When a murder hits close to home, Frank finds himself in an unusual position--the prime suspect in the latest installment of the national bestselling Gaslight Mystery series...
Sarah and Frank Malloy are enjoying married life and looking to make their family official by adopting Catherine, the child whom Sarah rescued and has been raising as her daughter. The process seems fairly straightforward, but at the last minute, the newlyweds discover that Parnell Vaughn, Catherine's legal father, has a claim on the child, and his grasping fiancée is demanding a financial settlement to relinquish parental rights. Even though exchanging money for a child is illegal, Frank and Sarah's love for Catherine drives them to comply.
When Frank returns with the money and finds Vaughn beaten to death, all evidence points to Frank as the culprit. A not-quite-famous actor with modest means, Vaughn seems an unlikely candidate for murder, particularly such a violent crime of passion. But Frank soon uncovers real-life intrigue as dramatic as any that appears on stage.
Sarah and Frank enlist those closest to them to help hunt for Vaughn's killer as Frank's own life--and the future of their family--hang in the balance.
At the start of Edgar-finalist Thompson's solid 21st mystery set in gaslight-era New York City (after 2017's Murder in the Bowery), Sarah Brandt and her PI husband, Frank Malloy, are finalizing the adoption of Catherine, a child Sarah rescued and has been raising as her own. All the couple have to do is get Catherine's legal guardian actor Parnell Vaughn, who doesn't want anything to do with the girl to relinquish his parental rights. When Vaughn's fianc e insists on a financial settlement, Sarah and Frank agree. But when Frank brings the money to Vaughn, Frank finds him beaten to death and becomes the prime suspect in his murder. Sarah and Frank must go behind the scenes of the cutthroat theater district to uncover the real killer. Meanwhile, Sarah is busy with the opening of a maternity clinic on the Lower East Side that will provide free services for women in need. Thompson's command of period detail and her insight into such issues as the era's blatant sexism put her in the forefront of historical mystery writers.