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Murder in Chelsea (Gaslight Mysteries)by Victoria Thompson
Synopses & Reviews
1845. New York City forms its first police force. The great potato famine hits Ireland. These two seemingly disparate events will change New York City. Forever.
Timothy Wilde tends bar near the Exchange, saving every dollar and shilling in hopes of winning the girl of his dreams. But when his dreams literally incinerate in a fire devastating downtown Manhattan, he finds himself disfigured, unemployed, and homeless. His older brother obtains Timothy a job in the newly minted NYPD, but he is highly skeptical of this untested andquot;police force.andquot; And he is less than thrilled that his new beat is the notoriously down-and-out Sixth Ward-at the border of Five Points, the world's most notorious slum.
One night while returning from his rounds, heartsick and defeated, Timothy runs into a little slip of a girlandmdash;a girl not more than ten years oldandmdash;dashing through the dark in her nightshift . . . covered head to toe in blood.
Timothy knows he should take the girl to the House of Refuge, yet he can't bring himself to abandon her. Instead, he takes her home, where she spins wild stories, claiming that dozens of bodies are buried in the forest north of 23rd Street. Timothy isn't sure whether to believe her or not, but, as the truth unfolds, the reluctant copper star finds himself engaged in a battle for justice that nearly costs him his brother, his romantic obsession, and his own life.
"Before a resolution that will strike many as too pat, Thompson injects both suspense and pathos into her 15th mystery set in late-19th-century New York City (after 2012's Murder on Fifth Avenue). Widowed midwife Sarah Brandt has cause for alarm. Anne Murphy claims to be the nursemaid of Catherine, the almost-five-year-old girl whom Brandt would like to adopt but can't because a single woman can't adopt. Murphy says that Catherine had a wealthy father and was left at Brandt's mission to save the child's life from a half-sibling who wanted to safeguard his inheritance. But before these allegations can be verified, someone stabs Murphy to death. The murder suggests that the danger to Catherine is real, and Brandt again turns to her longtime love interest, NYPD Sgt. Frank Malloy, for help. A sappy ending undercuts a persuasive look at the divide between the city's haves and have-nots at the time. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Sarah Brandt is shattered when she learns that a woman has inquired at the Daughters of Hope Mission for Catherine, the abandoned child she has taken as her daughter. The woman claims she was Catherines nursemaid, and is now acting on behalf of the girls mother to reunite them.
Unwilling to simply hand Catherine over to a complete stranger, Sarah asks Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy to investigate. But when he goes to interview the woman at her tenement in Chelsea, he finds she has been murdered.
Though her death leaves Sarahs claim to Catherine unchallenged, her sense of justice compels her to work with Malloy to find the killer. Their search takes them from the marble mansions of the Upper West Side to the dilapidated dwellings of lower Manhattan and into the deepest and darkest secrets of Catherines past.
And while Malloy helps Sarah determine the fate of the child she loves, he faces a challenge of his own—and his decision could change both their lives forever
From the tenements to the town houses of nineteenth-century New York, midwife Sarah Brandt and Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy never waiver in their mission to aid the innocent and apprehend the guilty. Now, the latest novel in the Edgar®-nominated series finds Sarah and Malloy investigating the murder of a Knickerbocker club member who was made to pay his dues…
Sarah Brandt’s family is one of the oldest in New York City, and her father, Felix Decker, takes his position in society very seriously. He still refuses to resign himself to his daughter being involved with an Irish Catholic police detective. But when a member of his private club—the very exclusive Knickerbocker—is murdered, Decker forms an uneasy alliance with Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy to solve the crime as discreetly as possible.
Malloy soon discovers that despite his social standing, the deceased—Chilton Devries—was no gentleman. In fact, he’s left behind his own unofficial club of sorts, populated by everyone who despised him. As he and Sarah sort through the suspects, it becomes clear to her that her father is evaluating more than the detective’s investigative abilities, and that, on a personal level, there is much more at stake for Malloy than discovering who revoked Devries’ membership—permanently.
About the Author
Victoria Thompson is the Edgar® Awardnominated author of the Gaslight Mysteries (Murder on Fifth Avenue, Murder on Sisters' Row, Murder on Lexington Avenue) and numerous historical novels. She lives in Western Pennsylvania with her family.
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