Tuesday, September 29, 2020

ARC Review: Deception by Gaslight by Kate Belli

Deception by Gaslight

Author: Kate Belli
Series: A Gilded Gotham Mystery (Book 1)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (October 6, 2020)

Description: Glittering Gilded-Age New York holds its lavish charms--and a litany of deadly sins--as intrepid reporter Genevieve Stewart uncovers a trail of corruption and murder.

As a chill sets in on New York City in the winter of 1888, a jewel thief dubbed the "Robin Hood of the Lower East Side" has been stealing from the city's wealthiest and giving to the poor. Genevieve Stewart--a young woman whose family is part of Mrs. Astor's famed 400 but who has forged a life of her own as a reporter--decides to chase the story, but gets more than she bargained for: a murder victim sprawled in a dark alley in the dangerous Five Points neighborhood.

A handsome neighborhood tough comes to her rescue--but when she encounters the same man at a glamorous ball a few nights later, she realizes he's society scion Daniel McCaffrey. Could this be her Robin Hood? When two more murders rock the Knickerbocker world, it becomes apparent that something much more sinister is afoot than a few stolen diamond necklaces. Genevieve is determined to prove that Daniel is Robin Hood--but she's loath to believe he is a killer as well. From the glittering lights of Fifth Avenue to the sordid back alleys of Five Points, the truth is just one murder away.

My Thoughts: The story begins with reporter Genevieve Stewart following some men into a rough part of town in her quest to discover who the mysterious "Robin Hood" is. The thief has been preying on members of New York's 400 and sending letters telling about the victim's misdeeds to justify the thefts. Finding out who the mysterious thief is would do wonders for her fledgling career as a journalist. She needs something after being dumped almost at the altar by her fiance.

But wandering around on the Lower East Side isn't particularly safe and she is rescued by a handsome stranger. Imagine her surprise when she sees the same stranger at the next night's social gathering and discovers the he is the mysterious Daniel McCaffrey who was the heir of Jacob Van Joost even though no one knows the relationship between them. 

The two are working at cross purposes for quite a while in the story. Genevieve wonders if he could be Robin Hood and he has to overcome his prejudice about reporters who have made up all sorts of stories about him in order to sell papers. But, once the thefts become murders, the two begin working together to find out what is happening.

I enjoyed the main characters in this one. They are both intriguing people. The side characters also have lots of possibilities as stars of further books in this series. I also liked the setting. New York City and the changing social landscape when the old rich are being supplanted by the new rich and the political landscape of the city added rich detail to the story and were key features in the plot.

Fans of historical mysteries will enjoy this story and its interesting characters.

Favorite Quote:
Why must women fit into preordained molds? Why couldn't she be accepted and celebrated as a journalist rather than only as a fiancee or a wife?

I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I've read something similar before and I am puzzling over it, as it is a similar story but not by this author!


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