Hannah Ives (A Quiet Death, 2011, etc.) agrees to wear a wig and a farthingale for three months.
LynxE TV is in a bind. Patriot House, 1774, a reality show they’re about to start filming, has lost its leading lady to illness. Would Hannah, who lives just two blocks away from the William Paca colonial mansion, where the show is shot, agree to act as the other lead’s sister-in-law for the three months of shooting? The perks include no electricity, no indoor plumbing, no contact with anyone but cast members and 24/7 cameras following every move. The sweetener would be a $15,000 stipend and a $75,000 donation to the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Leaving her husband Paul to his own devices, Hannah moves into the Paca house, where she cavorts with people playing a wealthy merchant, his children, a tutor, a dance master, indentured servants, and her lady’s maid. That would be Amy, the young widow of a Navy SEAL who died in a government-sanctioned raid. Or did he? Now romancing the dancing master, Amy is none too pleased when her husband returns from the dead and wants her to collect his life insurance, then run off to Argentina with him using disguises and aliases. The problem of how to deal with the dancing master is settled when Hannah finds him dead in the springhouse where the family provisions are stored. Hannah sneaks messages past the production crew to Paul asking for help, which arrives punctually just as she’s being throttled at the show’s big finale at the State House ball.
The crimes are definitely secondary to the tidbits about colonial Annapolis. Most readers will feel Hannah’s pain at the era’s lack of shampoo and toothpaste.