I’m reading this series in one of my Goodreads groups and it’s one of our favorites. It’s set in turn-of-the-century (19th) New York City featuring Sarah and Frank Malloy who often find themselves investigating murders together.
Frank finally gets a meaty case for his new detective agency. It involves the vicious murder of a young teacher at a college for women where she taught French. As he begins the investigation, Frank and Gino Donatello enter territory best handled by a female so Sarah gets put to great use.
The most interesting aspects of this story involve the historical elements, specifically the New Woman label given young women who opt for a college education and a career beyond. The murder victim, Abigail Northrup, surprised her family by wanting to teach following graduation, eschewing the marriage route as apparently the choice was one path or the other as working while married wasn’t an option. There were other beliefs about female sexuality, working women and pay philosophies that surprised me despite this being the turn of the century. It was enlightening.
The case was interesting but the investigation was tedious with a lot of repetition. There were a host of suspects but it was only challenging for a short time. I’m hoping that what was disclosed at the end of the story stimulates the direction going forward. I liked the story but it falls short of those that preceded it.
- Release Date: May 13, 2016
- Series: Gaslight Mystery #19
- Page Numbers: 300
- Publisher: Berkley
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