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 and Sarah Malloy are ready to move forward with the adoption of Catherine, the young orphan she’s been raising for almost two years and who views both of them as parents. They run into a major legal obstacle requiring them to first get approval from actor Parnell Vaughn, the man who was married to Catherine’s mother at the time of her birth, even though he isn’t her biological father. When they approach Vaughn, his conniving fiancée asks for money, even though he’s more than willing to give them rights without conditions. Frank agrees and returns with the legal documents, only to find the man beaten to death. Unfortunately for Frank, he becomes the prime suspect for the murder.
The backdrop is the theatrical world and solving the murder is complicated by having to investigate and interview people whose livelihoods are based on how well they can convince you they’re someone else! The list of suspects are all part of this world and it’s hard to tell when they’re lying or telling the truth. I certainly couldn’t. But, the real substance of the story is more the developing sense of family created by Sarah and Frank. They’re surrounded by extended family and friends, deepening relationships through the new investigation agency and women’s clinic. There are moments of humor and tenderness that bring something different to this series.
I liked this story, though the discussions around the many theories were tiresome at times. But, the family and friendship themes, infused with lots of humor, made this story special. Frank has a few precious moments that just warmed my heart. Combined, they make this series a wonderful place to return.
- Release Date: May 1, 2018
- Series: Gaslight Mystery #21
- Page Numbers: 332
- Publisher: Berkley