Sunday, May 25, 2008

Murder on Marble Row

Murder on Marble Row (A Gaslight Mystery) by Victoria Thompson ~~ Thompson transports readers back to New York City at the turn of the century in her sixth Gaslight Mystery. Wealthy industrialist Gregory Van Dyke dies when a bomb explodes in his office. When Detective Sergeant Frank Molloy arrives at Van Dyke's home to investigate, he finds Sarah Brandt, a widowed midwife from an upper-class family, already there. The two have worked together on other cases, but Molloy swore that he would never see her again because he knows that the rigid social hierarchy prevents the expression of his true feelings. Sarah, on the other hand, is delighted to be involved in another investigation and puts her social connections to good use. As Molloy learns, there are plenty of dark secrets and as many suspects on Fifth Avenue as there are in the tenements.

Once again Sarah and Frank are thrown together to solve a murder. This time Frank is investigating by special request of Teddy (Roosevelt that is). When a wealthy friend of the family is murdered, it's up to Sarah and Frank to figure out who is responsible. Is it the prodigal son who left the home? The daughter who is secretly pregnant? The younger wife who cheated? Or none of the above? Ms. Thompson does a terrific job of making you feel like you're right there in 19th Century New York with Sarah, Frank and the rest of the regular characters. I've always been a huge fan of this series and I think this is the best one to date. A+

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