THE DEVIL’S DIME by Bailey Bristol


Prairie Muse; November 3, 2011


Investigative reporter Jess Pepper made it his life’s mission to use his column to expose those who lived on the devil’s dime. With his words he could defend the innocent and bring down corruption, one evildoer at a time. But when his column forces an innocent Samaritan into the public eye, and puts a target on his back, Jess must discover not only who wants this good man dead, but how to save the man’s daughter, who has captured his heart. Violinist Adelaide Magee came to New York City with little more than a violin tucked beneath her chin and enough determination to launch her dream. Her women’s orchestra, the Avalon Strings, was fast becoming the city’s hot new item, until reporter Jess Pepper put the one man she loved in deadly peril. Can Addie trust Jess to save this good man? Or will she have to do it herself? Corruption and greed set the scene for this vividly drawn tale of danger, heartbreak, unexpected love and family found in 1890’s New York.

RHFL Classification:

Romantic Historical Mystery

Heat Rating:  1


REVIEW BY :  Helena

New York City, the late 1890’s…  Jess Pepper has recently relocated to the city to write a column for the New York Times.  Pepper, an investigative journalist, stumbles onto a police cold case from twenty years earlier, where a Samaritan saves young ladies as they are attacked by an unknown assailant.

Pepper, while out to dinner, meets Addie Maggee, a beautiful woman who is a bank teller by day, and a thoroughly modern woman and musician by night.

Addie, whose mother moved her to Chicago when she was a child, has returned to the city in hopes of meeting up with her father.  Just when she begins to learn the truth about her father being absent from her life for all of those years, he is suddenly arrested for being the Samaritan attacker.

Now Jess and Addie must dive into a conspiracy twenty years old in hopes of saving her father from being convicted for a crime they don’t think he committed.

You may have noticed that my summary is a little vague. I assure you it is by no means a reflection of The Devil’s Dime.  This is the kind of story where the enjoyment is in the details, in the twists and turns that develop as our hero and heroine dive into the seedy underworld of corruption that was New York City at the time.  Giving you more details would surely take the element of surprise out of reading The Devil’s Dime.

This is a fantastic mystery with a touch of realistic romance thrown in.  I enjoy that Jess and Addie’s relationship developed at a normal, realistic pace.  It’s easy to believe in them, and to care about each of them.

The Devil’s Dime is a quick and easy, yet entertaining and fun read. While it is the first in what is slated to be a trilogy, the mystery is wrapped up by the end of the book.  Ms. Bristol doesn’t need to leave a cliffhanger to get you to pick up her second novel when it’s released.  Her writing style and storytelling is more than enough!

At the time this review was written, the kindle version of The Devil’s Dime is available for $.99 on 

The nook version is available for $2.99 on


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