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. This is the last until April.
Frank and Sarah Malloy attend a dinner party at Mrs. Ellsworth’s home to celebrate the recent marriage of her son. His in-laws were there and Clarence Pritchard, Nelson’s father-in-law, behaved rather strangely, leaving in agitation after no one shared his point of view about the upcoming year 1900 being the true new century instead of 1901. When Frank and Sarah run into him on New Year’s Eve outside Trinity Church, he’s forcing his argument on everyone he sees and they’re worried for him. The next day, they learn that he was found murdered not far from the church. Nelson’s wife, Theda, asks Frank to investigate once he determines the police have been paid off to drop the case.
This was an interesting case as the Pritchards were quite the dysfunctional family and the investigation led to some surprising directions. But what captured my heart was the secondary plot involving Black Jack Robinson, our favorite local bad boy. I won’t spoil the story but it’s an unexpected delight. I also learned about the early days of dairy farms, especially the challenges faced by serving a major city and the introduction of pasteurization. Motor cars are also a feature here, too.
It’s a bittersweet moment as our group has now caught up with the most recently released book in the series. For the last 22 months, we’ve enjoyed visiting these characters each month and delighting in the discussion. While it’s not the end as there’s another scheduled for release in April, there’s a vacuum that can’t be filled in the next months. These characters have endeared themselves to us and it’s hard letting go. I really liked this story and it was a wonderful one to end at a pause.
- Release Date: April 30, 2019
- Series: Gaslight Mystery #22
- Page Numbers: 332
- Publisher: Berkley