Tuesday, October 5, 2021

ARC Review: Betrayal on the Bowery by Kate Belli

Betrayal on the Bowery

Kate Belli
Series: A Gilded Gotham Mystery
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (October 12, 2021)

Description: In Gilded-Age New York, not all that glitters is gold in a chilling murder mystery that careens from the city's poshest sanctuaries to its meanest streets.

New York City, summer 1889. Society girl-turned-investigative journalist Genevieve Stewart and wealthy Daniel McCaffrey have arrived at the docks to see their friends, Rupert and Esmie Milton, off on their honeymoon. But the romantic idyll comes to a screeching halt when a crazed man bursts into their stateroom screaming about demons and drops dead before their eyes.

The dead man is Marcus Dalrymple, who had once asked Esmie to marry him--and inside Marcus's pocket, Daniel finds a medallion that they trace to a Lower East Side bar called Boyle's Suicide Tavern. The medallions are prizes given to anyone who spends the night there without dying.

Clearly, a visit to Boyle's could prove hazardous, but it may offer the only clue to Dalrymple's death. Genevieve and Daniel barely escape the bar with their lives but learn that the crime could have a connection to the recent disappearance of a sugar baron's daughter. Only after another young man plunges to his death from a rooftop bar--also screaming about demons--do the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together.

The clues lead Genevieve and Daniel far from the city's moneyed environs to a reputedly haunted mansion deep in the Bronx. There, they will confront the truth--and the demon at its heart.

My Thoughts: This second Gilded Gotham mystery begins while Society Girl/Reporter Genevieve Stewart and millionaire Daniel McCaffrey are seeing their friends Esmie and Rupert off on their honeymoon to Italy. Things go wrong immediately when a man who had previously proposed to Esmie breaks into their cabin raving about demons and then dies on their rug.

Detective Aloysius Longstreet is the man who draws the case. All four of them have run into him before in the first book. He has a tendency to rush to judgment and not look at other options. In this case, he is sure the Rupert must have something to do with this death. Stuck in New York, the four of them must find out what happened because they can be sure that Longstreet isn't looking. 

Genevieve and Daniel's search takes them into the Bowery and a saloon where gentlemen earn a coin if they manage to survive the night. Such a coin was found in the victim's pocket. It is also a saloon where young women often go to commit suicide which fits in with the second investigation Genevieve and Daniel are conducting.

Frank Westwood has invited them to his Fifth Avenue mansion and asked them to try to locate his eighteen-year-old daughter Nora who has supposedly run off with her unsuitable beau. Looking for Nora has quite a bit of overlap with their first investigation and the overlap grows when a second young man from high society also kills himself in their presence after raving about demons.

Besides the visit to the Bowery which almost results in their deaths, Genevieve and Daniel also find themselves searching an old, abandoned mansion and its secret tunnels and confronting on old enemy of Daniel's who was also a villain in the first mystery.

The story was fast-paced and intriguing. It was filled with danger for both Genevieve and Daniel. I liked the relationship between Genevieve and Daniel who were rebuilding their friendship after Genevieve's refusal of his proposal in the first book although I didn't really understand why she refused. Admittedly, society's expectations for married women would seem stifling to a woman who craved independence and adventure, but Genevieve didn't seem like someone who would let society's expectations rule her life. 

The ending leads right into another mystery and I can't wait to read it. 

Favorite Quote:
How could she tell him? How could she tell Luther that she was deathly afraid, terrified nowhere was safe?

That she'd seen something she wasn't supposed to see. That three people, at least, who had also seen it were now dead.

And she strongly suspected she and Daniel were next. 
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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