Thursday, April 21, 2022

ARC Review: Murder on Madison Square by Victoria Thompson

Murder on Madison Square

Victoria Thompson
Series: A Gaslight Mystery (Book 25)
Publication: Berkley (April 26, 2022)

Description: Sarah and Frank Malloy must catch a scheming killer in this latest gripping installment in the USA Today bestselling Gaslight Mysteries.

Former policeman Frank Malloy is frustrated when a woman requests his private detective services to implicate her wealthy husband in adultery, the only legal grounds for divorce in New York state. Although Mrs. Bing seems genuinely distressed about her marriage and desperate to end it, she refuses to tell Frank the reason she absolutely must divorce her husband and admits she has no legal grounds. Frank explains he won't manufacture evidence for her and sends her on her way.

The following week, Frank and Sarah happen to be attending the first ever auto show in Madison Square Garden when they meet the woman's husband, Alfred Bing, who has invested in a company that produces one of the electric motorcars on display. A few days later, the newspapers report that millionaire Alvin Bing has been found dead, pinned beneath one of the wheels of his very own motorcar. But who was driving it? The obvious suspect is Mrs. Bing, but Frank and Sarah find that nothing is as it seems in their puzzling, dangerous search for truth.

My Thoughts: Frank Malloy gets a visit from a potential new client named Mrs. Alvin Bing who wants to divorce her husband. The only grounds for divorce in New York are adultery though which she says is not the problem. But she won't tell Frank what the problem is. 

Then Frank and Sarah attend the first ever auto show in Madison Square Garden and meet Mr. Alvin Bing who is a part-owner of a shop making electric automobiles. Frank is an enthusiast for this new form of transportation and Sarah is intrigued by the ease of operating these electric vehicles. Both are interested in Mr. Bing.

When Mr. Bing is run over by one of his own automobiles, Mrs. Bing hires them to find out who murdered him even though she's a suspect herself because of her desire to divorce him. There are plenty of suspects including the first Mrs. Bing who he had abandoned in the mining camps of Colorado and who has now tracked him down. Other suspects include his daughter Pearl who was taken with him when he abandoned his wife and his stepdaughter Carrie who is the current Mrs. Bing's daughter. 

Will Warren who is Bing's partner in the automobile factory and who is the designer behind the electric vehicle also has reasons to want Bing dead. 

While I had a pretty good idea why the current Mrs. Bing wanted a divorce and what Mr. Bing was like, it took a while, and a few more murders, for me to figure out who the villain was in this story. I enjoyed the historical detail about the early days of the automobile industry. 

Fans of the series won't want to miss this episode. It also worked well for me even though I have only previously read the first book in this series. The characters and setting were interesting and engaging.

Favorite Quote:
"The wheel left a clear mark when it passed over his belly and his chest," Doc mused. "What are those wheels made of anyway?"

"Wood, just like a wagon wheel."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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