Gaslight Mystery #2

By Victoria Thompson
Berkley – March 2000
ISBN: 0425173615   - Paperback
Mystery / Historical / Deaf Character: Malloy's son is deaf

Reviewed by: Brenda Weeaks, MyShelf.Com
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Murder on St. Mark’s Place is the second mystery in the Gaslight Mystery Series. I have read and enjoyed both, but if I were to be honest, I would have to say this one reaches deep into the heart of the series’ characters. Having read the first mystery where Sara the midwife and Malloy the detective are introduced, I am familiar with them and their families. I was already impressed and pleased with the new series, but in this mystery, I am doubly pleased by how well Ms. Thompson pulls the best and worst out of the main characters. This isn’t an easy read, nor is it a cozy. The author delves deep in to the turn-of-the-century way of live, and it’s not all pretty. There are some light moments, and the main character, Sara, does her best to lift others up during moments of hopelessness, but the better part of the story is pretty serious. The twist and turns used to keep readers guessing do just that, but what impressed me the most was the storyline as a whole.

When Sarah heads over to St. Mark’s Place in New York, she is expecting to deliver another baby into Little Germany. She arrives to find a policeman and neighbors gathering at Agnes Otto’s door, but not for the delivery of a baby. Instead it’s bad news. Agnes’ sixteen-year-old sister, recently brought over from Germany, was found beaten to death. Sarah tells Agnes that it may take a reward to get the police to work on the case. Unable to pay, Agnes gives up all hope of finding her sister’s killer and overcoming the shame it has brought. It seems Gerda found some new friends at her job that introduced her to a dance hall and a way to get things that they as young women in life could not afford. Gerda becomes what is known as a Charity Girl. Sarah, being the kind person that she is, decides to take the case to Malloy in hopes of getting him to join her in investigating it together as they had the last case. Back for a return engagement with Sara and Malloy are Malloy’s mother and his son, Sara’s neighbor Mrs. Elsworth, and Sara’s parents. The story line with Malloy and his handicap son is very touching; I hope the storyline grows as the series does.

The author gets into the mystery right away, and although the main characters lives are ongoing in the series, they don’t interfere or take away from the mystery. So, if you like historical mysteries, especially series mysteries, this one is well worth looking into. It’s a stirring mystery with characters that will touch you.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Murder on Astor Place #1 [review]
Murder on St Mark's Place #2 [review]
Murder on Lenox Hill #7 [review]
Murder on Sisters' Row #13 [review]
Murder on Fifth Avenue #14 [review]
Murder in Chelsea #15 [review]
Murder in Murray Hill #16 [review]
Murder on Amsterdam Avenue #17 [review]
Murder in the Bowery #20 [review]



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