a dead ringer for his missing niece. But when Oliver confronts the girl, he learns he's wrong. Orphaned young, Leah's been acting since she was a toddler.
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Publisher's Summary

In 1924, a young vaudeville actress takes on the role of a lifetime when she impersonates a missing heiress in The Impersonator, the 2012 MB/MWA First Novel Competition winner.

In 1917, Jessie Carr, fourteen years old and sole heiress to her family's vast fortune, disappeared without a trace. Now, years later, her uncle Oliver Beckett thinks he's found her: a young actress in a vaudeville playhouse is a dead ringer for his missing niece. But when Oliver confronts the girl, he learns he's wrong. Orphaned young, Leah's been acting since she was a toddler.

Oliver, never one to miss an opportunity, makes a proposition - with his coaching, Leah can impersonate Jessie, claim the fortune, and split it with him. The role of a lifetime, he says. A one-way ticket to Sing Sing, she hears. But when she's let go from her job, Oliver's offer suddenly looks a lot more appealing. Leah agrees to the con but secretly promises herself to try and find out what happened to the real Jessie. There's only one problem: Leah's act won't fool the one person who knows the truth about Jessie's disappearance.

Set against a Prohibition-era backdrop of speakeasies and vaudeville houses, Mary Miley's The Impersonator will delight readers with its elaborate mystery and lively prose.

©2013 Mary Miley Theobald (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (47 )
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3.9 (42 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Anastasia Burke California 10-29-13
    Anastasia Burke California 10-29-13 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    616
    ratings
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    139
    62
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    154
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Premise = good; Execution = not so much"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I am pretty good at getting an audiobook and devouring it. I've had this book for about a month now and am still struggling to get through it. I love the era this book is set in and liked the premise--a hungry, down-on-her-luck vaudevillian gets tapped to play the role of her life--impersonating a likely-deceased heiress. And sharing in the millions, should the ruse work.There are elements of a light mystery, a gothic thriller, and a romance. But for me, I just haven't been able to get to the end, primarily due to the narration. I've listened with satisfaction to one other of Tavia Gilbert's work. But here, I just found her too breathy, too callow-sounding for a slick, street-wise 25-year-old actress, basically a grafter, who's agreed to pretend she's a younger someone else--for real.,


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I probably would have encouraged Ms. Gilbert to change her interpretation.


    What didn’t you like about Tavia Gilbert’s performance?

    I'm starting to sound really mean. It just didn't work for me.


    Do you think The Impersonator needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I won't know the answer to that until I get through it. I think Mary Miley probably wrote a solid book, probably the only reason I've made it as far as I have.


    Any additional comments?

    Narration is in the ear of the listener. This one didn't work for me. But it might for someone else. I recommend that one do a preview listen before using that credit.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Washington, DC United States 09-18-13
    Margaret Washington, DC United States 09-18-13 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    "Smashing period mystery"
    If you could sum up The Impersonator in three words, what would they be?

    Sizzling, intriguing, gutsy


    What other book might you compare The Impersonator to and why?

    Brat Farrar


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When, during prohibition, they are served champagne in tea cups at a fancy restaurant.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it's better to savor all the imagery.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't wait to see what happens in the second book! I love the main character and all her clothes and experiences. I also want to follow up with some more books or information about vaudeville during that period.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Bartonville, TX 09-21-13
    Susan Bartonville, TX 09-21-13 Member Since 2012

    Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.  

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    219
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    101
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    Story
    "Great; Impersonator."

    Author Mary Miley, won the 2012 Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Novel Competition for, "The Impersonator", and I can see why. A fantastic, fast moving story with plenty of adventure and mystery, all based around the wonderful, roaring 20's.

    The strong, female lead character is such a hoot and quite scandalous for that day and age. This is an engaging story about a young Vaudevillian actress that is lead into a villainous plan of deception and impersonation in order to inherit a fortune. Along the way she is met by her own conscience while her feelings and concerns grow for the family that she never had, and is now trying to swindle. During her deception she is faced with continuous threats on her life, bootlegging, murder and a possible love interest. As she delves deeper into the family history, she learns of deception even deeper than her own, and dreams of an entity that just may be closer than she thinks. Confusion surrounds our main character as she goes through a very dangerous period of self discovery. Full and wonderful supporting characters that are all so original and become even more prevalent as the conspiracy unfolds.

    Tavia Gilbert did a fantastic job narrating! She absolutely was the perfect voice for our heroine and all of the other characters were distinguishable, even her male voices were genuine and recognizable. I thoroughly enjoyed this listen and would recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    greyhound New Orleans, LA 10-03-13
    greyhound New Orleans, LA 10-03-13 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Fun mystery set in the 20s"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, the protagonist is personable and interesting. If they like historical mysteries, or books set in the 20's, this one is not to be missed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Josephine Tey's Brat Ferrar is one of my favorite books and the inspiration for this mystery, and at first I was worried this one would fall flat in comparison. But the author pulled it off, and did a wonderful job painting the setting, both physical and historical.


    Have you listened to any of Tavia Gilbert’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but she was excellent at giving different characters their voices. Leah/Jessie in particular is given an appealingly young and spirited sound.


    If you could take any character from The Impersonator out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Leah, but I'd rather see her in one of her vaudeville shows!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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