Friday, May 9, 2014

Murder on Astor Place

Murder on Astor Place is a Victorian-era murder mystery and the first in the Gaslight series by Victoria Thompson.

These books have been out there for quite some time – in fact there are now fifteen books in this series. I’ve wanted to read them for quite a while – and now here I am!!

After midwife Sarah Brandt assists in a standard delivery at a rooming house, she returns to check up on her patient and the baby.

When she does, she finds out that a young girl boarding there was murdered.

A young girl she saw briefly the night of the delivery – a young girl who looked startlingly familiar to her.

Upon meeting Sergeant Frank Malloy, her opinion of the police force and their terrible corruption is not improved – but he requests she search the girl’s room on his behalf, causing her to discover that the girl was from one of the most well-known, affluent families in New York.

And the little sister of an old friend.

Fearful of scandal, the family doesn’t want an investigation.

Sarah though, with Frank’s help, is determined to bring the killer to justice.

Using her past status as a way in to the inner circle of the family, Sarah starts doing a little sleuthing of her own…

Murder on Astor Place is edgy, yet still “cozy”.

Sarah is a smart, independent woman with a layered, stimulating personality and background. And initially I didn’t like Frank, but the author surprises us by letting us get to know him better. I don’t want to give anything away about either of them, as the story sweeps you into the revelations so perfectly. What I will say is that they are both three-dimensional characters.

The murder itself is complex, twisty and was compelling to follow. I guessed a couple things, but overall did not have the whole picture until everything was solved – so I was very happy.

There’s a great vibe to Murder on Astor Place – mature, great historical details, and a large puzzle to do some clue-finding in while appreciating some great main characters.

At the end I knew one thing for sure: I WANT MORE!!!

Definitely a must read for any fans of murder mysteries and/or historical fiction!

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