Mill work, murder and romance combine to make "The Daring Ladies of Lowell" a historical page-turner in Kate Alcott's latest novel.

"THE DARING LADIES OF LOWELL," by Kate Alcott, Doubleday, $25.95, 283 pages (f) "The Daring Ladies of Lowell" introduces readers to the classy, strong-willed Alice Barrow, who has made the bold move of giving up life on the farm for the call of the new cotton mills. When her best friend is found murdered, Alice realizes that life as a mill girl isn't all she assumed. As Alice fights to bring justice to the murderer, she finds herself taking a stand in other areas as well, bringing her to the attention of the wealthy mill owner and his son. Kate Alcott's writing shines through the lovable character of Alice and her never-ending quest to stay true to herself. Not only is this historical novel highly readable and entertaining, but learning about New England mill life in the 1830s is surprisingly enjoyable. Alcott's novel will likely find itself on many lists of 2014 favorites. "The Daring Ladies of Lowell" contains clean language but deals with the subjects of abortion and murder. The romance scenes are clean and don't stray beyond kissing. The murder and other occasional violence is generally described. Alcott is the pseudonym of journalist Patricia O'Brien, and her novel "The Dressmaker" was on The New York Times best-seller fiction lists for hardbacks and paperbacks. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband.%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//