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Murder in the North End
A Gilded Age Mystery #5

by P. B. Ryan

      P. B. Ryan does it again. That is, she takes Nell forward another year and has her solving another murder that is taunting the whole of Boston. This time a young man named Colin Cook, a very swarthy young cop in Boston, has become embroiled in the scandalous affairs of a corrupt police department Detective Bureau. Nell Sweeney knows the young detective and believes him to be innocent of any corrupt dealings, and especially innocent of this killing of a petty criminal. Her belief in his innocence is not seen in all places as becoming a lady of some stature, and she has to push her way into some seedy, less than wonderful areas of the North End of Boston, all the while withstanding the taunts and hardships of being a woman who is trying to protect herself and her friend from unworthy allegations and assaults. Nell knows the hardships she will face when she starts this investigation, as the people she will be getting her information from are the very immigrants she lived among in her earlier life and has risen from.

Dr. Will Hewitt also has his agenda and is following her progress with a keen eye and a watching heart, trying to make very sure that she doesnít uncover too much or get buried into the muck of that very North End. Nell has to come to grips with all the class distinctions that are still very prevalent in the society she is living amongst. That is one of the hardest parts of this investigation. That and appeasing Dr. Will, who is ever vigilant towards her safety.

Murder in the North End is a light read that you can cozy up to on a cold winter night in your easy chair by the fire and just imagine yourself living back in that era of time, being on the search for a friend in the cold, dark streets of Boston in the 1870ís. Brew some tea, wrap that blanket a bit tighter, keep your feet warm, and enjoy the mystery of the chase.

The Book

Berkley Prime Crime
November 7, 2006
Mass Market Paperback
Historical mystery [Boston, July 1870]
More at
NOTE: language typical of era

The Reviewer

Claudia Turner VanLydegraf
Reviewed 2006
© 2006