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.
It's 1900 in Thompson's solid 25th Gaslight mystery (after 2021's Murder on Wall Street), and Ethel Bing, who wants to divorce her husband, Alvin, part-owner of an electric automobile manufacturer, asks New York City private eye Frank Malloy to get evidence of her spouse's infidelity by luring him into a compromising situation to be photographed. Frank declines the unethical request. A few days later, Frank runs into Ethel and Alvin at an auto show at Madison Square Garden, where Alvin touts one of his vehicles as easy for anyone to drive. That observation takes on added relevance after someone fatally runs him over, making Ethel the prime suspect. She again turns to the detective for help, and this time Frank agrees. He and his wife and investigative partner, Sarah, have several possibilities to consider, including possible murder motives of Alvin's business partner and Alvin's first wife, previously thought dead. Thompson does a good job showing how the automobile had begun to change people's lives in the service of a nicely surprising plot. This is one of the series' better entries. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary.