The author of City of Lies returns to nineteenth-century New York City to find Christmas in the air, a police detective and a midwife with love in their hearts, and a wealthy widow accused of murder…
Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy and Sarah Brandt aren’t the only ones who’ve recently tied the knot. Family friend Mrs. O’Neill was delighted when her daughter, Una, wed the seemingly wealthy and charming Randolph Pollock. But there’s a problem. Una was found cradling her dead husband’s body. Rendered mute by the ordeal, she cannot explain what happened and now stands charged with murder.
Mrs. O’Neill would like Frank to investigate the case and save Una, yet with Frank and Sarah still on their honeymoon, it’s up to the other members of their newly formed household to do some detective work. But solving the mystery behind Pollock’s death means first discovering the truth about who he really is...
Characters who previously played supporting roles take center stage in Thompson's workmanlike 18th mystery set in gaslight-era New York City (after 2015's Murder on Amsterdam Avenue). With series leads Frank and Sarah Malloy away on their honeymoon, their nursemaid, Maeve Smith, agrees to help Mrs. O'Neill, a friend of Frank's mother. Mrs. O'Neill's married daughter, Una, has been charged with killing her husband, Mr. Pollack, after she was found cradling his bludgeoned corpse in their Harlem home. Of course, Mrs. O'Neill is sure her daughter is innocent. When Maeve goes to the Pollacks' home to see if there are any resources to pay for Una's defense, she's dumbfounded to find thousands of dollars in cash in a hidden safe. Police officer Gino Donatelli, who's sweet on Maeve, provides some welcome assistance. Series fans will enjoy seeing Maeve and Gino in action, though others should be prepared for routine plotting.
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Review of last book
This last book of Victoria Thompson is a winner. I particularly liked having all of the minor characters involved in this latest mystery. I felt as if I'm seeing these individuals in a new way and getting to know and appreciate them. I am looking forward to the next book in the Gaslight Series.