Thursday, August 6, 2015

Book Review: Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson

Murder on Astor Place
Author: Victoria Thompson
Series: Gaslight Mysteries (Book 1)
Publication: Berkley; Reprint edition (September 1, 2009)

Description: After a routine delivery, midwife Sarah Brandt visits her patient in a rooming house and discovers that another boarder, a young girl, has been killed. At the request of Sergeant Frank Malloy, she searches the girl's room, and discovers that the victim is from one of the most prominent families in New York and the sister of an old friend. The powerful family, fearful of scandal, refuses to permit an investigation. But with Malloy's help, Sarah begins a dangerous quest to bring the killer to justice before death claims another victim.

My Thoughts: Set firmly in New York City 1895, this mystery tells the story of the murder of a young socialite who has run away from home. Sarah Brandt, a socialite herself who left her family after her husband's death, is working as a midwife. While attending to the routine birth of a boarding house owner's sixth child, she sees a young woman who reminds her of one of her childhood acquaintances. When she visits the mother and baby the next day, she learns that the young girl was murdered. And she meets Police Detective Frank Malloy who is investigating the crime.

Malloy is a typical cop of the time period. He's saving money so that he can pay the bribe needed to make Captain. That means he focuses more on crimes when someone is willing to pay him something extra to solve it. Off hand it doesn't look like the death of a pregnant runaway is going to add to his bribe fund.

Things get even more muddled when Sarah visits the young girl's family to find that they are more concerned about possible scandal than they are in solving the murder of the girl. Sarah investigates among society where she has an in and shares her findings with Malloy who tries to discourage her interest. When Malloy is warned off the investigation by his superiors, Sarah still continues to try to unravel the case.

I will admit that I had a pretty good idea who the father of the baby was pretty early on but the author still managed to surprise me along the way. I liked the budding relationship between Sarah and Malloy. I'm glad there are more books in this series to read.

Favorite Quote:
For a second she was sure he was going to insist once again that he didn't need her help, but apparently, he thought better of it. "I guess if you're set on getting yourself killed, I shouldn't complain. This time the killer might leave some clues that would make him easier to find."

Sarah refused to rise to his bait. "Rest assured that I'm not quite that anxious to help," she assured him sweetly.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. A bribe fund, that's different.I like the sound of the story and Sarah seems like she's strong and smart.


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