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Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue

A Gaslight Mystery

By Victoria Thompson

Berkley Prime Crime Hardcover

November 3, 2015

307 pages



In Victoria Thompson’s nineteenth-century New York City mystery we are immediately drawn into a murder. An Irish mother is very concerned for her daughter’s life and has reason to be. Her daughter was found embracing the lifeless body of her husband in their St. Nicholas Avenue home. Unable to speak about what occurred, she is believed to be the main suspect. With Frank Malloy, a former Detective Sergeant on his honeymoon with his bride Sarah, the two are unable to investigate. But that doesn’t mean Nanny Mauve, Gio, the police officer and Mr. and Mrs. Decker are going to leave poor Una locked up with no representation.

They set out to get to the bottom of this mystery that could possibly lead to Una being put to death. Una is sprung out of jail because her mother pays her bail. Upon returning home, reporters are fired up to beat each other to the story. Every step of the way, the self-assigned detectives are trying to figure out if Una is actually a grieving bride. It certainly doesn’t appear to be as her main interest is returning to the life she’s come to know. She doesn’t seem to care about her husband’s death. She’s more concerned about where her mother got the money to pay for her bail.

Day by day, the detectives unveil layer after layer of Una’s husband and his partner’s business deal. They work together to establish motive and opportunity, digging deeper into the facts until they uncover the real killer.

I loved this book. I found the characters dimensional and interesting. The storyline was complex enough to have you wondering what was really going on. I felt transported into the time period. Through description, I felt as if I was sitting at the table with them trying to figure out who truly was responsible. I liked that people weren’t perfect, they were hungry and poor and deaf. That neighbors were nosy and others protected them. Eager to read more books written by Victoria Thompson.

Four and a half safes out of five

Denise Fleischer


January 28, 2016