The devil's in the details when a man is found murdered near Trinity Church in the latest installment of the national bestselling Gaslight Mystery series...
The year of 1899 is drawing to a close. Frank and Sarah Malloy are getting ready to celebrate the New Year at Trinity Church when they notice Mr. Pritchard, a relative of their neighbor's, behaving oddly and annoying the other revelers. Frank tries to convince Pritchard to return home with them, but the man refuses and Frank loses him in the crowd. The next morning Sarah and Frank are horrified to learn Pritchard was murdered sometime in the night, his body left on Trinity Place, the side street near the church.
The police aren't too interested in the murder, and the family are concerned that the circumstances of the death will reflect badly on Pritchard's reputation. To protect the family from scandal, Nelson asks Frank to investigate. Frank and Sarah delve into Pritchard's past and realize there may have been a deadly side to the dawning of the new century.
The strangling death of priggish dairy owner Clarence Pritchard, found on the grounds of Manhattan's Trinity Church on New Year's Day 1900, drives Thompson's discursive 22nd Gaslight mystery (after 2018's Murder on Union Square). Pritchard's bereft daughter, Theda Ellsworth, hires private detective Frank Malloy and his wife, Sarah, to find her father's killer because the police seem uninterested in solving the case. Sarah is eager to help, since the Malloys saw Pritchard behaving strangely on New Year's Eve, wandering around the crowd of celebrants in the street, trying to convince anyone who would listen that the new century actually begins in 1901. Frank discovers that Pritchard's son, Harvey, a compulsive gambler, is deep in debt to a mobster who's using the dairy's milk trucks to transport stolen goods. When Harvey turns up strangled as well, Frank's investigation is back to square one. The plot tends to wander and some loose ends are left dangling, but historical details about social conditions in turn-of-the-20th-century New York elevate an otherwise routine mystery.