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31 Bond Street

By Ellen Horan

Emma Cunningham, a widow with 2 teenage daughters, becomes the lodger and housekeeper in the home of Harvey Burdell, a wealthy dentist and land speculator. She becomes financially and emotionally involved with him, eventually marrying him.

He is brutally murdered and Cunningham is accused of the crime. All circumstances implicate her, but there is much hidden.

Ambitious lawyer, Henry Clinton, stakes his reputation by taking on her defense. This becomes one of New York City’s most notorious crimes, He must use any evidence he can find to prove that there are others concerned more than Cunningham.

This is a well told compelling story which combines crime and history. It is well researched describing the living conditions in the 19th century, the government corruption in Tammy Hall with New York City the sea of political corruption and greed during this period. The characters are motivated by social class and need for survival in a world ruled by the wealthy. The author also elaborates about the Underground Railroad and secret Indian burial grounds. It is an excellent combination of alternating chapters on the murder investigation and the trial with chapters covering the lives and activities of the victim and the suspect before the murder.

The Book

Harper Collins
March 2010
Mystery Manhattan 1880's
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The Reviewer

Barbara Buhrer
Reviewed 2010
© 2010