Murder in the Bowery
The latest Gaslight Mystery from the bestselling author of Murder in Morningside Heights finds Sarah Brandt and Frank Malloy searching for a connection between a murdered newsie and a high society woman with dangerous habits.
Frank Malloy’s latest client is the well-dressed Will Bert. He’s searching for his brother, a newsboy named Freddie, so he can share his new financial good fortune. Frank makes quick work of the case and locates Freddie, but a happy reunion between brothers is not in the cards.
When Will’s name is mentioned, Freddie runs off—only to be found dead a short time later. Suspicious, Frank tracks down Will who spins a tale of lust and deceit involving a young society woman, Estelle Longacre, also recently deceased. Frank can’t be sure if Estelle’s risky behavior and the company she kept was to blame, or if her own ruthless family had a hand in her death.
Frank will need Sarah’s help to unearth the dark secrets of the wealthy Longacres and to discover if there is a connection between Estelle and Freddie’s death. Together they must navigate a perilous underground web of treachery to find the truth.
Edgar-finalist Thompson's entertaining 20th mystery set in gaslight-era New York City (after 2016's Murder in Morningside Heights) finds private detective Frank Malloy looking for a missing newsie, one of the street urchins that hawk papers. Known on the street as Freddie Two Toes, the 13-year-old boy disappeared during the famous newsboys' strike against Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst in the summer of 1899. In his search for Freddie, Frank comes across the body of socialite Estelle Longacre, who apparently had a taste for the seedier side of New York. Unfortunately, Freddie's body turns up, too, and Frank, along with his wife, Sarah Brandt, and other allies follow a trail that leads to Bowery crime boss Black Jack Robinson. Along the way, they uncover a cesspool of greed, selfishness, and incest within one of the city's wealthiest families. Though the more astute will figure out the guilty party early on, the process of elimination, with missteps here and there, will keep readers turning the pages.